The Supreme Court handed Texas Republicans a partial victory in a partisan fight over election redistricting that has erupted after a huge increase in the state’s Hispanic population.

Throwing out a set of election maps that favored Democrats and minorities, the justices on Friday sent the case back to a lower court, forcing further review of a matter with a limited timetable for resolution as 2012 elections are fast approaching.

In its first ruling on political boundary-drawing based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the high court unanimously rejected interim election maps that had been drawn up by federal judges in San Antonio.

The court said the judges’ maps did not sufficiently take into account an earlier set of maps that were drawn up by the Texas state legislature that favored Republicans.

Under the high court’s ruling, the Texas judges must redraw the maps for primary contests set for April 3 that will decide party candidates for congressional and state legislature elections in November.

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