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Shaw v. Reno

United States Supreme Court
509 U.S. 630 (1993)


Facts

In North Carolina, 78 percent of voters are white, and 20 percent are black. The black population is largely concentrated in the northern Coastal Plain region. Based on the 1990 census, the North Carolina legislature created a new redistricting plan that included one majority black congressional district centered in the Coastal Plain region. The U.S. Attorney General objected to the plan based on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In response, North Carolina created a second majority black congressional district, which is 160 miles long and unusually shaped, winding through the I-85 corridor, crossing 10 counties, and dividing towns. Several North Carolina residents (plaintiffs) object to the redistricting plan, arguing that it deliberately segregates voters based on race in violation of their right to participate in an electoral process not based on race.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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Dissent (Souter, J.)

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