March 02, 2017

Virginia Redistricting Must Be Re-examined For Racial Bias

US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court ruled in Virginia redistricting case that the Virginia's redistricting scheme must be examined for racial bias.

The Supreme Court informed a lower court to re-examine the redistricting efforts of Virginia’s Republican-led legislature for signs of racial bias and gerrymandered legislative districts that dilute the impact of African American voters.

The case revolved around the drawing of district lines in Virginia and whether race was a predominant consideration in the drawing of new districts after a 2010 census.

The court held that the district court employed an incorrect legal standard when it determined that race did not predominate in 11 of 12 of the new districts and that the district court's judgment regarding District 75—that the legislature had a good reason to believe that a target of 55% for African American voting/age population was necessary to avoid diminishing the electoral power of voters—is consistent with the basic narrow tailoring analysis explained in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama. The court sent the case back to the lower courts for further consideration.

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