Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 78 (1996)

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Souter, J., dissenting

There is, then, some reason to hope that if vote dilution is attacked at the same time that race is given the recognition that ethnicity has historically received in American politics, the force of race in politics will also moderate in time. There are even signs that such hope may be vindicated, even if the evidence is necessarily tentative as yet. See U. S. Comm'n on Civil Rights, The Voting Rights Act: Ten Years After, p. 155 (Jan. 1975) ("In many areas the great increase in minority registration and voting since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 has meant that politicians can no longer afford to ignore minority voters. This has brought about a significant decline in racial appeals by candidates and has made incumbents and candidates more responsive to minority needs"); Carsey, The Contextual Effects of Race on White Voter Behavior: The 1989 New York City Mayoral Election, 57 J. of Politics 221, 228 (1995) (reporting, in 1994, that "the contextual effects of race may not be so different from the contextual effects of factors like partisanship, ethnicity, or social class as we might have believed"); Sigelman, Sigelman, Walkosz, & Nitz, Black Candidates, White Voters: Understanding Racial Bias in Political Perceptions, 39 Am. J. of Political Science 243, 244 (1995) ("Over the years, white Americans have expressed increasing willingness to vote for black candidates"); Peirce, Fresh Air in City Hall, Baltimore Sun, Nov. 8, 1993, p. 7A ("In contest after contest, victory has gone to mayoral candidates who eschew talk of race"); see also Gingles, 478 U. S., at 56 (noting that crossover voting in favor of minority candidates is more common when minority incumbents stand for reelection); Collins v. Norfolk, 883 F. 2d 1232, 1243 (CA4 1989) (same). This possibility that racial politics, too, may grow wiser so long as minority votes are rescued from submergence should be considered in determining how far the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments require us to devise constitutional common law to supplant

fact that "Nassau Italian-Americans feel less marginali[zed] as an ethnic


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