Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899 (1996)

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appeal from the district court for the eastern district of north carolina

No. 94-923. Argued December 5, 1995—Decided June 13, 1996*

Earlier in this suit, in Shaw v. Reno, 509 U. S. 630, this Court held that appellants, whose complaint alleged that North Carolina had deliberately segregated voters by race when it created two bizarre-looking majority-black congressional districts, Districts 1 and 12, had stated a claim for relief under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court remanded for further consideration by the District Court, which held that, although the North Carolina redistricting plan did classify voters by race, the classification survived strict scrutiny, and therefore was constitutional, because it was narrowly tailored to further the State's compelling interests in complying with 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Held: 1. Only the two appellants who live in District 12 have standing to continue this lawsuit, and only with respect to that district. The remaining appellants, who do not reside in either of the challenged districts and have not provided specific evidence that they personally were assigned to their voting districts on the basis of race, lack standing. See United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737. P. 904. 2. The North Carolina plan violates the Equal Protection Clause because the State's reapportionment scheme is not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest. Pp. 904-918. (a) Strict scrutiny applies when race is the "predominant" consideration in drawing district lines such that "the legislature subordinates race-neutral districting principles . . . to racial considerations." Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 916. The District Court's finding that the North Carolina General Assembly "deliberately drew" District 12 so that it would have an effective voting majority of black citizens, when read in the light of the evidence as to the district's shape and demographics and the legislature's objective, comports with the Miller standard. In order to justify its redistricting plan, therefore, the State must show not only that the plan was in pursuit of a compel-*Together with No. 94-924, Pope et al. v. Hunt, Governor of North Carolina, et al., also on appeal from the same court.


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