Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899, 6 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

As a preliminary matter, appellees challenge appellants' standing to continue this lawsuit. In United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737 (1995), we recognized that a plaintiff who resides in a district which is the subject of a racial-gerrymander claim has standing to challenge the legislation which created that district, but that a plaintiff from outside that district lacks standing absent specific evidence that he personally has been subjected to a racial classification. Two appellants, Ruth Shaw and Melvin Shimm, live in District 12 and thus have standing to challenge that part of Chapter 7 which defines District 12. See Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 909 (1995). The remaining appellants do not reside in District 1, however, and they have not provided specific evidence that they personally were assigned to their voting districts on the basis of race. Therefore, we conclude that only Shaw and Shimm have standing and only with respect to District 12.2

We explained in Miller v. Johnson that a racially gerry-mandered districting scheme, like all laws that classify citizens on the basis of race, is constitutionally suspect. Id., at 904-905; see also Shaw I, 509 U. S., at 657; Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U. S. 200 (1995). This is true whether or not the reason for the racial classification is be-2 Justice Stevens would dismiss the complaint for a lack of standing. Post, at 921-923. Here, as in other places in his dissent, Justice Stevens' disagreement is more with the Court's prior decisions in Shaw I, 509 U. S. 630 (1993), United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737 (1995), and Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900 (1995), than with this decision. Justice Stevens challenged the Court's standing analysis and its finding of cognizable injury in both Hays, supra, at 751 (Stevens, J., concurring in judgment), and Miller, supra, at 929-931 (Stevens, J., dissenting), and both Justice White and Justice Souter advanced many of the same arguments in Shaw I. See Shaw I, 509 U. S., at 659-674 (White, J., dissenting); id., at 680-687, and n. 9 (Souter, J., dissenting). Their position has been repeatedly rejected by the Court. See id., at 644-652; Miller, supra, at 909; and Hays, supra, at 744-745.

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