Opinion of the Court
With respect to § 2, appellees contend, and the District Court found, that failure to enact a plan with a second majority-black district would have left the State vulnerable to a lawsuit under this section. Our precedent establishes that a plaintiff may allege a § 2 violation in a single-member district if the manipulation of districting lines fragments politically cohesive minority voters among several districts or packs them into one district or a small number of districts, and thereby dilutes the voting strength of members of the minority population. Id., at 1007. To prevail on such a claim, a plaintiff must prove that the minority group "is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district"; that the minority group "is politically cohesive"; and that "the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it . . . usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate." Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U. S. 30, 50-51 (1986); Growe v. Emison, 507 U. S. 25 (1993) (recognizing that the three Gingles preconditions would apply to a § 2 challenge to a single-member district). A court must also consider all other relevant circumstances and must ultimately find based on the totality of those circumstances that members of a protected class "have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice." 42 U. S. C. § 1973(b). See De Grandy, supra, at 1010-1012.
United States as Amicus Curiae 25; 861 F. Supp. 408, 474 (1994) (case below). The "reassessment" was the legislature's determination that it may be susceptible to a § 2 challenge. Id., at 464-465. Even if the General Assembly properly reached that conclusion, we doubt that a showing of discriminatory effect under § 2, alone, could support a claim of discriminatory purpose under § 5. Even if discriminatory purpose could be shown, the means of avoiding such a violation could be race neutral, and so we also doubt that the prospect of violating the purpose prong of § 5 could justify a race-based redistricting plan such as the one implemented by North Carolina.Page: Index Previous 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Next
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