Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 90 (1996)

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Opinion of O'Connor, J.

detailed racial data, REDAPPL enabled districters to make more intricate refinements on the basis of race than on the basis of other demographic information. The District Court found that the districters availed themselves fully of that opportunity:

"In numerous instances, the correlation between race and district boundaries is nearly perfect. . . . The borders of Districts 18, 29, and 30 change from block to block, from one side of the street to the other, and traverse streets, bodies of water, and commercially developed areas in seemingly arbitrary fashion until one realizes that those corridors connect minority populations." 861 F. Supp., at 1336.

These findings—that the State substantially neglected traditional districting criteria such as compactness, that it was committed from the outset to creating majority-minority districts, and that it manipulated district lines to exploit unprecedentedly detailed racial data—together weigh in favor of the application of strict scrutiny. We do not hold that any one of these factors is independently sufficient to require strict scrutiny. The Constitution does not mandate regularity of district shape, see Shaw I, 509 U. S., at 647, and the neglect of traditional districting criteria is merely necessary, not sufficient. For strict scrutiny to apply, traditional districting criteria must be subordinated to race. Miller, 515 U. S., at 916. Nor, as we have emphasized, is the decision to create a majority-minority district objectionable in and of itself. The direct evidence of that decision is not, as Justice Stevens suggests, post, at 1024, "the real key" to our decision; it is merely one of several essential ingredients. Nor do we "condemn state legislation merely because it was based on accurate information." Post, at 1031, n. 28. The use of sophisticated technology and detailed information in the drawing of majority-minority districts is no more objectionable than it is in the drawing of majority-majority dis-

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