Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 93 (1996)

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Cite as: 517 U. S. 952 (1996)

Opinion of O'Connor, J.

to allocate seats proportionately to major political parties). Because it is clear that race was not the only factor that motivated the legislature to draw irregular district lines, we must scrutinize each challenged district to determine whether the District Court's conclusion that race predominated over legitimate districting considerations, including incumbency, can be sustained.


The population of District 30 is 50% African-American and 17.1% Hispanic. Fifty percent of the district's population is located in a compact, albeit irregularly shaped, core in south Dallas, which is 69% African-American. But the remainder of the district consists of narrow and bizarrely shaped tentacles—the State identifies seven "segments"—extending primarily to the north and west. See App. 335; see also M. Barone & G. Ujifusa, Almanac of American Politics 1996, p. 1277 (1995) (describing the district). Over 98% of the district's population is within Dallas County, see App. 118, but it crosses two county lines at its western and northern extremities. Its western excursion into Tarrant County grabs a small community that is 61.9% African-American, id., at 331; its northern excursion into Collin County occupies a hook-like shape mapping exactly onto the only area in the southern half of that county with a combined African-American and Hispanic percentage population in excess of 50%, id., at 153. The District Court's description of the district as a whole bears repeating:

"The district sprawls throughout Dallas County, deliberately excludes the wealthy white neighborhoods of Highland Park and University Park and extends fingers into Collin County, which include the outermost suburbs of Dallas. In Collin County, the district picks up a small African-American neighborhood. The district extends into Tarrant County only to pick up a small border area with a high African-American concentration. It


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