Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 94 (1996)

Page:   Index   Previous  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  Next



Opinion of O'Connor, J.

also reaches out to claim Hamilton Park, an affluent African-American neighborhood surrounded by whites. Part of the district runs along Trinity River bottom, using it to connect dispersed minority population. Numerous [voter tabulation districts] were split in order to achieve the population mix required for the district.

. . . . . ". . . It is at least 25 miles wide and 30 miles long." 861 F. Supp., at 1337-1338.

See also Appendix A to this opinion (outline of District 30).

Appellants do not deny that District 30 shows substantial disregard for the traditional districting principles of compactness and regularity, or that the redistricters pursued unwaveringly the objective of creating a majority-African-American district. But they argue that its bizarre shape is explained by efforts to unite communities of interest in a single district and, especially, to protect incumbents.

Appellants highlight the facts that the district has a consistently urban character and has common media sources throughout, and that its tentacles include several major transportation lines into the city of Dallas. These factors, which implicate traditional districting principles, do correlate to some extent with the district's layout. But we see no basis in the record for displacing the District Court's conclusion that race predominated over them, particularly in light of the court's findings that the State's supporting data were not "available to the Legislature in any organized fashion before District 30 was created," 861 F. Supp., at 1338, and that they do not "differentiate the district from surrounding areas," ibid., with the same degree of correlation to district lines that racial data exhibit, see App. 150. In reaching that conclusion, we do not, as Justice Stevens fears, require States engaged in redistricting to compile "a comprehensive administrative record," post, at 1026 (Stevens, J., dissenting), and we do not dismiss facts not explicitly mentioned in the redistricting plan's legislative history as "irrelevant,"

Page:   Index   Previous  87  88  89  90  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007