Bush v. Vera, 517 U.S. 952, 98 (1996)

Page:   Index   Previous  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  Next



Opinion of O'Connor, J.

here, and affirmed that "race was the primary consideration in the construction of District 30." 861 F. Supp., at 1338; see also id., at 1319-1321. And Johnson explained in a letter to the Department of Justice written at the end of the redistricting process that incumbency protection had been achieved by using race as a proxy:

" 'Throughout the course of the Congressional redistricting process, the lines were continuously reconfigured to assist in protecting the Democratic incumbents in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area by spreading the Black population to increase the Democratic party index in those areas.' " Id., at 1322 (quoting Plaintiff Exh. 6E6).

This is not to say that the direct evidence of the districters' intent showed race to be the sole factor considered. As Justice Stevens notes, post, at 1024-1025, nn. 23-24, state officials' claims have changed as their interests have changed. In the prior political gerrymandering suit and to the Department of Justice, they asserted that race predominated. In this suit, their testimony was that political considerations predominated. These inconsistent statements must be viewed in light of their adversarial context. But such questions of credibility are matters for the District Court, and we simply differ from the dissenters in our reading of the record when they find insupportable the District Court's reliance on the State's own statements indicating the importance of race, see post, at 1024-1025, nn. 23-24, 1033, n. 31 (opinion of Stevens, J.).

Finally, and most significantly, the objective evidence provided by the district plans and demographic maps suggests strongly the predominance of race. Given that the districting software used by the State provided only racial data at the block-by-block level, the fact that District 30, unlike Johnson's original proposal, splits voter tabulation districts and even individual streets in many places, see App. 150; 861

Page:   Index   Previous  91  92  93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101  102  103  104  105  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007