Georgia v. Ashcroft, 539 U.S. 461, 12 (2003)

Page:   Index   Previous  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next



Opinion of the Court

sive either in intent or in effect. It submitted detailed evidence documenting in each district the total population, the total black population, the black voting age population, the percentage of black registered voters, and the overall percentage of Democratic votes (i. e., the overall likelihood that voters in a particular district will vote Democratic), among other things. See 195 F. Supp. 2d, at 36; see also Pl. Exhs. 2C, 2D. The State also submitted evidence about how each of these statistics compared to the benchmark districts. See 195 F. Supp. 2d, at 36; see also Pl. Exhs. 1C, 1D, 1E (revised).

Georgia also submitted testimony from numerous people who had participated in enacting the Senate plan into law, and from United States Congressman John Lewis, who represents the Atlanta area. These witnesses testified that the new Senate plan was designed to increase black voting strength throughout the State as well as to help ensure a continued Democratic majority in the Senate. The State also submitted expert testimony that African-American and non-African-American voters have equal chances of electing their preferred candidate when the black voting age population of a district is at 44.3%. Finally, in response to objections raised by the United States, Georgia submitted more detailed statistical evidence with respect to three proposed Senate districts that the United States found objectionable— Districts 2, 12, and 26—and two districts that the intervenors challenged—Districts 15 and 22.

The United States, through the Attorney General, argued in District Court that Georgia's 2001 Senate redistricting plan should not be precleared. It argued that the plan's changes to the boundaries of Districts 2, 12, and 26 unlawfully reduced the ability of black voters to elect candidates of their choice. See Brief for Federal Appellees 8; 195 F. Supp. 2d, at 72. The United States noted that in District 2, the black voting age population dropped from 60.58% to 50.31%; in District 12, the black voting age population dropped from 55.43% to 50.66%; and in District 26, the black

Page:   Index   Previous  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007