Cite as: 539 U. S. 461 (2003)
Opinion of the Court
In the face of Georgia's evidence that the Senate plan as a whole is not retrogressive, the United States introduced nothing apart from the evidence that it would be more diffi-cult for minority voters to elect their candidate of choice in Districts 2, 12, and 26. As the District Court stated, the United States did not introduce any evidence to rebut Georgia's evidence that the increase in black voting age population in the other districts offsets any decrease in black voting age population in the three contested districts: "[T]he United States' evidence was extremely limited in scope—focusing only on three contested districts in the State Senate plan." Id., at 37. Indeed, the District Court noted that the United States' evidence "was not designed to permit the court to assess the overall impact" of the Senate plan. Ibid.
Given the evidence submitted in this case, we find that Georgia likely met its burden of showing nonretrogression. The increase in black voting age population in the other districts likely offsets any marginal decrease in the black voting age population in the three districts that the District Court found retrogressive. Using the overlay of the 2000 census numbers, Georgia's strategy of "unpacking" minority voters in some districts to create more influence and coalitional districts is apparent. Under the 2000 census numbers, the number of majority black voting age population districts in the new plan increases by one, the number of districts with a black voting age population of between 30% and 50% increases by two, and the number of districts with a black voting age population of between 25% and 30% increases by another 2. See Pl. Exhs. 1D, 2C; see also supra, at 470-471.
Using the census numbers in effect at the time the benchmark plan was enacted to assess the benchmark plan, the difference is even more striking. Under those figures, the new plan increases from 10 to 13 the number of districts with a majority-black voting age population and increases from 8 to 13 the number of districts with a black voting age population of between 30% and 50%. See Pl. Exhs. 1C, 2C. Thus,
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