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PoliCon
03-09-2009, 07:02 PM
The justices, in a 5-4 ruling in a North Carolina case, say 'cross-over' voting districts do not have to be drawn in order to give black candidates a realistic chance of winning.
By David G. Savage
11:38 AM PDT, March 9, 2009
Reporting from Washington -- The Supreme Court limited the reach of the Voting Rights Act today, ruling that there is no duty to draw voting districts that will elect black candidates in areas where blacks are less than a majority.

In a 5-4 decision, the court said officials need not consider race when drawing districts for state legislatures, county boards, city councils and school districts, so long as blacks do not make up a voting majority in a particular area.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the court, said the law can "hasten the waning of racism in American politics" by making race less of factor in drawing electoral districts.

In today's decision, the justices rejected a move to draw a "cross-over district" in North Carolina where an area that had a 39% black population elected a black representative to the state's General Assembly.

State lawmakers believed the Voting Rights Act required them to draw districts that would give black candidates a realistic chance of winning.

But in today's opinion, the court said they had misread the law. It said the law applies "only when a geographically compact group of minority voters could form a majority in a single-member district," Kennedy said.

CONTINUED (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-supreme-court-voting-rights10-2009mar10,0,1747472.story)

Hugh Lincoln
03-11-2009, 10:01 AM
I think it's funny how the VRA assumes that blacks must be represented by blacks, and only blacks. It sure as hell doesn't assume whites must be represented by whites.