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A Victory for Racial Equality in Voting Rights

May 22, 2017

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Cooper v. Harris, concerning racial gerrymanders in the drawing of North Carolina legislative districts, Constitutional Accountability Center Civil Rights Director David Gans issued the following reaction: 

“Today’s ruling is the Court’s second reaffirmation this Term that, when states draw legislative districts, courts will undertake a careful review to ensure states follow the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law. It is significant that the majority today struck down North Carolina’s drawing of a legislative district that gratuitously invoked the Voting Rights Act in order to pack African American voters into certain districts, lessening their influence elsewhere.  This is an important ruling that limits the power of states to use race for political ends.  

“Finally, it is significant that Justice Thomas joined the majority today, but it is not surprising – since he takes a race-blind view – that he insisted the Court strictly review racial gerrymanders.”

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Resources:

CAC’s “friend of the court” brief in Cooper v. Harris: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/McCrory_v_Harris_Amicus_FINAL.pdf 

“Supreme Court should reject N.C. redistricting,” David Gans, Charlotte Observer, December 3, 2016: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article118530818.html 

“Voting Rights Back at the Supreme Court: The Big Racial Gerrymandering Cases You Haven’t Heard Of,” David Gans, Balkinization, December 1, 2016: https://balkin.blogspot.com/2016/12/voting-rights-back-at-supreme-court-big.html 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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