…and gerrymandering by race at the Supreme Court

Yesterday, in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a lower court had been too indulgent toward race-based drawing of district lines, a process subject to scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. Although the decision makes at most a small difference in the law, I write at Cato that the Court’s relatively unified stand serves as a testament to the far-sightedness of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was roundly excoriated in the New York Times and elsewhere after warning in a landmark 1993 decision that “Racial gerrymandering, even for remedial purposes, may balkanize us into competing racial factions.” Two more views: Rick Hasen, Richard Pildes. (Also reprinted Newsweek; and see Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson, BNA Bloomberg coverage, thanks for quotes).

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