In this Article the authors critically examine the Supreme Court's recent decision in Shaw v. Reno, which held that a North Carolina minority-majority voting district of "dramatically irregular" shape is subject to strict scrutiny, absent sufficient race-neutral explanations for its boundaries. While the authors assert that such race-conscious redistricting will meet the burdens of strict-scrutiny, given the peculiar history of the southern states, they here argue that Shaw is fundamentally flawed. They examine the history of political racism in North Carolina leading up to the 1991 redistricting plan. They then examine the Court's misguided presumptions that race-conscious districting plans are akin to political apartheid and segregation - are intended to include racial minorities in the politics from which they were for so long locked out, thereby futhering pluralism in Congress. The authors therefore call on the Court to modify Shaw before its misguided reliance on shape and appearance over intent and history results in a rollback of recent political gains by African-Americans, gain which have brought America a step closwer to the ideal of a truly representative democracy.
A Leon Higginbotham, Jr.; Gregory A. Clarick; and Marcella David,
Shaw v. Reno: A Mirage of Good Intentions with Devastating Racial Consquences,
62 Fordham L. Rev. 1593
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol62/iss6/2