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Court To Review Alabama’s ‘Race-Based’ Reapportionment

Publication Date: 
June 02, 2014
The Washington Post - Politics
Robert Barnes

Professor Nate Persily comments on the Supreme Court's choice to review a case concerning the consideration of race in Alabama redistricting for The Washington Post. 

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will review Alabama’s legislative reapportionment plan, accepting a challenge from the state’s Democrats and African American legislators that the new plan was an attempt to limit minority effectiveness.

The challengers said the state’s ruling Republicans packed too many minority voters into too few districts — ensuring minority representation in those districts but harming the chances for influence elsewhere.



Such arguments have sometimes created tensions between minority groups and the Democrats they most often favor, said Nathaniel Persily, a redistricting expert and Stanford University law professor.


Persily said the Alabama case will be the first time Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., both of whom are skeptical of racial classifications, have confronted the question of how race may be considered in redistricting decisions.