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Miller vs. Johnson

Miller v. Johnson, 63 U.S.L.W. 4726 (1995).
Docket no. 94-631, decided June 29, 1995


The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decison, declared unlawful North Carolina's 11th Congressional district, since its borders had been determined largely on the basis of the race of local residents. Although North Carolina had been ordered by the Justice Department to create such racially-motivated districts to increase the probablity of electing black representatives, the court found that such racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional under the racial equality provisions of the 14th amendment.

The Case

prepared by the Reporter of Decisions
Majority Opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy
asserts that motive as well as geography is important in deciding constitutionality of electoral districts
Concurring Opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
endorses and qualifies Supreme Court's role in reviewing electoral districts
Primary Dissent written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
argues that the majority is at variance with precedent by diluting the strength of minority voting
Secondary Dissent written by Justice John Paul Stevens
affirms Justice O'Connor's dissent, and further argues that no actual harm accrued to the appellant
Transcript of the proceedings before the court
the official transcript of the hearing, held May 28, 1995

Positions on the case by other parties

The Southern Poverty Law Center
"Brief Regarding the Implications of Miller vs. Johnson"
argues that the decision sets back efforts at even racial representation
Americans for Democratic Voting
"Miller vs. Johnson and the Right to Have One's Vote Count"
argues that racially-based electoral districts degrade the meaning of every citizens' vote
Coalition on Voting
"Aftermath of Miller vs. Johnson"
argues for increased minority voting to offset unballanced electoral districts
Ballot Access
"Miller vs. Johnson, the Dilution Deception"
argues that race-based districting hurts the cause of minority representation
Free Voting Coalition
"The Dilution Deception"
argues that racial districting is an unlawful attept to predetermine voting outcomes

Other Related Cases

Bush vs. Vera (heard December 1, 1995)
regarding redistricting to protect incumbents.
Shaw vs. Reno (decided October 24, 1994)
regarding districts with "bizzare shapes".
Anderson vs. Hayes> (decided July 23, 1974)
validated use of racial criteria in districting

Other Related Sites

Minority Voting Project
works to increase minority representation in Congress
Voter Empowerment USA
opposes block voting and other schemes which deviate from current practice

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This page was last updated November 13, 1995