The number of African Americans in Congress grew between the early 1970s and the mid 1990s due, in part, to racial gerrymandering; then the Supreme Court ruledA.  that while racial representation...

The number of African Americans in Congress grew between the early 1970s and the mid 1990s due, in part, to racial gerrymandering; then the Supreme Court ruled
A.  that while racial representation improved, representation of women needed equal attention.
B. that states needed to do more to make racial representation match the population distribution.
C. that the federal government must provide funds to minority candidates to improve their likelihood of being elected.
D. that majority-minority districts restricted the voting rights of white voters.
E. that racial gerrymandering was "political apartheid" and thus unconstitutional.

what is the correct answer? thanks

Asked on by giolanh38

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

While Option E is somewhat overstated, it is the correct answer to this question.  The question refers to a Supreme Court case called Shaw v. Reno, which was decided in 1993.  In this case, the Court held that districts that are clearly drawn only on racial grounds are unconstitutional.  They held that the North Carolina district in question was so bizarrely shaped that the only possible reason to draw it that way was to get more blacks in the district.

The Court did not actually rule that racial gerrymandering was the same thing as apartheid.  However, that word did appear in the majority opinion, written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  She said that the redistricting plan bore “an uncomfortable resemblance to political apartheid.”  At least in my mind, this is not really the same thing as saying that racial gerrymandering was apartheid.

However, Option E is clearly meant to be the answer as none of the other options fits the facts of Shaw.  I would pick Option E rather than Option D because the Court ruled that the plan violated people’s right to equal protection, not their right to vote.

Sources:

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