U.S. Supreme Court
Elections — Voting Rights Act
Where it is unclear whether the district court used appropriate standards in drawing a state’s voting districts, its map is vacated.
“Some specific aspects of the District Court’s plans seem to pay adequate attention to the State’s policies, others do not, and the propriety of still others is unclear. For example, in drawing State House districts in North and East Texas, the District Court closely followed the State’s policies. See 1 App. 173; 5 id., at 25–26. Although Texas’ entire State House plan is challenged in the §5 proceedings, there is apparently no serious allegation that the district lines in North and East Texas have a discriminatory intent or effect. 1 id., at 187, n. 4. The District Court was thus correct to take guidance from the State’s plan in drawing the interim map for those regions. But the court then altered those districts to achieve de minimis population variations—even though there was no claim that the population variations in those districts were unlawful. Id., at 171, and n. 8. In the absence of any legal flaw in this respect in the State’s plan, the District Court had no basis to modify that plan.”