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US Supreme Court Will Hear Redistricting Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case against a North Carolina election district where 46 percent of registered voters are black. The case is a followup to a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed white voters to challenge districts drawn to help minority voters. The case centers on North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro and is currently represented in Congress by Melvin Watt (D). In 1997, state legislators redrew the district, reducing the percentage of registered voters who were black from 57 percent to 46 percent. A lower court ruling said the District was unlawful because it was based on race, but Democrats in North Carolina say the district was drawn on partisan lines to maintain the 6-6 split between Republicans and Democrats in the 12th District. A decision is expected by July and could prove influential in the redistricting process that will use new 2000 census data.

Sources:

Associated Press _ November 27, 2000

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