, Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd. :: 528 U.S. 320 (2000) :: US LAW US Supreme Court Center

Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd. :: 528 U.S. 320 (2000) :: US LAW US Supreme Court Center

    OCTOBER TERM, 1999

    Syllabus

    RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL v. BOSSIER PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

    APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    No. ninety eight-405. Argued April 26, 1999-Reargued October 6, 1999-Decided January 24, 2000*

    Bossier Parish, Louisiana, a jurisdiction blanketed by means of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is thereby prohibited from enacting any trade in a "balloting qualification[,] prerequisite[,] preferred, exercise, or system" with out first acquiring preclearance from both the Lawyer General or the District Court. When, following the 1990 census, the Bossier Parish School Board (Board) submitted a proposed redistricting plan to the Lawyer General, she denied preclearance. The Board then filed this preclearance movement inside the District Court. Section 5 authorizes preclearance of a proposed vote casting exchange that "does not have the cause and could no longer have the effect of denying or abridging the proper to vote on account of race or colour." Appellants conceded that the Board s plan did not have a prohibited "effect" under § five, because it was not "retrogressive," i. e., did now not get worse the placement of minority electorate, see Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. one hundred thirty, however claimed that it violated § 5 because it turned into enacted for a discriminatory "cause." The District Court granted preclearance. On enchantment, this Court disagreed with the District Court s proposition that all proof of a dilutive (however nonretrogressive) effect forbidden by way of § 2 changed into inappropriate to whether or not the Board enacted the plan with a retrogressive reason forbidden by means of § 5. Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd., 520 U. S. 471, 486-487 (Bossier Parish I). This Court vacated and remanded for similarly lawsuits as to the Board s purpose in adopting its plan, identification., at 486, leaving for the District Court the question whether the § 5 purpose inquiry ever extends past the search for retrogressive rationale, ibid. On remand, the District Court once more granted preclearance. Concluding, inter alia, that there was no evidence of discriminatory but nonretrogressive reason, the court docket left open the question whether or not § five prohibits preclearance of a plan enacted with such a motive.

    *Together with No. 98-406, Price et al. v. Bossier Parish School Bd., also on attraction from the equal courtroom.


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    Held:

    1. The Court rejects the Board s competition that these instances are mooted by way of the fact that the 1992 plan will in no way once more be used because the next scheduled election will arise in 2002, while the Board could have a new plan in area based upon facts from the 2000 census. In as a minimum one recognize, the 1992 plan may have likely continuing effect: It will function the baseline towards which appellee s next vote casting plan might be evaluated for preclearance functions. Pp. 327-328.

    2. In mild of § 5 s language and Beer s keeping, § five does no longer restrict preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive reason. Pp. 328-341.

    (a) In order to acquire preclearance, a protected jurisdiction have to set up that the proposed trade "does now not have the cause and could not have the impact of denying or abridging the right to vote due to race or coloration." The protected jurisdiction bears the burden of persuasion on both factors. See, e. g., Bossier Parish I, supra, at 478. In Beer, the Court concluded that, in the context of a § five vote-dilution declare, the phrase "abridging the right to vote resulting from race or colour" restrained the term "impact" to retrogressive effects. 425 U. S., at 141. Appellants rivalry that during qualifying the time period "motive," the very equal phrase does no longer impose a hindrance to retrogression, however manner discrimination greater generally, is untenable. See BankAmerica Corp. v. United States, 462 U. S. 122, 129. Richmond v. United States, 422 U. S. 358, 378-379, prominent. Appellants argue that subjecting each prongs to the identical problem produces a cause prong with a trivial attain, protecting most effective "incompetent retrogressors." If this have been proper-and if it had been adequate to justify giving the very same phrases extraordinary meanings whilst qualifying "reason" and "effect"there might be times wherein this Court carried out this type of construction to the innumerable statutes barring conduct with a selected "cause or effect," yet appellants are not able to quote a unmarried case. Moreover, the cause prong has value and effect even if it does now not cover behavior extra to that of a so-called incompetent retrogressor: The Government want only refute a jurisdiction s prima facie displaying that a proposed voting exchange does not have a retrogressive motive, and need no longer counter the jurisdiction s proof regarding real retrogressive effect. Although really equal language in § 2(a) and the Fifteenth Amendment has been examine to refer not only to retrogression, but to discrimination extra usually, giving the language exceptional that means in § five is trustworthy to the unique context wherein the term "abridging" is used. Appellants reading could exacerbate the "full-size" federalism expenses that the preclearance manner already exacts, Lopez v. Monterey County, 525 U. S. 266, 282, perhaps to the volume


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    Full Text of Opinion

    OCTOBER TERM, 1999

    Syllabus

    RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL v. BOSSIER PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

    APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    No. ninety eight-405. Argued April 26, 1999-Reargued October 6, 1999-Decided January 24, 2000*

    Bossier Parish, Louisiana, a jurisdiction included with the aid of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is thereby prohibited from enacting any alternate in a "voting qualification[,] prerequisite[,] popular, practice, or process" without first acquiring preclearance from both the Lawyer General or the District Court. When, following the 1990 census, the Bossier Parish School Board (Board) submitted a proposed redistricting plan to the Lawyer General, she denied preclearance. The Board then filed this preclearance action in the District Court. Section 5 authorizes preclearance of a proposed voting change that "does not have the motive and could now not have the effect of denying or abridging the proper to vote on account of race or colour." Appellants conceded that the Board s plan did not have a prohibited "impact" beneath § five, because it turned into now not "retrogressive," i. e., did no longer get worse the placement of minority citizens, see Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. one hundred thirty, but claimed that it violated § five as it turned into enacted for a discriminatory "cause." The District Court granted preclearance. On appeal, this Court disagreed with the District Court s proposition that all evidence of a dilutive (but nonretrogressive) effect forbidden by means of § 2 become irrelevant to whether the Board enacted the plan with a retrogressive purpose forbidden via § five. Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd., 520 U. S. 471, 486-487 (Bossier Parish I). This Court vacated and remanded for in addition complaints as to the Board s cause in adopting its plan, identity., at 486, leaving for the District Court the query whether the § 5 cause inquiry ever extends past the look for retrogressive rationale, ibid. On remand, the District Court again granted preclearance. Concluding, inter alia, that there was no proof of discriminatory however nonretrogressive cause, the courtroom left open the query whether § 5 prohibits preclearance of a plan enacted with this kind of cause.

    *Together with No. 98-406, Price et al. v. Bossier Parish School Bd., also on enchantment from the same court docket.


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    Held:

    1. The Court rejects the Board s contention that those cases are mooted via the reality that the 1992 plan will by no means once more be used due to the fact the following scheduled election will arise in 2002, whilst the Board will have a brand new plan in vicinity based totally upon information from the 2000 census. In at least one appreciate, the 1992 plan could have probably continuing impact: It will serve as the baseline against which appellee s next voting plan can be evaluated for preclearance purposes. Pp. 327-328.

    2. In mild of § 5 s language and Beer s conserving, § five does no longer restrict preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive reason. Pp. 328-341.

    (a) In order to attain preclearance, a blanketed jurisdiction need to establish that the proposed trade "does now not have the purpose and could not have the impact of denying or abridging the proper to vote as a result of race or color." The protected jurisdiction bears the load of persuasion on each points. See, e. g., Bossier Parish I, supra, at 478. In Beer, the Court concluded that, in the context of a § 5 vote-dilution declare, the phrase "abridging the right to vote because of race or shade" restricted the term "impact" to retrogressive results. 425 U. S., at 141. Appellants rivalry that in qualifying the time period "cause," the very identical word does now not impose a problem to retrogression, however manner discrimination more normally, is untenable. See BankAmerica Corp. v. United States, 462 U. S. 122, 129. Richmond v. United States, 422 U. S. 358, 378-379, outstanding. Appellants argue that subjecting each prongs to the equal dilemma produces a reason prong with a trivial reach, protecting best "incompetent retrogressors." If this had been authentic-and if it have been ok to justify giving the very same phrases different meanings while qualifying "motive" and "impact"there could be times in which this Court carried out any such construction to the innumerable statutes barring conduct with a particular "reason or impact," but appellants are not able to cite a single case. Moreover, the reason prong has fee and effect even if it does no longer cowl conduct additional to that of a so-referred to as incompetent retrogressor: The Government need best refute a jurisdiction s prima facie showing that a proposed balloting exchange does now not have a retrogressive purpose, and want now not counter the jurisdiction s proof concerning actual retrogressive impact. Although in reality equal language in § 2(a) and the Fifteenth Amendment has been read to refer not handiest to retrogression, however to discrimination extra generally, giving the language specific which means in § five is trustworthy to the specific context wherein the term "abridging" is used. Appellants reading might exacerbate the "enormous" federalism fees that the preclearance method already exacts, Lopez v. Monterey County, 525 U. S. 266, 282, perhaps to the quantity


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    of raising worries about § five s constitutionality, see Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 926-927. The Court s decision of this trouble renders it unnecessary to cope with appellants mission to the District Court s authentic end that there was no evidence of discriminatory however nonretrogressive rationale. Pp. 328-336.

    (b) The Court rejects appellants competition that, notwithstanding that Bossier Parish I explicitly "le[ft] open for some other day" the question whether § 5 extends to discriminatory however nonretrogressive purpose, 520 U. S., at 486, of this Court s previous decisions have already reached the realization that it does. Dictum in Beer, supra, at 141, and preserving of Pleasant Grove v. United States, 479 U. S. 462, prominent. Pp. 337-341.

    7 F. Supp. 2d 29, affirmed.

    SCALIA, J., introduced the opinion of the Court, Part II of which was unanimous, and Parts I, III, and IV of which had been joined through REHNQUIST, C. J., and O CONNOR, KENNEDY, and THOMAS, JJ. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 341. SOUTER, J., filed an opinion concurring in element and dissenting in element, wherein STEVENS, GINSBURG, and BREYER, JJ., joined, submit, p. 341. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, J., joined, publish, p. 373. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 374.

    Paul R. Q. Wolfson reargued the cause for appellant in No. 98-405. On the briefs on reargument changed into Solicitor General Waxman. With Mr. Wolfson at the briefs at the authentic argument had been Mr. Waxman, Acting Assistant Lawyer General Lee, Deputy Solicitor General Underwood, Mark L. Gross, and Louis E. Peraertz.

    Patricia A. Brannan reargued the cause for appellants in No. 98-406. With her on the briefs were John W Borkowski, Barbara R. Arnwine, Thomas J. Henderson, and Edward Still.

    Michael A. Carvin reargued the motive for appellee in each cases. With him at the quick had been David H. Thompson, Craig S. Lerner, and Michael E. Rosman.

    JUSTICE SCALIA brought the opinion of the Court.

    These cases present the question whether or not § five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 79 Stat. 439, as amended, forty two U. S. C.


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    § 1973c, prohibits preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive motive.

    I

    This is the second time the prevailing cases are before us, and we thus recite the information and procedural history most effective in brief. Like every other political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, Bossier Parish, due to its records of discriminatory balloting practices, is a jurisdiction protected by using § five of the Voting Rights Act. See 42 U. S. C. §§ 1973c, 1973b(a), (b); 30 Fed. Reg. 9897 (1965). It is consequently prohibited from enacting any trade in a "voting qualification or prerequisite to vote casting, or wellknown, practice, or technique with respect to balloting," without first obtaining both administrative preclearance from the Lawyer General or judicial preclearance from the USA District Court for the District of Columbia. 42 U. S. C. § 1973c.

    Bossier Parish is governed by using a 12-member Police Jury elected from single-member districts for four-12 months phrases. In the early 1990 s, the Police Jury set out to redraw its electoral districts with a purpose to account for demographic changes contemplated within the decennial census. In 1991, it followed a redistricting plan which, like the plan then in effect, contained no majority-black districts, even though blacks made up approximately 20% of the parish s population. On May 28, 1991, the Police Jury submitted its new districting plan to the Lawyer General; two months later, the Lawyer General granted preclearance.

    The Bossier Parish School Board (Board) is constituted in the same fashion as the Police Jury, and it too undertook to redraw its districts after the 1990 census. During the route of that redistricting, appellant-intervenor George Price, president of the neighborhood bankruptcy of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), proposed that the Board adopt a plan with majority-black districts. In the fall of 1992, amid some controversy, the


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    Board rejected Price s idea and adopted the Police Jury s 1991 redistricting plan as its very own.

    On January four, 1993, the Board submitted its redistricting plan to the Lawyer General for preclearance. Although the Lawyer General had precleared the identical plan when submitted by using the Police Jury, she interposed a formal objection to the Board s plan, asserting that "new facts"-mainly, the NAACP plan proposed by way of appellantintervenor Price-verified that "black residents are sufficiently numerous and geographically compact as a way to constitute a majority in single-member districts." App. to Juris. Statement in No. ninety eight-405, p. 235a. The Lawyer General disclaimed any try to compel the Board to "adopt any precise plan," but maintained that the Board turned into "not unfastened to undertake a plan that unnecessarily limits the opportunity for minority electorate to go with their applicants of choice." Ibid.

    After the Lawyer General denied the Board s request for reconsideration, the Board filed the present movement for judicial preclearance of the 1992 plan within the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Section five of the Voting Rights Act authorizes preclearance of a proposed voting change that "does now not have the purpose and will now not have the effect of denying or abridging the proper to vote due to race or coloration." forty two U. S. C. § 1973c. Before the District Court, appellants conceded that the Board s plan did no longer have a prohibited "effect" below § 5, since it did not get worse the position of minority citizens. (In Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. a hundred thirty (1976), we held that a plan has a prohibited "effect" only if it's far retrogressive.) Instead, appellants made two distinct claims. First, they argued that preclearance must be denied due to the fact the Board s plan, by means of no longer growing as many majority-black districts as it should create, violated § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars discriminatory balloting practices. Second, they contended that,


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    although the Board s plan might have no retrogressive effect, it though violated § 5 as it become enacted for a discriminatory "motive."

    The District Court granted preclearance. Bossier Parish School Bd. v. Reno, 907 F. Supp. 434 (DC 1995). As to the first of appellants two claims, the District Court held that it could not deny preclearance of a proposed vote casting exchange below § five truely because the trade violated § 2. Moreover, for you to prevent the Government "[from doing] circuitously what it cannot do at once," the District Court stated that it would "no longer allow section 2 evidence to prove discriminatory purpose beneath phase 5." Id., at 445. As to the second one of appellants claims, the District Court concluded that the Board had borne its burden of proving that the 1992 plan became followed for two legitimate, nondiscriminatory functions: to guarantee activate preclearance (because the equal plan have been precleared for the Police Jury), and to permit easy implementation (for the reason that followed plan, in contrast to the NAACP s proposed plan, required no redrawing of precinct strains). Id., at 447. Appellants filed jurisdictional statements on this Court, and we mentioned probable jurisdiction. Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd., 517 U. S. 1232 (1996).

    On attraction, we agreed with the District Court that a proposed balloting exchange can not be denied preclearance in reality because it violates § 2, however disagreed with the proposition that all proof of a dilutive (but nonretrogressive) effect forbidden with the aid of § 2 was inappropriate to whether or not the Board enacted the plan with a retrogressive reason forbidden by § 5. Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd., 520 U. S. 471, 486-487 (1997) (Bossier Parish I). Since a few language in the District Court s opinion left us uncertain whether or not the courtroom had in truth implemented that proposition in its decision, we vacated and remanded for further lawsuits as to the Board s cause in adopting the 1992 plan. Id., at 486. In light of our disposition, we left open the additional question "whether


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    the § 5 reason inquiry ever extends past the look for retrogressive motive." Ibid. "The existence of the sort of purpose," we stated, "and its relevance to § five, are problems to be decided on remand." Ibid.

    On remand, the District Court, in a relatively short opinion counting on, but clarifying, its huge earlier opinion, again granted preclearance. 7 F. Supp. 2nd 29 (DC 1998). First, in reaction to our invitation to cope with the life of a discriminatory but nonretrogressive reason, the District Court summarily concluded that "the file will now not aid a conclusion that extends past the presence or absence of retrogressive motive." Id., at 31. It stated that one could "believe a fixed of data that could establish a nonretrogressive, but though discriminatory, reason, but the ones imagined statistics aren't gift right here." Ibid. The District Court consequently left open the question that we had ourselves left open on remand: namely, whether or not the § five motive inquiry extends past the look for retrogressive motive.

    Second, the District Court taken into consideration, at extra period, how any dilutive effect of the Board s plan bore on the question whether or not the Board enacted the plan with a retrogressive purpose. It concluded, applying the multifactor check we articulated in Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U. S. 252 (1977), that allegations of dilutive effect and of discriminatory animus have been insufficient to set up retrogressive rationale. 7 F. Supp. second, at 31-32.

    In their jurisdictional statements on this Court, appellants contended, first, that the District Court s conclusion that there was no proof of discriminatory but nonretrogressive reason changed into in reality inaccurate, and 2d, that § five of the Voting Rights Act prohibits preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive reason. Appellants did no longer task the District Court s dedication that there has been no proof of retrogressive reason. We again cited probable jurisdiction. 525 U. S. 1118 (1999).


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    II

    Before intending to the deserves, we ought to cast off a assignment to our jurisdiction. The Board contends that those cases are actually moot, considering its 1992 plan "will in no way again be used for any purpose." Motion to Dismiss or Affirm nine. Under Louisiana regulation, school board individuals are elected to serve 4-year phrases. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:fifty two(A) (West 1995). One month after appellants filed the jurisdictional statements for this appeal, the scheduled 1998 election for the Board came about. The next scheduled election will not occur until 2002, via which era, as appellants concede, the statistics from the imminent decennial census may be available and the Board could be required by our "one-man-one-vote" precedents to have a brand new apportionment plan in region. Accordingly, appellee argues, the District Court s declaratory judgment with respect to the 1992 plan is no longer of any second and the dispute not presents a live "case or controversy" for purposes of Article III of the Constitution. Preiser v. Newkirk, 422 U. S. 395, 401 (1975); Mills v. Green, 159 U. S. 651, 653 (1895).

    Appellants posit several contingencies in which the Board s 1992 plan could be positioned to apply-along with resignation or demise of one of the 12 Board contributors before 2002, and failure to agree upon a alternative plan for the 2002 election. They additionally assert that, if we have been to keep preclearance improper, they "could searching for" an injunction voiding the elections held below the 1992 plan and ordering a unique election, Brief for Appellants Price et al. Opposing Motion to Dismiss or Affirm three, and "is probably entitled" to such an injunction, Brief for Appellant Reno in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss or Affirm 2. We want no longer pause to don't forget whether the opportunity of those fairly speculative and unsure activities suffices to maintain these cases alive, on account that in at the least one admire the 1992 plan could have probable continuing effect: Absent a successful subsequent mission under § 2, it, in preference to the 1980 predecessor plan-which incorporates quite


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    exclusive vote casting districts-will function the baseline towards which appellee s subsequent balloting plan may be evaluated for the functions of preclearance. Whether (and exactly how) that destiny plan represents a alternate from the baseline, and, in that case, whether it's far retrogressive in impact, will depend upon whether or not preclearance of the 1992 plan became proper.

    We turn, then, to the merits.

    III

    Appellants press the 2 claims first of all raised in their jurisdictional statements: first, that the District Court s authentic end that there was no proof of discriminatory however nonretrogressive rationale become virtually inaccurate, and second, that § 5 of the Voting Rights Act prohibits preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive cause. Our decision of the second declare renders it pointless to cope with the primary. When taken into consideration in mild of our longstanding interpretation of the "impact" prong of § five in its software to vote-dilution claims, the language of § 5 leads to the conclusion that the "cause" prong of § 5 covers handiest retrogressive dilution.

    As mentioned earlier, which will obtain preclearance beneath § five, a covered jurisdiction must exhibit that the proposed trade "does no longer have the motive and could not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote as a consequence of race or colour." 42 U. S. C. § 1973c. A blanketed jurisdiction, consequently, need to make two wonderful showings: first, that the proposed exchange "does no longer have the purpose ... of denying or abridging the proper to vote on account of race or colour," and 2d, that the proposed change "will not have the effect of denying or abridging the proper to vote due to race or color." The covered jurisdiction bears the burden of persuasion on both points. See Bossier Parish I, 520 U. S., at 478 (judicial preclearance); 28 CFR § fifty one.52(a) (1999) (administrative preclearance).


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    In Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. 130 (1976), this Court addressed the which means of the no-effect requirement within the context of an allegation of vote dilution. The case provided the query whether or not a reapportionment plan that would have a discriminatory however nonretrogressive effect on the rights of black voters must be denied preclearance. Reasoning that § 5 have to be examine in mild of its purpose of "insur[ing] that no vote casting-process adjustments would be made that could result in a retrogression within the position of racial minorities with respect to their powerful workout of the electoral franchise," we held that "a legislative reapportionment that enhances the placement of racial minorities with appreciate to their effective exercising of the electoral franchise can rarely have the impact of diluting or abridging the proper to vote attributable to race inside the meaning of § five." Id., at 141. In other phrases, we concluded that, within the context of a § five mission, the word "denying or abridging the proper to vote attributable to race or color" -or greater in particular, within the context of a vote-dilution claim, the word "abridging the right to vote as a consequence of race or coloration"-restrained the term it certified, "effect," to retrogressive consequences.

    Appellants contend that in qualifying the time period "cause," the very equal phrase does no longer impose a dilemma to retrogression-i. e., that the phrase "abridging the right to vote resulting from race or coloration" approach retrogression whilst it modifies "effect," however method discrimination greater usually while it modifies "reason." We think this is in reality an untenable construction of the textual content, in impact recasting the phrase "does no longer have the reason and could no longer have the effect of x" to read "does no longer have the purpose of y and will now not have the effect of x." As we have inside the past, we refuse to undertake a construction that might attribute exclusive meanings to the same word in the equal sentence, relying on which item it's miles modifying. See BankAmerica Corp. v. United States, 462 U. S. 122, 129 (1983) (declining to present


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    exclusive meanings to the phrase "other than" when it changed "banks" and "commonplace companies" in the identical clause).

    Appellants point out that we did deliver the cause prong of § five a broader meaning than the impact prong in Richmond v. United States, 422 U. S. 358 (1975). That case concerned requested preclearance for a proposed annexation that might have reduced the black population of the metropolis of Richmond, Virginia, from 52% to 42%. We concluded that, despite the fact that the annexation might also have had the effect of creating a political unit with a lower percent of blacks, see you later as it "pretty replicate[ed] the electricity of the Negro network because it exist[ed] after the annexation" it did now not violate § five. Id., at 371. We reasoned that this interpretation of the impact prong of § 5 turned into justified by way of the extraordinary circumstances provided in annexation cases:

    "To hold in any other case might be both to forbid all such annexations or to require, because the charge for approval of the annexation, that the black network be assigned the equal share of council seats as before, hence possibly permanently overrepresenting them and underrepresenting different elements in the community, consisting of the nonblack residents in the annexed region. We are unwilling to hold that Congress supposed both outcome in enacting § five." Ibid.

    We refused, however, to impose a similar quandary on § five s motive prong, mentioning that preclearance will be denied when the jurisdiction turned into appearing with the purpose of effecting a percentage discount inside the black population, even though it could not be denied whilst the jurisdiction s movement merely had that effect. Id., at 378-379.

    It should be acknowledged that Richmond created a discontinuity between the impact and cause prongs of § five. We regard that, however, as not anything more than an ex necessitate quandary upon the effect prong in the unique context of annexation-to keep away from the invalidation of all annexations of


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    areas with a lower proportion of minority electorate than the annexing unit. The case certainly does now not stand for the proposition that the cause and effect prongs have essentially specific meanings-the latter requiring retrogression, and the previous not-that is what is advised right here. The authorized effect of the redistricting in Richmond, and the hypothetically disapproved motive, were each retrogressive. We discovered it important to make an exception to everyday retrogressive-impact principles, however now not to regular retrogressive-purpose concepts, so that you can permit habitual annexation. That sheds little mild upon the issue before us right here.

    Appellants handiest textual justification for giving the reason and impact prongs one of a kind meanings is that to do otherwise "would reduce the motive prong of Section five to a trivial count," Brief for Federal Appellant on Reargument 13; could "effectively delet[e] the motive prong," Reply Brief for Appellants Price et al. on Reargument 3; and might deliver the reason prong "a trivial reach, confined to the case of the incompetent retrogressor," Reply Brief for Federal Appellant nine. If this have been proper-and if it have been ok to justify giving the very identical phrases a special which means when qualifying "reason" than whilst qualifying "impact" -one might anticipate appellants to cite at least some times in which this Court implemented such muscular construction to the innumerable statutes barring conduct with a selected "cause or impact." See, e. g., 7 U. S. C. § 192(d) (prohibiting sale of any article "for the purpose or with the effect of manipulating or controlling charges" in the meatpacking enterprise); 12 U. S. C. § 1467a(c)(1)(A) (barring savings and mortgage maintaining agencies from carrying out any hobby on behalf of a savings association subsidiary "for the purpose or with the effect of evading any law or law applicable to such savings association"); forty seven U. S. C. § 541(b)(three)(B) (1994 ed., Supp. III) (prohibiting cable franchising government from implementing any requirement that "has


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    the cause or impact of prohibiting, restricting, proscribing, or conditioning the supply of a telecommunications carrier via a cable operator or an associate thereof"). They cite now not a single one, and we are privy to none.

    It is genuine enough that, whenever Congress enacts a statute that bars behavior having "the cause or effect of x," the reason prong has application absolutely break free that of the effect prong only with regard to not likely behavior that has "the reason of x" but fails to have "the impact of x"within the gift context, the behavior of a so-referred to as "incompetent retrogressor." The motive prong has cost and effect, however, even when it does now not cover additional behavior. With regard to conduct that has both "the reason of x" and "the effect of x," the Government need only prove that the conduct at trouble has "the purpose of x" to be able to be triumphant. In the precise context of § five, where the blanketed jurisdiction has the load of persuasion, the Government need only refute the blanketed jurisdiction s prima facie displaying that a proposed balloting alternate does no longer have a retrogressive cause in order for preclearance to be denied. When it could accomplish that, it is spared the necessity of countering the jurisdiction s proof regarding actual retrogressive effect-which, in vote-dilution instances, is often a complicated venture. This benefit, plus the capability to attain malevolent incompetence, won't represent a big addition to the effect prong, but it's far enough to justify the separate lifestyles of the reason prong in this statute, and is no less than what justifies the separate life of this kind of provision in many other legal guidelines.1

    IJUSTICE SOUTER criticizes us for "assum[ing] that purpose is less complicated to show than effect ... in balloting rights cases." Post, at 358, n. 10 (opinion concurring in component and dissenting in component). As is apparent from our discussion in textual content, we do no longer advise that cause is constantly easier to prove, however honestly that it could occasionally be (which suffices to present pressure to the "motive" prong with out the need of doing violence to the English language). Indeed, JUSTICE SOUTER recognizes that "motive to dilute is conceptually simple, whereas a dilutive abridgment-in-fact isn't always without problems defined and recognized independently of dilutive reason." Post, at 367.


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    At bottom, appellants war of words with our studying of § 5 rests now not upon textual evaluation, however upon their competition to our protecting in Beer. Although they do not explicitly contend that Beer have to be overruled, all of them but do so by using arguing that it'd be "untenable" to conclude (as we did in Beer) that the word "abridging the proper to vote attributable to race or color" refers simplest to retrogression in § five, Reply Brief for Federal Appellant on Reargument 1, in mild of the truth that absolutely equal language somewhere else in the Voting Rights Act-and indeed, within the Fifteenth Amendment-has in no way been study to refer most effective to retrogression. See § 2(a) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U. S. C. § 1973(a) ("No voting [practice] shall be imposed or carried out by using any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote due to race or shade ... "); u. S. Const., Arndt. 15, § 1 ("The proper of citizens of america to vote shall no longer be denied or abridged by the United States or by using any State because of race, coloration, or previous situation of servitude").2 The term "abridge," however-whose

    2 Appellants additionally cite § three(c) of the Voting Rights Act, which gives, with reference to a court that has found a contravention of the proper to vote assured via the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment, that "the court ... shall retain jurisdiction for such period as it may deem appropriate and at some stage in such duration no vote casting [practice] one-of-a-kind from that in force or effect at the time the intending changed into commenced shall be enforced except and until the courtroom unearths that such [practice] does now not have the motive and will not have the impact of denying or abridging the right to vote attributable to race or shade .... " forty two U. S. C. § 1973a(c). This provision does no longer assist appellants case because it isn't always in any respect clear that it confers the strength to deny approval to nonretrogressive redistricting. That is to say, it could well contemplate that, as soon as a court has struck down an unconstitutional practice and granted relief in regards to that exercise, it could count on for that jurisdiction a feature identical to that of the District Court for the District of Columbia in § 5 preclearance proceedings. This is suggested by the reality that the State may additionally avoid the court s jurisdiction on this regard via obtaining preclearance from the Lawyer General; and that § three(c), like § 5, explicitly leaves open the opportunity that a proposed change approved by using the court docket can be challenged as unconstitutional


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    center meaning is "shorten," see Webster s New International Dictionary 7 (second ed. 1950); American Heritage Dictionary 6 (3d ed. 1992)-always includes a assessment. It makes no experience to indicate that a voting practice "abridges" the proper to vote with out some baseline with which to examine the practice. In § five preclearance proceedings-which uniquely deal only and mainly with modifications in balloting tactics-the baseline is the repute quo this is proposed to be changed: If the alternate "abridges the right to vote" relative to the reputation quo, preclearance is denied, and the fame quo (however discriminatory it may be) remains in impact. In § 2 or Fifteenth Amendment lawsuits, through assessment, which contain now not most effective changes however (a great deal extra normally) the popularity quo itself, the assessment must be made with a hypothetical opportunity: If the status quo "effects in [an] abridgement of the proper to vote" or "abridge[s] [the right to vote]" relative to what the right to vote ought to be, the fame quo itself have to be changed. Our reading of "abridging" as referring handiest to retrogression in § 5, however to discrimination more typically in § 2 and the Fifteenth Amendment, is devoted to the differing contexts wherein the time period is used.three

    in a "next motion." Ibid. We of course intimate no maintaining on this factor, however restriction our conclusion to the nonprobative person of § three(c) with reference to the difficulty in the present cases.

    three Even if § 5 did no longer have a one of a kind baseline than the Fifteenth Amendment, appellants argument that § five should be read in parallel with the Fifteenth Amendment could fail for the simple reason that we've never held that vote dilution violates the Fifteenth Amendment. See Voinovich v. Quilter, 507 U. S. 146, 159 (1993) (bringing up Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. 130, 142-143, n. 14 (1976)). Indeed, contrary to JUSTICE SOUTER S assertion, submit, at 360, n. eleven (opinion concurring in element and dissenting in component), we've got never even "suggested" as a whole lot. Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U. S. 339 (1960), worried a proposal to redraw the limits of Tuskegee, Alabama, to be able to exclude all but 4 or five of its four hundred black voters with out with the exception of a unmarried white voter. See identity., at 341. Our conclusion that the notion could deny black electorate the proper to vote in municipal elections, and consequently violated the Fifteenth Amendment, had not anything to do with racial vote dilution, a idea that doesn't seem in


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    In any other argument that applies equally to our protecting in Beer, appellants item that our reading of § five could require the District Court or Lawyer General to preclear proposed balloting adjustments with a discriminatory effect or purpose, or maybe with each. That strikes appellants as an unbelievable prospect simplest due to the fact they do not want to accept the confined meaning that we've got stated preclearance has within the vote-dilution context. It does now not constitute approval of the vote casting trade; it is nothing greater than a determination that the balloting change is not any greater dilutive than what it replaces, and consequently can not be stopped in advance beneath the wonderful burden-moving tactics of § 5, however must be attacked through the ordinary manner of a § 2 action. As we've repeatedly cited, in vote-dilution cases § five prevents not anything but backsliding, and preclearance beneath § five affirms nothing but the absence of backsliding. Bossier Parish I, 520 U. S., at 478; Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 926 (1995); Beer, 425 U. S., at 141.four This explains why the

    our voting-rights opinions until nine years later. See Allen v. State Bd. of Elections, 393 U. S. 544, 569 (1969). As for the alternative case relied upon by way of JUSTICE SOUTER, the plurality opinion in Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U. S. 55 (1980), now not only does that now not advise that the Fifteenth Amendment covers vote dilution, it shows the alternative, rejecting the appellees vote-dilution declare within the following terms: "The answer to the appellees argument is that ... their freedom to vote has now not been denied or abridged by means of all and sundry. The Fifteenth Amendment does now not entail the proper to have Negro candidates elected .... Having discovered that Negroes in Mobile sign in and vote with out predicament, the District Court and Court of Appeals have been in mistakes in believing that the appellants invaded the safety of that Amendment inside the gift case." Id., at 65; see also identification., at eighty four, n. 3 (STEVENS, J., concurring in judgment) (characterizing plurality opinion as concluding that "the Fifteenth Amendment applies only to practices that without delay affect get right of entry to to the poll").

    4 In seek of assist for the argument that § 5 prevents now not simply backsliding on vote dilution but all types of vote dilution, JUSTICE SOUTER embarks upon a lengthy expedition into legislative records. Post, at 362367 (opinion concurring in part and dissenting in component). He returns emptyhanded, seeing that he can point to not anything suggesting that the Congress thought § 5 included both retrogressive and nonretrogressive dilution. Indeed, it's far dubious whether the Congress that exceeded the 1965 Voting


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    sole outcome of failing to obtain preclearance is continuation of the popularity quo. To deny preclearance to a plan that is now not retrogressive-no rely how unconstitutional it can be-might risk leaving in effect a standing quo that is even worse. For instance, within the case of a vote casting exchange with a discriminatory however nonretrogressive reason and a discriminatory but ameliorative effect, the result of denying preclearance would be to maintain a standing quo with extra discriminatory effect than the proposed exchange.

    In sum, via suggesting that § five extends to discriminatory but nonretrogressive vote-dilutive purposes, appellants ask us to do what we declined to do in Bossier Parish I: to blur the distinction among § 2 and § five by using "shift[ing] the focal point of § 5 from nonretrogression to vote dilution, and ... chang[ing] the § 5 benchmark from a jurisdiction s existing plan to a hypothetical, undiluted plan." 520 U. S., at 480. Such a analyzing might also exacerbate the "big" federalism fees that the preclearance manner already exacts, Lopez v. Monterey County, 525 U. S. 266, 282 (1999), possibly to the quantity of raising worries about § five s constitutionality, see Miller, supra, at 926-927. Most importantly, but, in mild of our conserving in Beer, appellants reading finds no support in the language of § five.five

    Rights Act even had the exercise of racial vote dilution in mind. As JusTICE SOUTER acknowledges, this Court did now not address the concept until 1969, see post, at 364, n. 13, and the legislative history of the 1969 extension of the Act, quoted by JUSTICE SOUTER, see submit, at 364-365, refers to at-huge elections and consolidation of counties as "new, unlawful approaches to decrease the Negroes franchise" advanced since passage of the Act. H. R. Rep. No. ninety one-397, pp. 6-7 (1969).

    five JUSTICE SOUTER asserts that "[t]he Justice Department s longstanding exercise of refusing to preclear modifications that it decided to have an unconstitutionally discriminatory motive, both earlier than and after Beer," is entitled to deference. Post, at 368 (opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part); accord, post, at 373 (STEVENS, J., dissenting). But of path before Beer the Justice Department took the placement that even the results prong turned into not confined, in redistricting cases, to retrogression. Indeed, that function were the basis for its denial of preclearance in


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    IV

    Notwithstanding the fact that Bossier Parish I explicitly "le[ft] open for some other day" the question whether or not § 5 extends to discriminatory however nonretrogressive reason, see 520 U. S., at 486, appellants contend that of this Court s prior choices have already reached the conclusion that it does. First, appellants observe that, in Beer, this Court stated that "an ameliorative new legislative apportionment can not violate § five except the brand new apportionment itself so discriminates on the basis of race or color as to violate the Constitution." 425 U. S., at 141. Appellants contend that this suggests that, as a minimum in some cases wherein the covered jurisdiction acts with a discriminatory but nonretrogressive dilutive motive, the covered jurisdiction ought to be denied preclearance because it is appearing unconstitutionally.

    We suppose that a most unbelievable interpretation. At the time Beer changed into determined, it had not been mounted that discriminatory reason in addition to discriminatory impact became essential for a constitutional violation, examine White v. Regester, 412 U. S. 755, 765-766 (1973), with Washington v. Davis, 426 U. S. 229, 238-245 (1976). If the statement in Beer had supposed what appellants advocate, it'd either had been expecting (with out argument) that later maintaining, otherwise could were gutting Beer s maintaining (considering the fact that a showing of discriminatory but nonretrogressive effect could had been a constitutional violation and could, no matter the protecting of Beer, have sufficed to disclaim preclearance). A lots greater workable clarification of the announcement is that it mentioned a constitutional violation aside from vote dilu-

    Beer, see 425 U. S., at 136, and changed into argued in its quick earlier than us as the premise for sustaining the District Court s denial, see Brief for United States in Beer v. United States, O. T. 1975, No. 73-1869, pp. 17-18. We rejected that function as to the effects prong, and there's even more cause to reject it within the present cases, whose effects depend as much upon the implication of one in all our earlier instances (as to which we owe the Department no deference) as upon a uncooked interpretation of the statute.


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    tion-and, extra especially, a violation along with a "denial" of the proper to vote, instead of an "abridgement." Although within the context of denial claims, no less than in the context of abridgment claims, the antibacksliding reason for § five (and its effect of warding off maintenance of a good worse popularity quo) indicates that retrogression should once more be the criterion, arguably in that context the word "deny" (unlike the word "abridge") does no longer import a contrast with the repute quo.6

    In any occasion, it is entirely clean that the statement in Beer become pure dictum: The Government had made no rivalry that the proposed reapportionment at problem become unconstitutional. 425 U. S., at 142, n. 14. And though we've quoted the dictum in subsequent cases, we have never in reality implemented it to deny preclearance. See Bossier Parish I, supra, at 481; Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U. S. 899, 912 (1996) (Shaw II); Miller, 515 U. S., at 924. We have made clean, alternatively, what we reaffirm nowadays: that court cases to preclear apportionment schemes and lawsuits to recollect the constitutionality of apportionment schemes are absolutely distinct.

    "Although the Court concluded that the redistricting scheme at difficulty in Beer changed into nonretrogressive, it

    6 JUSTICE BREYER indicates that "[i]t seems apparent ... that if Mississippi had enacted its ethical person requirement in 1966 (after enactment of the Voting Rights Act), a court docket making use of § 5 could have located the purpose ... of denying or abridging the proper to vote as a consequence of race, despite the fact that Mississippi had intended to allow, say, 0.4%, as opposed to 0.three%, of the black voting age populace of Forrest County to sign up." Post, at 376 (dissenting opinion). As we note above, but, our holding today does no longer extend to violations together with an outright "denial" of an character s proper to vote, in preference to an "abridgement" as in dilution instances. In any occasion, if Mississippi had tried to enact a "ethical individual" requirement in 1966, it might had been precluded from doing so under § four, which bars positive sorts of balloting tests and devices altogether, and the problem of § five preclearance could consequently never have arisen. See 42 U. S. C. §§ 1973b(a)(1), (c).


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    did not hold that the plan, for that reason, become immune from constitutional undertaking .... Indeed, the Voting Rights Act and our case law make clean that a reapportionment plan that satisfies § five nevertheless may be enjoined as unconstitutional." Shaw v. Reno, 509 U. S. 630, 654 (1993) (Shaw I) (emphasis added).

    See additionally City of Lockhart v. United States, 460 U. S. 125, 134 (1983) (describing the conserving of Beer as follows: "Although the brand new plan may additionally have remained discriminatory, it though turned into no longer a regressive change .... Since the new plan did now not growth the diploma of discrimination against blacks, it become entitled to § five preclearance"); Allen v. State Bd. of Elections, 393 U. S. 544, 549-550 (1969) ("Once the State has correctly complied with the § 5 approval requirements, personal parties may additionally enjoin the enforcement of the brand new enactment only in traditional fits attacking its constitutionality ... "). As we referred to in Shaw I, § five explicitly states that neither administrative nor judicial preclearance " shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of [a change in voting practice]." 509 U. S., at 654 (quoting forty two U. S. C. § 1973c). That completely to be had treatment leaves us untroubled through the opportunity that § 5 should produce preclearance of an unconstitutionally dilutive redistricting plan.

    Second, appellants contend that we denied preclearance on the idea of a discriminatory but nonretrogressive purpose in Pleasant Grove v. United States, 479 U. S. 462 (1987). That case involved an unusual reality pattern. The town of Pleasant Grove, Alabama-which, at the time of the District Court s selection, had 32 black inhabitants, none of whom became registered to vote and of whose existence city officials seem to had been unaware, identity., at 465, n. 2sought to annex two parcels of land, one inhabited with the aid of a few whites, and the alternative vacant but in all likelihood to be inhabited by means of whites in the close to future. We upheld the District Court s conclusion that the metropolis acted with a discriminatory motive in annexing the land, rejecting the town s rivalry


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    that it couldn't have completed so because it become blind to the life of any black voters in opposition to whom it is able to have meant to discriminate:

    "[The city s] argument is based totally on the incorrect assumption that an impermissible reason underneath § five can relate most effective to offer circumstances. Section 5 seems not handiest to the prevailing effects of modifications, but to their future consequences as nicely .... Likewise, an impermissible purpose under § five might also relate to predicted in addition to present situations.

    "It is quite doable to look [the annexation] as encouraged, in element, by using the impermissible reason of minimizing destiny black voting energy .... This is just as impermissible a purpose as the dilution of present black voting strength." Id., at 471-472 (citations and footnotes not noted).

    Appellants assert that we need to have viewed the town s motive as discriminatory but nonretrogressive due to the fact, as the city mentioned in contending that it lacked even a discriminatory motive, the town couldn't had been appearing to get worse the balloting power of any present black residents, seeing that there had been no black voters on the time. However, because the above quoted passage suggests, we did no longer maintain that the motive prong of § five extends beyond retrogression, but rather held that a jurisdiction with out a minority electorate will have a retrogressive motive, at the present time, by means of proceeding to get worse the voting strength of future minority citizens. Put another manner, our retaining in Pleasant Grove had nothing to do with the question whether or not, to justify the denial of preclearance on the premise of the reason prong, the reason ought to be retrogressive; as a substitute, it concerned the query whether or not the reason have to be to achieve retrogression right away or ought to encompass, within the case of a jurisdiction with out a gift minority voters, retrogression with reference to operation of the proposed plan (compared with


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    operation of the reputation quo) in opposition to new minority citizens in the future. Like the dictum from Beer, therefore, Pleasant Grove is in reality inapposite right here.

    ***

    In mild of the language of § five and our earlier protecting in Beer, we maintain that § five does no longer restrict preclearance of a redistricting plan enacted with a discriminatory but nonretrogressive purpose. Accordingly, the judgment of the District Court is affirmed.

    It is so ordered.

    JUSTICE THOMAS, concurring.

    The Bossier Parish School Board first sought preclearance of the redistricting plan at issue in this litigation nearly seven years ago. The Justice Department and private appellants adverse that effort, arguing in the course of this litigation that a "safe" majority-minority district is vital to make certain the election of a black school board member. Ironically, while this litigation become pending, 3 blacks have been elected from majority-white districts to serve at the Bossier Parish School Board. Although these election outcomes are not part of the document, they vividly illustrate the truth that the federal intervention that spawned this litigation was unnecessary.

    JUSTICE SOUTER, with whom JUSTICE STEVENS, JUSTICE GINSBURG, and JUSTICE BREYER be part of, concurring in element and dissenting in element.

    Under § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 42 U. S. C. § 1973c, a jurisdiction required to achieve preclearance of changes to its vote casting laws need to show that a proposed amendment will no longer have the impact, and does not mirror a motive, to disclaim or abridge the vote due to race. I respectfully dissent 1 from the Court s conserving that § 5 is detached

    1 I believe the Court s end on the matter of mootness.


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    to a racially discriminatory purpose so long as a exchange in balloting regulation is not meant to diminish minority balloting electricity underneath its current stage. It is genuine that to day s selection has a precursor of sorts in Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. a hundred thirty (1976), which holds that the only anticipated redistricting effect sufficient to bar preclearance is retrogression in minority voting energy, however dilutive of minority vote casting power a redistricting plan might also in any other case be. But if nowadays s selection achieves a symmetry with Beer, the achievement is simply one among well-matched errors. The Court turned into incorrect in Beer while it limited the impact prong of § 5 to retrogression, and the Court is even extra wrong nowadays while it limits the clean textual content of § 5 to the corresponding retrogressive purpose. Although I adhere to the sturdy policy of respecting precedent in statutory interpretation and so could now not reexamine Beer, that coverage does no longer demand that recognized errors be compounded indefinitely, and the Court s earlier mistake approximately the that means of the results requirement of § 5 have to no longer be extended through a good extra inaccurate interpretation of the scope of the segment s motive prong.

    The Court s determination that Congress intended preclearance of a plan not shown to be freed from dilutive rationale (not to mention a plan shown to be deliberately discriminatory) is not, but, merely faulty. It is likewise exceptionally unconvincing. The proof in these very instances indicates that the Bossier Parish School Board (School Board or Board) acted with intent to dilute the black vote, simply as it acted with that identical intent through many years of resistance to a judicial desegregation order. The file illustrates precisely the form of relentless terrible religion on the part of majority-white voters in covered jurisdictions that led to the enactment of § five. The proof all however poses the question why Congress might ever have meant to allow preclearance of one of these plan, and it all however invites the solution that Congress should rarely have intended this type of issue. While the proof goes appreciably neglected on the Court s slim studying of the reason


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    prong of § 5, it isn't always most effective important to my decision of those instances, however insistent in the manner it points up the implausibility of the Court s studying of motive under § 5.

    I

    In Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U. S. 252 (1977), this Court set out a checklist of considerations for assessing evidence going to discriminatory motive: the historic background of a challenged choice, its relative effect on minorities, precise antecedent occasions, departures from everyday approaches, and current statements of decisionmakers. Id., at 266-268. We directed the District Court to comply with that checklist in enquiring into discriminatory purpose following remand in these cases, Reno v. Bossier Parish School Bd., 520 U. S. 471, 488 (1997) (Bossier Parish I). The Arlington Heights enquiry famous the following account of the School Board s redistricting pastime and of the man or woman of the parish in which it came about.

    The parish s organization of wellknown governance is known as the Police Jury, a board of representatives selected from districts inside the parish. After the 1990 census confirmed a numerical malapportionment among those districts, the Police Jurors organized a revised districting plan, which they submitted to the Lawyer General of the US with a request for the preclearance essential beneath § five of the Voting Rights Act earlier than the parish, a included jurisdiction, could alter its balloting district traces. Based on information then available to the Department of Justice, the Lawyer General understood the parish to have shown that the brand new plan might no longer have the effect and did not have the reason of abridging the balloting rights of the parish s 20% black population, and the revised Police Jury plan obtained preclearance in the summer season of 1991. In truth, as the parish s School Board has now admitted, the Police Jury plan as a result accepted dilutes the balloting electricity of the minority popula-


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    tion, Plaintiff s Brief on Remand 12; this is, the plan discriminates by abridging the rights of minority citizens to participate inside the political manner and opt for applicants of their choice. Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U. S. 30, 46-47 (1986).

    The same population shifts that required the Police Jury to reapportion required the elected School Board to do the equal. Although the Board had approached the Police Jury about the possibility of devising a joint plan of districts commonplace to both Board and jury, the jury rebuffed the Board, see App. to Juris. Statement 172a (Stipulations eighty three-eighty four), and the Board was forced to move it on my own. History offers a good indication of what could have been predicted from this undertaking.

    As the parties have stipulated, the School Board had implemented its energies for decades to be able to "restriction or stay away from" its duty to desegregate the parish faculties. Id., at 216a (Stipulation 237). When the Board first acquired a court order to desegregate the parish s faculties within the mid-1960 s, it responded with the flagrantly defiant procedures of that technology, see id., at 216a-217a (Stipulations 236-237), and the report discloses the Board s continuing obstructiveness down to the time covered by way of those cases. During the 1980 s, the degree of racial polarization within the makeup of the parish s schools rose, identification., at 218a (Stipulations 241-243), and the disproportionate task of black school to predominantly black faculties elevated, identification., at 217a-218a (Stipulation 240). While the parish s superintendent testified that the challenge of black faculty to predominantly black schools came in reaction to black mother and father requests for positive black examples for his or her youngsters, see App. 289, the black leaders who testified in these cases uniformly rejected that claim and insisted that, in accord with the parish s desegregation decree, black college have been to be distributed at some point of the parish s faculties, to serve as fashions for white, in addition to black, students, see identification., at 326-327; 2 Tr. 126-128.


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    Other evidence of the Board s intransigence on race facilities on the precise phrases of the mixing decree that considering that 1970 has required the Board to maintain a "Bi-Racial Advisory Review Committee" made of an equal number of black and white individuals in an effort to " suggest to the ... Board approaches to reap and keep a unitary gadget and to enhance schooling in the parish. " App. to Juris. Statement in No. ninety eight-405, p. 182a (Stipulation 111) (hereinafter App. to Juris. Statement). Although the Board represented to the District Court overseeing desegregation that the committee changed into in area, see 2 Tr. sixteen (testimony of Superintendent William T. Lewis), the committee really met most effective or 3 times in the mid-1970 s after which with only its black individuals in attendance, see App. to Juris. Statement 183a (Stipulation 112). In 1993, the Board installation a quick-lived "Community Affairs Committee" to update the "Bi-Racial Committee." Despite the Board s decision charging the committee " with the duty of investigating, consulting and advising the courtroom and school board periodically with respect to all matters pertinent to the retention [sic] of a unitary college gadget, " ibid. (Stipulation 114), the Board disbanded the committee after most effective three months due to the fact, as a main Board member put it, " the tone of the committee made of the minority contributors of the committee quickly grew to become closer to becoming worried in policy, " id., at 184a (Stipulation 116). "Policy," however, turned into unavoidably implicated by means of the committee s reason, and the topics of its guidelines (including techniques for more effective recruitment of black instructors and their placement throughout the college gadget in accord with the terms of the desegregation decree, see identification., at 183a-184a (Stipulation 115)) fell squarely within its mandate. It is as a result unsurprising that the Board has now not carried out a unitary college system and remains under court docket order to this present day. See identification., at 217a (Stipulation 239); App. 139 (testimony of S. P. Davis).


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    About the time the Board appointed its "Community Affairs Committee," it sought preclearance under § 5 from the Lawyer General for the redistricting plan before us now. The direction of the Board s redistricting efforts inform us a good deal about what it had in thoughts while it proposed its plan. Following the rebuff from the Police Jury, the Board changed into able to follow a comfortable redistricting timetable, there being no Board elections scheduled earlier than 1994. While the Board should in reality have adopted the Police Jury plan as soon as the Lawyer General had precleared it, the Board did now not do so, App. to Juris. Statement 147a (Stipulation 11), notwithstanding just such a proposal from one Board member at the Board s September 5, 1991, meeting. No action turned into then taken on the suggestion, identity., at 174a (Stipulations 89-90), and although the Board issued no reason behind its inactiveness, it's miles noteworthy that the jury plan omitted a number of the Board s commonplace districting issues. Whereas one of those worries become incumbency safety, see App. 251; cf. App. to Juris. Statement 152a (Stipulation 26), the jury plan would have pitted pairs of incumbents against each other and created two districts in which no incumbent resided, id., at 181a-182a (Stipulation 109).2 The jury plan disregarded school attendance zones, or even covered districts containing no colleges. Id., at 174a, 151a, 191a (Stipulations 88, 24, 141). The jury plan, moreover, known as for a complete variant in district populations exceeding the usual normally used to gauge delight of the "one individual, one vote" precept, see identification., at 162a-163a (Stipulation 58); App. 231-232; 1 Tr. 147, 4 of its districts failed the usual measure of compactness used by the Board s very own cartographer, identification., at 174-176,

    2 While of the incumbents had been considering stepping down by the point the Board sooner or later adopted the plan, at the least one of those choices changed into whatever however company. See App. 103; four Record, Doc. No. 72, in Civ. Action No. ninety four-1495 (D. D. C.), pp. 60-61 (joint designations of portions of deposition of David Harvey); 1 Tr. eighty five.


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    and one in every of its districts contained noncontiguous factors, App.234-235.

    In addressing the need to plot a plan of its very own, the Board hired the same redistricting representative who had recommended the Police Jury, Gary Joiner. Joiner and the Board individuals (in step with Joiner s testimony) had been flawlessly aware of their responsibility to avoid vote dilution in accordance with the Voting Rights Act, see Record, Doc. No. 38 (direct testimony of Joiner 5), and he anticipated that it would take him between two hundred to 250 hours to plot a plan for the Board. The Board then spent almost a yr doing little in public approximately redistricting, at the same time as its participants met in non-public with Joiner to consider alternatives. In March 1992, George Price, president of the parish s department of the N ational Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), wrote to the superintendent of parish schools requesting a chance to play a few function in the redistricting system. App. 184. Although the superintendent exceeded the letter on to the Board, the Board took no action, and neither the superintendent nor the Board even answered to Price s request. App. to Juris. Statement 175a (Stipulation ninety three). In August, Price wrote once more, this time in concert with some of leaders of black network groups, again looking for an possibility to express views about the redistricting technique, as well as about some of Board rules pertaining to college desegregation. App. 187-189; see additionally App. to Juris. Statement 175a (Stipulation 94). Once again the Board made no reaction.

    Being pissed off through the Board s lack of responsiveness, Price then requested for help from the national NAACP s Redistricting Project, which despatched him a map showing how two compact majority-black districts is probably drawn in the parish. Id., at 177a (Stipulation ninety eight). When Price showed the map to a school district official, he became advised it became unacceptable as it failed to show all 12 districts. At Price s request, the Redistricting Project then furnished a


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    plan showing all 12 districts, which Price supplied to the Board at its September three, 1992, assembly, explaining that it confirmed the possibility of drawing majority-black districts. Id., at 177a-178a (Stipulations 99-a hundred). Several Board members stated they couldn't keep in mind the NAACP plan until it was supplied on a larger map, identification., at 178a (Stipulation 100), and both the Board s cartographer and its criminal marketing consultant, the parish district lawyer, brushed off the plan out of hand as it required precinct splits, identification., at 179a (Stipulation 102).

    There is proof that other implications of the NAACP idea have been objectionable to the Board. According to 1 black chief, Board member Henry Burns instructed him that even as he in my view desired black representation at the Board, some of different Board participants adversarial the idea.3 App.142. According to George Price, Board member Barry Musgrove informed him that the Board turned into opposed to the creation of a majority-black district. Id., at 182.4

    Although the NAACP plan received no further public attention, the pace of public redistricting interest suddenly sped up. At the Board s September 17, 1992, assembly, without asking Joiner to address the opportunity of creating any majority-black district, the Board all at once handed a announcement of purpose to adopt the Police Jury plan. App. to Juris. Statement 179a-180a (Stipulation 106). At a public

    three One other Board member, Marguerite Hudson, whilst asked to explain why two of the schools in Plain Dealing, one of the parish s towns, had been predominantly black, stated: "[T]hose human beings love to live in Plain Dealing .... And maximum of them don t need to get a big task, they would simply instead stay available in the u . s ., and stay on Welfare, and stay in Plain Dealing." App. 118.

    four Musgrove denied making the announcement. See 1 Tr. fifty six. If, as the District Court majority cautioned, the importance of the latter statement is unsure, see Bossier Parish School Bd. v. Reno, 907 F. Supp. 434, 448 (DC 1995) (Bossier Parish I), it turned into tantamount to opposition to the maximum apparent therapy for the admitted dilution; there has been in any event nothing ambiguous approximately the Burns assertion.


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    hearing at the plan one week later, attended through an overflow crowd, some of black voters spoke against the plan, and Price supplied the Board with a petition bearing over 500 signatures urging attention of minority worries. No one spoke in want of the plan, Bossier Parish I, 907 F. Supp. 434, 439 (DC 1995), and Price defined to the Board that preclearance of the jury plan for use with the aid of the Police Jury become no guarantee of preclearance of the same plan for the Board. App. to Juris. Statement 180a-181a (Stipulation 108). Nonetheless, at its October 1 assembly, the balloting individuals of the Board unanimously followed the Police Jury plan, with one member absent and the Board s best black member (who have been appointed simply weeks in advance to fill a emptiness) abstaining. Id., at 181a-182a (Stipulation 109). The Board did no longer put up the plan for preclearance with the aid of the Lawyer General until January 4, 1993. Id., at 182a (Stipulation a hundred and ten).

    II

    The importance of the record beneath § 5 is superior by using examining in extra element numerous subjects already stated as unfastened from dispute, by means of checking out some of the Board s stated reasons for refusing to don't forget any NAACP plan, and by using looking significantly on the District Court s reasons for resolving disputed troubles inside the School Board s choose.

    A

    The parties stipulate that for many years before this redistricting the Board had sought to "restriction or keep away from" its obligation to quit segregation in its colleges, an obligation specifically imposed by Court order nearly 35 years in the past and not yet fulfilled. The Board has also conceded the discriminatory impact of the Police Jury plan in falling "greater closely on blacks than on whites," Plaintiff s Brief on Remand in Civ. Action No. ninety four-1495 (D. D. C.), p.12, and in diluting "black voting strength," identification., at 21. Even with out the stipulated records, the conceded dilution would be evidence of a corre-


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    spondingly discriminatory rationale. With the records, the implication of cause speaks louder, and it grows greater forceful nevertheless after a more in-depth take a look at two aspects of the dilutive impact of the Police Jury plan.

    First, the plan includes no majority-black districts despite the fact that residential and balloting patterns in Bossier Parish meet the 3 situations we recognized in Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U. S., at 50-51, as commencing the door to drawing majority-minority districts to put minority electorate on an equal footing with others. The first Gingles circumstance is that "the minority organization ought to be capable of display that it is adequately huge and geographically compact to represent a majority in a single-member district." Id., at 50. The Board does not dispute that black citizens in Bossier Parish satisfy this criterion. The Board joined in a stipulation of the events that during 1991, "it become obvious that a reasonably compact black-majority district can be drawn within Bossier City," App. to Juris. Statement 154a-155a (Stipulation 36); see also 1 Tr. 60 (announcement of Board member Barry Musgrove), and that the NAACP plan verified that two such districts might have been drawn inside the parish, see App. to Juris. Statement 192a (Stipulation 143).5 As to the second and 0.33 Gingles conditions, that the minority populace be politically cohesive and that the majority-white block vote casting be sufficient to defeat the minority s favored candidate, see Gingles, supra, at 51, the Government added professional testimony displaying such polarization in Bossier Parish s balloting styles. See App. to Juris. Statement 201a-

    five While the cartographer hired through the Board said at some stage in the redistricting process that the parish s black population become too dispersed to attract a majority-black district, he later mentioned that during truth two such districts will be drawn, see App. to Juris. Statement 160a161a (Stipulations fifty two, 53), and now not best the original NAACP plans however also the Cooper Plans, alternative plans developed by an professional for the defendant-intervenors, tested as plenty, see App. 238 (Cooper Plans); App. to Juris. Statement 193a (Stipulation 147).


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    207a (Stipulations 181-196); App. 163-173 (statement of Dr. Richard Engstrom). While acknowledging the incredibly restricted data available for evaluation, the expert concluded that "African American citizens are probable to have a realistic opportunity to go with applicants in their preference to the ... Board handiest in districts in which they constitute a majority of the voting age population." Id., at 174.6

    Second, the Police Jury plan diluted black votes through dividing neighboring black groups with not unusual hobbies in and round at the least of the Parish s municipalities, thereby heading off the advent of a majority-black district.7 See id., at 154-156 (statement of George J. Castille III); identification., at 141 (testimony of S. P. Davis). Even the Board s personal cartographer conceded that one of these times " appear[edJ to constitute" fracturing, " App. to Juris. Statement 191a (Stipulation 138), which he defined as "divid[ing] a population that has a traditional cohesiveness, lives in the equal preferred place, [and] has loads of commonalties ... with [the] rationale to ... fracture that population into adjacent white districts, " identity., at 189a-190a (Stipulation 133).

    6 The events agreed that black candidates for other places of work were capable of win from majority-white districts inside the parish, see identity., at 201a (Stipulation 180), but the ones times all worried districts wherein the presence of an Air Force base, see id., at 206a-207a (Stipulation 196), meant both that the powerful percentage of black electorate became substantially better than the raw figures suggested and, in the view of all of the successful black candidates, that the degree of hostility to black applicants among white electorate was lower than within the rest of the parish, see App. 131-132 (declaration of Jeff Darby), 133-134 (assertion of Jerome Darby), 143-one hundred forty four (statement of Johnny Gipson).

    7 Counsel for the Board counseled in pass-examining one of the Government s professionals that one of the times of dividing black groups arose from a country-law prohibition at the Board s "cut up[ting] current corporate strains." 2 Tr. 189. He offered no authority for that proposition. But in any case, the instance the expert gave did now not contain dividing a municipality, however including in a single district areas both in the municipality and outside it.


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    B

    The Board s cartographer and lawyer objected that the NAACP plan became unacceptable as it cut up precincts in violation of state law. And but the Board concedes that faculty boards had been loose to are seeking precinct modifications from the police juries in their parishes, as they often effectively did. See identification., at 150a-151a (Stipulations 22-23). One of the Government s specialists, see App. 214, 217, 354, and the Board s own cartographic consultant, see App. to Juris. Statement 151a (Stipulation 23), stated this exercise. Indeed, the events agree that Joiner recommended the Board approximately the choice of going to the Police Jury for precinct changes, see id., at 174a (Stipulation 89); see additionally id., at 179a (Stipulation 102), but that the Board in no way requested him to pursue that opportunity, see identification., at 188a (Stipulation 128).8 Judge Kessler in the District Court turned into therefore actually accurate that the Board s claimed inability to divide precincts become no genuine obstacle to a plan with a majority-black district. See Bossier Parish I, 907 F. Supp., at 460-461 (opinion concurring in component and dissenting in element).

    8 The District Court majority stated that it become now not merely the reality that the NAACP plan required precinct splits, however that it required a huge wide variety of splits that made it unappealing. This declare is untenable for numerous reasons. First, again it assumes that the act to be explained is the rejection of the NAACP plan as opposed to the adoption of the Police Jury plan. While the NAACP plan required forty six precinct splits, see App. to Juris. Statement 194a-195a (Stipulation 151), the Cooper II plan, which additionally included majority-black districts assembly traditional districting standards, required handiest 27, ibid., and the establishment of a single majority-black district might have required simply 14, see App. 269-270, 277. Second, and more importantly, the Board s cartographer and legal professional stated that they told the Board the NAACP plan was unacceptable as it split any precincts in any respect, not as it split masses of them, see App. to Juris. Statement 179a (Stipulation 102), and a main supporter of the Police Jury plan on the Board, see 1 Tr. 129, and the Board s interim black member at the time of redistricting, see App. one hundred thirty, agree on that rating.


    353

    It turns into all of the clearer that the prospect of splitting precincts changed into no proper reason to reject the NAACP plan (or in any other case to refuse to do not forget creating any majorityblack districts) while one realizes that from early on in the Board s redistricting method it gave serious notion to adopting a plan that could have required just such precinct splits. When the Board hired Joiner as its cartographer in May 1991, his estimate of 200 to 250 hours to put together a plan for the Board, see App. to Juris. Statement 173a (Stipulation 86), indicated that there was no motive certainly to borrow the currently devised Police Jury plan or to construct at the precincts established with the aid of the Police Jury, a possibility that Joiner concept might be explored in "[s]everal hours at least," App. 271. It seems apparent that from the start the Board predicted its plan to require precinct splitting, and Joiner mentioned in his testimony that any plan "as strong as" the Police Jury plan in phrases of traditional districting standards would require precinct splits. Ibid. Splitting precincts only have become an insuperable obstacle once the NAACP made its proposal to create majority-black districts.

    C 1

    Despite its said view that the document could not help a end of nonretrogressive discriminatory rationale, the District Court majority listed a sequence of "allegedly dilutive impacts" stated to point to discriminatory reason: "[t]hat some of the new districts haven't any colleges, that the plan ignores attendance barriers, that it does now not recognize groups of hobby, that there's one outlandishly huge district, that several of them aren't compact, that there may be a lack of contiguity, and that the population deviations as a result of the jury plan are more than the boundaries (± five%) imposed via Louisiana law." 7 F. Supp. 2nd 29, 32 (DC 1998) (Bossier Parish II). The District Court discovered this evidence


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    "too theoretical, and too attenuated," to be probative of retrogressive reason within the absence of corroborating evidence of a "deliberate strive." Ibid. But regardless of the force of such proof can be on the issue of cause to reason retrogression, there may be not anything "theoretical" or "attenuated" in its significance as displaying rationale to dilute commonly.

    2

    If we take the District Court evaluations in Bossier Parish I and Bossier Parish II collectively and treat the court s § five discussions as overlaying nonretrogressive discriminatory reason, it's miles clean that the courtroom rested on two reasons for finding that the plan s dilutive effect could not help an inference of nonretrogressive discriminatory reason. First, the courtroom notion this type of inference inconsistent with the view expressed in Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 924 (1995), that a refusal to adopt a plan to maximize the quantity of majority-minority districts is inadequate on my own to aid an inference of intentional discrimination. Miller is not on point, however. In Miller, Georgia had already adopted a plan that really advanced the placement of minority electorate with the aid of setting up two majority-black districts. The question became really whether the State s refusal to create a 3rd betrayed discriminatory rationale. Id., at 906-908, 923-924. In these cases, the issue of inferred motive did no longer get up upon rejection of a plan maximizing the number of majorityblack districts after a concededly ameliorative plan had already been followed; the issue arose on the Board s refusal to bear in mind a plan with any majority-black districts when more than one such district was possible beneath Gingles. The problem right here isn't whether Bossier Parish betrayed a discriminatory purpose in refusing to create the maximum wide variety of majority-black districts, see Bossier Parish II, supra, at 33 (Silberman, J., concurring), but virtually whether or not it became extensive that the parish refused to recollect growing a majority-black district in any respect. The refusal points to a dis-


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    criminatory purpose that the refusal to maximise in Miller v. Johnson did no longer show.

    The District Court s second ground for discounting the evidence of rationale inherent in the Police Jury plan s dilutive impact turned into its locating that the Board had valid, nondiscriminatory motives for approving the plan. The evidence, however, is robust in showing that the Board had no such reasons. As I have already noted, the Board s respect for existing precinct traces became seemingly pretextual. The other supposedly legitimate reason for the Board s choice, that the Police Jury changed into a secure harbor under § 5, is similarly unlikely. If the Police Jury plan changed into a secure harbor, it were safe from the day the Lawyer General precleared it for the Police Jury, while the Board ignored it for extra than a 12 months after that preclearance. Interest inside the Police Jury plan advanced most effective after stress from Price and the NAACP had intensified to the factor that the redistricting process would should be concluded promptly if the minority proposals were now not to be considered. The Police Jury, therefore, have become an appealing harbor only whilst it appeared to provide safety from demands for a truthful mirrored image of minority voting power. It changed into selected through a Board, defined by using the District Court majority as possessing a "tenacious determination to hold the fame quo," Bossier Parish II, supra, at 32, and the only honest inference is that after the Board abruptly embraced the Police Jury plan it turned into walking true to form.nine

    9 My end indicates my war of words with JUSTICE THOMAS S concurring opinion. The actual predicate for raising and resolving the issue of the scope of discriminatory rationale applicable below § five is a topic of the Board s obligation to supply proof and the District Court s duty to make findings, and nothing in the behavior of the Justice Department has impeded both the Board or the courtroom from addressing this evidentiary trouble. The truth that black contributors were elected to the Board is out of doors the report and isn't any extra before us than proof displaying the volume to which the particular members were the picks of the minority electorate who've suffered the conceded dilution.


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    D

    In sum, for many years the School Board manifested sedulous resistance to the constitutional responsibility to desegregate parish schools, that have never attained unitary repute and are still situation to court order. When confronted with the want to behave by myself in redrawing its voting districts, the Board showed no interest in the Police Jury plan, which made no sense for school purposes and turned into at odds with regular districting concepts implemented by the Board. The Board employed a cartographer in anticipation of drawing district strains drastically distinct from the Police Jury traces, and the Lawyer General s preclearance of the Police Jury plan for the jury s use produced no obvious Board hobby in adopting that same plan. When minority leaders sought a position in proposing a plan, the Board left out them and when they produced concrete proposals prepared by way of the NAACP, the Board sidestepped with successive technical reasons culminating in a patently pretextual objection. It turned into most effective then, as its pretexts for resisting the NAACP have been wearing thin, that the Board clearly scrapped its purpose to gain an unique plan tailor-made to highschool district concerns and acted with unwonted haste on the 12 months-vintage inspiration to adopt the glaringly fallacious Police Jury plan. The thought received no public hearing guide and nothing but objection from minority voters, who mentioned what the Board now concurs, that the Police Jury plan dilutes minority balloting electricity. The objections were unavailing and the Board followed the dilutive plan.

    There is no affordable doubt on this report that the Board chose the Police Jury plan for no different reason than to squelch requests to undertake the NAACP plan or some other plan reflecting minority balloting electricity, and it would be notable to suggest that the resulting submergence of the minority voters changed into unintended by the Board whose personal expert testified that it understood the illegality of dilution. If, as I finish underneath, see Part III, infra, dilutive but nonretrogressive in-


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    tent at the back of a redistricting plan disqualifies it from § 5 preclearance, then preclearance is impossible on this file. Since the weight to negate such motive (like the burden to negate retrogressive reason and impact) rests on the balloting district inquiring for preclearance, not anything more is required to show the impossibility of preclearance. See, e. g., Pleasant Grove v. United States, 479 U. S. 462, 469 (1987). It is well worth noting, but, that the parish ought to likewise lose even supposing we expect, as the District Court majority appears to have done at one point, that the weight to expose disqualifying rationale is at the Government and the intervenors. Bossier Parish II, 7 F. Supp. second, at 31 ("We can consider a fixed of facts that might set up a non-retrogressive, but despite the fact that discriminatory cause, but those imagined facts are not present here"). It isn't always simplest that Judge Kessler turned into correct in her end that dilutive however nonretrogressive intent became shown; the contrary view of the District Court majority increases" the particular and corporation conviction that a mistake [has] been devoted, " Concrete Pipe & Products of Cal., Inc. v. Construction Laborers Pension Trust for Southern Cal., 508 U. S. 602, 622 (1993) (quoting United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U. S. 364, 395 (1948)). Regardless of the burden of persuasion, therefore, the parish ought to lose under the intent prong of § 5, if the cause that disqualifies below § 5 consists of an rationale to dilute minority balloting energy irrespective of retrogression.

    III A

    The prison trouble here is the that means of "abridging" inside the provision of § 5 that preclearance of a districting exchange in a included jurisdiction calls for a showing that the new plan does not "have the cause ... of denying or abridging the right to vote because of race or coloration .... " The language tracks that of the Fifteenth Amendment s guarantee that "[t]he proper of residents ... to vote shall not be


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    denied or abridged ... because of race [or] colour. " Since the Act is an exercise of congressional power beneath § 2 of that Amendment, South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 301, 325-327 (1966), the choice to observe the Amendment s terminology is maximum evidently read as wearing the that means of the constitutional phrases into the statute. United States v. Kozminski, 487 U. S. 931, 945 (1988) ("By employing the constitutional language, Congress reputedly turned into focusing at the prohibition of similar conditions"); cf. Morissette v. United States, 342 U. S. 246, 263 (1952) ("[W]here Congress borrows terms of artwork in which might be accrued the criminal lifestyle and that means of centuries of exercise, it presumably is aware of and adopts the cluster of ideas that had been connected to every borrowed phrase inside the frame of learning from which it became taken and the meaning its use will carry to the judicial thoughts until in any other case advised"). Any creation of the statute, consequently, carries an implication approximately the which means of the Amendment, absent a few good cause to deal with the parallel texts differently on some particular factor, and a analyzing of the statute that would not in shape the Constitution is presumptively incorrect.10

    10 The majority argues that we need to construe reason and effect uniformly, as we would in legal guidelines regulating charge discrimination, savings and loans, and cable franchises. See ante, at 331-332. I discover the Fifteenth Amendment more applicable in interpreting § 5; the constitutional language affords a purpose to give reason its full breadth. The majority also claims that its studying leaves the motive prong with some meaning due to the fact the Government need only refute a jurisdiction s declare that a exchange lacks retrogressive reason that allows you to deny preclearance, with out countering the jurisdiction s proof regarding real retrogressive effect. Ante, at 332. This assumes that motive is simpler to prove than effect. While that may be actual in charge-solving cases, it is not proper in vote casting rights instances (despite the fact that reason is conceptually easier than impact underneath § five, see infra, at 367-368). Here, as in many other race discrimination instances, the parties agreed about the effects of the proposed modifications at the same time as hotly disputing the motives for them. The majority limits the reason prong to the few instances wherein tried retrogression fails of its intention, a alternatively


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    In each context, it's far clear that abridgment necessarily method some thing greater diffused and much less drastic than the entire denial of the proper to solid a ballot , denial being one at a time forbidden. Abridgment consequently must be a circumstance in among whole denial, on the only hand, and whole leisure of voting power, on the other. The fundamental idea of dwindled vote casting power recognized as actionable under our cases is vote dilution, defined as a regime that denies to minority citizens the equal possibility to take part in the political procedure and to go with representatives in their preference that majority voters revel in. See, e. g., Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U. S., at 46-47; 42 U. S. C. § 1973. The benchmark of dilution pure and easy is accordingly a system wherein each minority voter has as proper a risk at political participation and balloting effectiveness as every other voter. Our instances have also identified retrogression as a subspecies of dilution, the result of a scheme that now not best offers a minority voter a lesser sensible danger to take part and go with than a majority voter enjoys, but even reduces the minority voter s sensible energy from what a previous scheme of electoral law supplied. See Beer v. United States, 425 U. S., at 141. Although our instances have handled vote dilution simplest underneath the Fourteenth Amendment, see, e. g., Shaw v. Reno, 509 U. S. 630, 645 (1993), I recognise of no cause in textual content or history that dilution isn't always equally violative of the Fifteenth Amendment assure in opposition to abridgment. And even as there has been serious dispute in the beyond over the Fourteenth Amendment s coverage of voting rights, see, e. g., Oregon v. Mitchell, 400 U. S. 112, 154 (1970) (Harlan, J., concurring in part and dissenting in component), I recognise of no purpose to doubt that "abridg[eJ" in the Fifteenth Amendment consists of dilutive discrimination. See Bossier Parish I, 520

    paltry insurance given that it's miles discriminatory purpose, not discriminatory effect, this is at the heart of the Fifteenth Amendment.


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    u. S., at 494-495 (BREYER, J., concurring in element and concurring in judgment).l1

    The Court has in no way held (store in Beer) that the idea of vote casting abridgment covers best retrogressive dilution, and the sort of analyzing of the Fifteenth Amendment might be outlandish. The Amendment contains no textual issue on abridgment, and while it changed into followed, the newly emancipated citizens might have acquired nearly nothing from a mere assure that their electoral power could now not be in addition decreased. Since § five of the Act is likewise free of any

    eleven We have advised, however have in no way explicitly decided, that the Fifteenth Amendment applies to dilution claims. See Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U. S. fifty five, 62-sixty three (1980) (plurality opinion); Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U. S. 339, 346 (1960) (singling out racial minority for discriminatory remedy in vote casting violates Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibits municipal boundaries drawn to exclude blacks). But see Mobile, supra, at eighty four, n. 3 (STEVENS, J., concurring in judgment) (suggesting that Mobile plurality said that Fifteenth Amendment does no longer reach vote dilution); Voinovich v. Quilter, 507 U. S. 146, 159 (1993) (reserving the query); Shaw v. Reno, 509 U. S. 630, 645 (1993) (endorsing the exercise of considering dilution claims underneath the Fourteenth Amendment); Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. a hundred thirty, 142, n. 14 (1976).

    The majority claims that Gomillion become not about dilution because it worried the exclusion of black electorate from municipal elections. Ante, at 334-335, n. three. The citizens excluded from the gerrymandered Tuskegee were left in unincorporated areas, where they could, at maximum, vote for county and state officers. Changing political boundaries to affect minority voting energy could be known as dilution nowadays. Gomillion indicates that the bodily photo evoked with the aid of the time period "dilution" does now not encompass all the ways wherein participation in the political process may be made unequal. That the Court did not use the phrase "dilution" in its current experience in Gomillion does no longer decrease the force of its Fifteenth Amendment analysis.

    The majority additionally indicates, ante, at 334-335, n. three, that the Mobile plurality explicitly rejected reliance at the Fifteenth Amendment. But the identical plurality identified that " deny or abridge " in § 2 of the Voting Rights Act mirrored the cognate language of the Fifteenth Amendment, Mobile, supra, at 60-sixty one, and we've due to the fact that held that the language of §2 includes nonretrogressive dilution claims. See, e. g., Voinovich v. Quilter, supra, at 157.


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    language qualifying or limiting the terms of abridgment which it stocks with the Amendment, abridgment beneath § five probably covers any vote dilution, not retrogression on my own, and no redistricting scheme need to acquire preclearance with out a displaying that it's far nondilutive. See Bossier Parish I, supra, at 493 (BREYER, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) (use in § five of Fifteenth Amendment language shows that § 5 prohibits new plans with dilutive functions). Such, in reality, became reputedly simply what Congress had in mind when it addressed § 5 to the agility of protected jurisdictions in preserving one step in advance of dilution challenges below the Constitution (and previous versions of the Voting Rights Act) via adopting successive vote casting schemes, every with a unique function that perpetuated the abridgment of the minority vote:

    "Congress had discovered that case-via-case litigation become insufficient to fight significant and chronic discrimination in vote casting, because of the inordinate amount of time and electricity required to triumph over the obstructionist techniques continually encountered in those complaints. After enduring nearly a century of systematic resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment, Congress may well decide to shift the gain of time and inertia from the perpetrators of the evil to its sufferers." South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S., at 328 (footnote overlooked).

    This evil in Congress s attractions changed into discrimination, abridgment of the right to vote, now not simply discrimination that occurs to motive retrogression, and Congress s motive to frustrate the unconstitutional evil via barring a replacement scheme of discrimination from being positioned into effect become now not limited to absolutely everyone subset of discriminatory schemes. The School Board s reason accordingly seems to lie at the very middle of what Congress meant to counter with the aid of requiring preclearance, and the Court s preserving that any nonretrogressive reason survives § 5 is an extremely unusual end.


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    B

    The majority purports to shoulder its burden to justify a confined analyzing of "abridging" via providing a controversy from the "context" of § five. Since § 5 covers simplest modifications in balloting practices, this fact is stated to be a motive to suppose that "abridging" as used in the statute is narrower than its cognate in the Fifteenth Amendment, which covers both modifications and persevering with structures. Ante, at 329-330, 333-334. In different phrases, on the bulk s studying, the baseline in a § five mission is the fame quo that is to be modified, at the same time as the baseline in a Fifteenth Amendment venture (or one beneath § 2 of the Voting Rights Act) is a nondiscriminatory regime, whether extant or now not. From the fact that § five applies most effective whilst a vote casting change is proposed, however, it does no longer comply with that the baseline of abridgment is the status quo; Congress should flawlessly properly have determined that when a jurisdiction is pressured to alternate its balloting scheme (due to malapportionment proven by way of a brand new census, say), it ought to reveal that the replacement is constitutional. This, of path, is just what the unqualified language and its Fifteenth Amendment parallel would advise.

    In fact, the majority s fundamental reason for reading cause to abridge as masking handiest cause to cause retrogression is not the bizarre context of adjustments in the regulation, however Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. one hundred thirty (1976), which confined the type of "effect" that might be an abridgment to retrogressive impact. The power of the bulk s position, then, relies upon at the want for parallel barriers at the cause and impact prongs of § 5. The want, but, could be very lots to the opposite.

    1

    Insofar as Beer is authority for outlining the "effect" of a redistricting plan that might bar preclearance below § five, I will of course recognize it as precedent. The coverage of stare decisis is at its most effective in statutory interpretation


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    (which Congress is usually loose to supersede with new law), see Hilton v. South Carolina Public Railways Comm n, 502 U. S. 197, 202 (1991), and § 5 gives no exception to the rule that when statutory language is construed it need to live construed. But it's far every other factor absolutely to disregard errors in extending discredited reasoning to formerly unspoiled statutory provisions. That, however, is simply what the Court does in extending Beer from § five outcomes to § five motive.

    Beer was wrongly decided, and its error should not be compounded in derogation of clean textual content and equally clear congressional cause. The provision in § 5 barring preclearance of a districting plan portending an abridging impact is unconditional (and just as uncompromising as the bar to plans resting on a cause to abridge). The Beer Court though sought to justify the imposition of a nontextual obstacle at the forbidden abridging impact to retrogression with the aid of relying on a single fragment of legislative records, a assertion from a House Report that § five could save you blanketed jurisdictions from " undo[ing] or defeat[ing] the rights recently won " by blacks. Beer, supra, at 140 (quoting H. R. Rep. No. ninety one-397, p. 8 (1969)).12 Relying in this one declaration, however, became an act of distorting selectivity, for the legislative history is replete with references to the need to dam changes in balloting practices that could perpetuate existing discrimination and stand within the manner of truly nondiscriminatory alternatives. In the House of Representatives, the Judiciary Committee referred to that "even after apparent defeat[s] resisters are searching for new methods and means of discriminating.

    12 Section 5 was promulgated via the 89th Congress, however Congress s interest has time and again returned to it as the length of the Voting Rights Act has been extended and the Act has been amended. See, e. g., Bossier Parish I, 520 U. S. 471, 505-506 (1997) (STEVENS, J., dissenting in element and concurring in part) (discussing 1982 amendments); Voting Rights Act of 1965, Amendments of 1975, 89 Stat. 400; Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970, eighty four Stat. 315.


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    Barring one contrivance too often has induced no exchange in end result, only in techniques," H. R. Rep. No. 439, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., 10 (1965), and the House Report defined how jurisdictions had used changes in balloting practices to stave off reform. By making trifling changes in registration necessities, as an instance, Dallas County, Alabama, changed into capable of terminate litigation in opposition to it without registering greater than a handful of minority electorate, see identification., at 10-11, and new practices have been in addition powerful devices for perpetuating discrimination in other jurisdictions as well, see S. Rep. No. 162, pt. 3, pp. 8-9 (1965) (Joint Statement of Individual Views by way of Sens. Dodd, Hart, Long, Kennedy, Bayh, Burdick, Tydings, Dirksen, Hruska, Fong, Scott, and Javits). After losing voting rights cases, jurisdictions would adopt new vote casting necessities" as a way for persevering with the rejection of certified Negro candidates. " Id., at 12 (quoting United States v. Parker, 236 F. Supp. 511, 517 (MD Ala. 1964)). Thanks to the discriminatory traditions of the jurisdictions blanketed through § five, these new practices regularly avoided retrogression thirteen whilst they stymied enhancements. In the times earlier than § five, the continued litigation would become moot and minority litigants might be back at rectangular one, shouldering the load of recent demanding situations with the prospect of in addition dodges to return. Beer, supra, at 152, n. 9 (Marshall, J., dissenting).

    The motive of Congress to cope with the frustration of strolling to live in vicinity turned into happen whilst it extended the Voting Rights Act in 1969:

    "Prior to the enactment of the 1965 act, new balloting policies of diverse sorts have been resorted to in numerous States on the way to perpetuate discrimination in the face of

    thirteen The legislative history did no longer use the terms "retrogression" and "dilution" to describe discriminatory regimes. In the Voting Rights Act context, the previous appears for the first time in a federal case in Beer, 425 U. S., at 141; the latter made its first look in Allen v. State Bd. of Elections, 393 U. S. 544 (1969).


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    negative Federal court docket decrees and enactments by way of the Congress .... In order to avoid such future State or local circumvention of the treatments and guidelines of the 1965 act, [§ 5 was enacted] ....

    "The file earlier than the committee indicates that as Negro voter registration has multiplied below the Voting Rights Act, several jurisdictions have undertaken new, unlawful methods to diminish the Negroes franchise and to defeat Negro and Negro-supported candidates. The U. S. Commission on Civil Rights has suggested that these measures have taken the form of switching to at-large elections wherein Negro voting power is concentrated specially election districts and facilitating the consolidation of predominently [sic] Negro and predominently [sic] white counties. Other adjustments in rules or practices affecting voting have protected growing filing costs in elections where Negro candidates were running; abolishing or making appointive offices sought by way of Negro applicants; extending the time period of office of incumbent white officials, and withholding information about qualifying for office from Negro candidates." H. R. Rep. No. ninety one-397, at 6-7.

    See additionally a hundred and fifteen Congo Rec. 38486 (1969) (comments of Rep. McCulloch) (listing "new techniques with the aid of which the South achieves an vintage intention" of retaining white manipulate of the political method).

    Congress again expressed its views in 1975:

    "In current years the importance of [§ 5] has grow to be widely recognized as a method of promoting and preserving minority political gains in blanketed jurisdictions ....

    " ... As registration and balloting of minority citizens increases, other measures may be resorted to which could dilute growing minority vote casting energy. Such different measures may additionally encompass switching to at-massive elec-


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    tions, annexations of predominantly white areas, or the adoption of discriminatory redistricting plans." S. Rep. No. 94-295, pp. 15-17 (citation not noted).

    Congress as a consequence mentioned § 5 as a manner to make the situation better ("selling"), no longer simply as a stopgap to keep it from getting worse ("keeping").

    It is all of the more difficult to understand how the bulk in Beer could have been so oblivious to this clear congressional objective, while a decade earlier than Beer the Court had found out that modifying legal necessities become the way discriminatory jurisdictions stayed one jump beforehand of the Constitution. In United States v. Mississippi, 380 U. S. 128 (1965), the Court defined a chain of resourceful gadgets stopping minority registration, and in South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 301 (1966), the Court said that

    "Congress knew that some of the States ... had resorted to the remarkable stratagem of contriving new rules of diverse kinds for the only purpose of perpetuating balloting discrimination within the face of unfavorable federal court docket decrees. Congress had cause to think that those States may attempt similar maneuvers inside the future which will prevent the treatments for balloting discrimination contained in the Act itself." Id., at 335 (footnote not noted); see also identification., at 314-315.

    Likewise, well earlier than Beer, our nascent dilution jurisprudence addressed practices cited inside the congressional lists of strategies focused through § five. See, e. g., White v. Regester, 412 U. S. 755, 765-766, 768-769 (1973).

    In nice, the whole legislative history indicates past any doubt just what the unqualified textual content of § 5 gives. The statute contains no reservation in favor of standard abridgment grown familiar after years of relentless discrimination, and the preclearance requirement become no longer enacted to authorize blanketed jurisdictions to pour antique poison into new bottles. See publish, at 374-376 (BREYER, J., dissenting). Beer was


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    wrong, and whilst it is entitled to stand beneath our traditional stare decisis in statutory interpretation, stare decisis does no longer excuse these days s choice to compound Beer s mistakes.14

    2

    Giving cause-to-abridge the broader, intended reading at the same time as retaining the erroneously truncated interpretation of impact could not even bring about a facially irrational scheme. This is so because cause to dilute is conceptually simple, whereas a dilutive abridgment-in-truth is not effortlessly defined and diagnosed independently of dilutive intent. A purpose to dilute virtually method to subordinate minority voting energy; actual calibration is unnecessary to identify what's meant. Any reason to offer much less weight to minority participation inside the electoral method than to majority participation is a motive to discriminate and accordingly to "abridge" the right to vote. No in addition baseline is needed due to the fact the enquiry goes to the course of the bulk s intention, with out reference to information of the prevailing gadget.

    Dilutive impact, for the purpose the majority factors out, is exceptional. Dilutive effect requires a baseline in opposition to which to evaluate a proposed trade. While the baseline is in theory the electoral effectiveness of majority citizens, dilution is not simply a lack of proportional illustration, see Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U. S. 109, 131 (1986) (opinion of White, J.), and we've held that the maximum number of viable majority-minority districts can not be the same old, see, e. g., Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S., at 925-926. Thus we've held that an enquiry into dilutive impact ought to rest on a few

    14 The Court says this "lengthy excursion into legislative records" leaves me "emptyhanded" for the cause that not anything shows that these days s notions of vote dilution have been particularly in the congressional thoughts. Ante, at 335, n. four. But the complete factor of the legislative records is that Congress supposed to shield in opposition to just the ones discriminatory gadgets that were as but untried. Congress did not recognise what the protected jurisdictions might assume up next.


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    idea of an inexpensive allocation of strength between minority and majority electorate; this calls for a court to examine a challenged voting exercise with an inexpensive opportunity exercise. See Holder v. Hall, 512 U. S. 874, 880 (1994) (opinion of KENNEDY, J.); id., at 887-888 (O CONNOR, J., concurring in component and concurring in judgment); see also Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U. S. 997, 1018 (1994). Looking handiest to retrogression in effect, whilst trying to any dilutive or other abridgment in cause, avoids the problem of baseline derivation. The distinction was not meant by using Congress, however any such distinction is not irrational.

    Indeed, the Justice Department has always taken the location that Beer is confined to the effect prong and places no trouble on discriminatory reason in § 5. See Brief for Federal Appellant 32-33. The Justice Department s longstanding exercise of refusing to preclear adjustments that it decided to have an unconstitutionally discriminatory purpose, both before and after Beer, is entitled to "particular deference" in mild of the Department s "crucial position" in administering § 5. Dougherty County Bd. of Ed. v. White, 439 U. S. 32, 39 (1978); see also United States v. Sheffield Bd. of Comm rs, 435 U. S. 110, 131-132 (1978); Perkins v. Matthews, four hundred U. S. 379, 390-391 (1971). Most large right here, the truth that the Justice Department has for many years understood Beer to be restricted to impact demonstrates that one of these function is totally consistent and coherent with the regulation as declared in Beer, even though it is able to now not have been what Congress supposed.

    3

    Giving wider scope to purpose than to impact underneath § five would now not best maintain the ability of § 5 to bar preclearance to all meant violations of the Fifteenth Amendment,15 it'd additionally experience the distinctive feature of consistency with

    15 JUSTICE BREYER advanced this justification for giving complete impact to the "cause" prong in his opinion in Bossier Parish I, 520 U. S., at 493497 (opinion concurring in component and concurring in judgment). Section 2,


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    prior choices other than Beer. In Richmond v. United States, 422 U. S. 358 (1975), the Court held that a metropolis s territorial annexation lowering the proportion of black electorate couldn't be identified as a legal incorrect under the impact prong of § five, however remanded for in addition attention of discriminatory motive. The majority distinguishes Richmond as "nothing extra than an ex necessitate challenge upon the impact prong in the specific context of annexation." Ante, at 330. But in fact, Richmond laid down no eccentric impact rule and is squarely at odds with the bulk s role that best an act keen on rationale to supply a forbidden impact is forbidden underneath the intent prong.

    As to forbidden impact, the Richmond Court said this:

    "As long because the ward device fairly displays the power of the Negro community because it exists after the annexation, we can not keep, without extra specific legislative path, that such an annexation is however barred by § 5. It is real that the black community, if there's racial bloc vote casting, will command fewer seats on the town council; and the annexation will have effected a decline

    as amended, now invalidates facially impartial practices with discriminatory consequences even within the absence of functional discrimination, and is accordingly now not coextensive with our expertise of the Constitution. The consequences-simplest fashionable became brought after the Court made clear, after years of uncertainty, that the Constitution prohibited best functional discrimination, not impartial movement with a disparate effect on minorities.

    The Court has divided at the impact of this change on § 5. Compare identification., at 484, with identity., at 505-506 (STEVENS, J., dissenting in part and concurring in component). As JUSTICE BREYER explained, that the effects prong now goes beyond the Constitution has no relating whether or not we have to limit the that means of the purpose prong, which does no extra than repeat what the Constitution calls for. Id., at 493-494. Both retrogressive and nonretrogressive discriminatory functions violate the Constitution. As I actually have stated already, I accept as true with JUSTICE BREYER that there's no proof that Congress intended to consist of in § 5 best a part of what the Constitution prohibits. See id., at 494. The tides of constitutional interpretation have buffeted both § 2 and § 5, however have in no way ebbed so low as to approve of discriminatory, dilutive motive.


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    inside the Negroes relative have an impact on within the metropolis. But a specific city council and an enlarged metropolis are worried after the annexation. Furthermore, Negro power inside the new city is not undervalued, and Negroes will no longer be underrepresented on the council.

    "As lengthy as this is genuine, we can not preserve that the impact of the annexation is to deny or abridge the right to vote." 422 U. S., at 371.

    As Richmond s references to "undervaluation" and "underrepresentation" make clean, the case includes application of preferred Fifteenth Amendment standards to the annexation context, no longer an annexation exception. As long as the postannexation metropolis allowed black voters to take part on equal terms with white electorate, the annexation did no longer "abridge" their voting rights even though they thereafter made up a smaller proportion of the voting population. The Court also held, however, that during adopting the very plan whose impact were held to be out of doors the scope of felony wrong, the town may want to have acted with an illegal, discriminatory reason that might have rendered the annexation unlawful and barred approval beneath § five:

    "[I]t may be requested how it may be forbidden by way of § 5 to have the reason and intent of reaching best what's a wonderfully criminal result beneath that segment and why we need remand for further proceedings with respect to cause on my own. The solution is apparent, and we need now not exertions it. An respectable motion, whether or not an annexation or otherwise, taken for the purpose of discriminating in opposition to Negroes due to their race has no legitimacy in any respect under our Constitution or below the statute. Section 5 forbids voting adjustments serious about the cause of denying the vote on the grounds of race or color." Id., at 378.


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    It follows from Richmond that a plan lacking any underlying motive to reason disqualifying retrogression can be barred through a discriminatory reason.

    The majority s attempt to differentiate Pleasant Grove v.

    United States, 479 U. S. 462 (1987), is similarly useless. Whereas Richmond treated the argument that law and common sense barred locating a disqualifying intent when impact was lawful, Pleasant Grove treated the argument that locating a disqualifying motive became impossible in fact. The Court in Pleasant Grove denied preclearance to an annexation that brought white electorate to the metropolis s electorate, regardless of the truth that at the time of the annexation minority vote casting energy turned into nonexistent and officials of the metropolis seeking the annexation had been unaware of any black electorate whose votes might be diluted. One factor is obvious beyond peradventure: the annexation in that case couldn't had been meant to cause retrogression. No one could have supposed to motive retrogression because no one knew of any minority voting energy from which retrogression turned into possible. 479 U. S., at 465, n. 2. The reality that the annexation become however barred underneath the purpose prong of § 5, 11 years after Beer, means that to day s majority cannot keep as they do with out overruling Pleasant Grove.

    The majority seeks to keep away from Pleasant Grove by describing it as barring "future retrogression" by using nipping this sort of future contingency even before the bud had fashioned. This gymnastic, however, now not handiest overlooks the contradiction among Pleasant Grove s retaining that a voting change with out feasible retrogressive cause could fail underneath the reason prong and the majority s reasoning nowadays that the baseline for the reason prong is the popularity quo; it even ignores what the Court certainly said. While the Pleasant Grove Court stated that impermissible reason should relate to predicted circumstances, 479 U. S., at 471-472, it said not anything approximately anticipated retrogression (a idea acquainted to the Court


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    for the reason that time of Beer). The Court found it "plausible" that the town had really acted with "the impermissible reason of minimizing destiny black balloting electricity." 479 U. S., at 471-472 (footnote disregarded). The Court referred to "minimizing," now not "inflicting retrogression to." But there is greater:

    "One means of thwarting [integration] is to offer for the increase of a monolithic white balloting block, thereby efficaciously diluting the black vote in advance. This is just as impermissible a cause because the dilution of present black voting power. Cf. City of Richmond, [422 U. S.,] at 378." Id., at 472.

    That is, a nonretrogressive dilutive cause is simply as impermissible beneath § five as a retrogressive one. Today s holding contradicts that. The majority is overruling Pleasant Grove.

    The majority proffers no justification for denying the precedential value of Pleasant Grove. Instead it observes that analyzing the cause prong of § 5 as masking more than retrogression (as Richmond and Pleasant Grove read it) could "exacerbate the vast federalism costs that the preclearance technique already exacts." Ante, at 336. But my studying, like the Court s own earlier reading, might now not raise the cost of federalism one penny above what the Congress meant it to be. The behavior of Bossier Parish is a undeniable attempt to disclaim the voting equality that the Constitution just as plainly guarantees. The factor of § 5 is to thwart the ingenuity of the School Board s effort to stay in advance of challenges under § 2. Its object is to carry the country in the direction of transcending a history of intransigence to enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment. Now, but, the promise of § five is considerably faded. Now executive and judicial officers of the USA will be pressured to preclear unlawful and unconstitutional vote casting schemes patently intended to perpetuate discrimination. The enchantment to federalism isn't any excuse. I respectfully dissent.


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    JUSTICE STEVENS, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG joins, dissenting.

    In its administration of the voting rights statute for the beyond quarter century, the Department of Justice has continuously employed a creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 opposite to that imposed upon the Act by the Court these days. Apart from the deference such buildings are always afforded, the Department s studying points us at once to the important start line of any exercise in statutory interpretation-the apparent language of the statute.

    It is not impossible that language by myself would lead one to think that the phrase "will no longer have the effect" consists of a few temporal degree; the noun "effect" and the verb disturbing "will have" ought to imaginably give rise to a reading that calls for a assessment among what's and what's going to be. But there's surely nothing in the phrase "reason" or the complete word "does not have the motive" that could lead every body to think that Congress had something in mind but a presenttense, intentional attempt to "den[y] or abridg[e] the proper to vote because of race." See, e. g., Webster s Third New International Dictionary 1847 (1966). Ergo, if a municipality intends to disclaim or abridge balloting rights because of race, it may now not acquire preclearance.

    Like JUSTICE SOUTER, I am persuaded that the dissenting evaluations of Justices White and Marshall had been extra trustworthy to the reason of the Congress that enacted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 than that of the bulk in Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. 130 (1976). One need now not, but, disavow that precedent so one can give an explanation for my profound confrontation with the Court s preserving today. The studying above makes clean that there's no important tension among the Beer majority s interpretation of the word "impact" in § five and the Department s steady interpretation of the word "motive." For even if retrogression is an acceptable popular for figuring out prohibited effects, that assumption does not justify an interpretation of the phrase


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    "purpose" this is at warfare with both controlling precedent and the obvious meaning of the statutory textual content.

    Accordingly, for these reasons and for those said at greater length through JUSTICE SOUTER, I respectfully dissent.

    JUSTICE BREYER, dissenting.

    I accept as true with JUSTICE SOUTER, with one qualification.

    I might now not rethink the correctness of the Court s decision in Beer v. United States, 425 U. S. 130 (1976)-an "effects" case-due to the fact, regardless, § five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits preclearance of a vote casting alternate that has the motive of unconstitutionally depriving minorities of the proper to vote.

    As JUSTICE SOUTER points out, ante, at 360-361 (opinion concurring in element and dissenting in part), Congress enacted § 5 in 1965 in element to prevent sure jurisdictions from limiting the quantity of black citizens via "the exceptional stratagem of contriving new regulations of diverse types for the sole cause of perpetuating vote casting discrimination within the face of destructive federal courtroom decrees." South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 301, 335 (1966). This "stratagem" created a moving goal with a consequent hazard of judicial runaround. See, e. g., Perkins v. Matthews, four hundred U. S. 379, 395-396 (1971). And this "stratagem" should prove further powerful wherein the State s "new rules" were supposed to retrogress and wherein they had been no longer. Indeed, because at the time, in certain places, historic discrimination had left the range of black citizens at close to zero, retrogression would have proved without a doubt not possible wherein § five was wanted maximum.

    An instance drawn from records makes the factor clean. In Forrest County, Mississippi, as of 1962, exactly threetenths of 1% of the balloting age black population changed into registered to vote. United States v. Mississippi, 229 F. Supp. 925, 994, n. 86 (SD Miss. 1964) (dissenting opinion), rev d, 380 U. S. 128 (1965). This quantity became due in massive element to the county registrar s discriminatory utility of the State s


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    voter registration necessities. Prior to 1961, the registrar had certainly refused to simply accept voter registration forms from black citizens. See United States v. Lynd, 301 F.2nd 818, 821 (CA5 1962). After 1961, those blacks who had been allowed to apply to sign up were subjected to a extra difficult check than whites, while whites have been presented help with their much less taxing packages. And the registrar, upon denying the applications of black citizens, had refused to deliver them with a proof. Id., at 822. The Government attacked those practices, and the Fifth Circuit enjoined the registrar from "[f]ailing to system applications for registrations submitted through Negro candidates on the equal basis as packages submitted by means of white candidates." Id., at 823.

    Mississippi s "immediately response" to this injunction become to impose a "appropriate ethical man or woman requirement," Mississippi, supra, at 997, a wellknown this Court has characterized as "an open invitation to abuse on the hands of vote casting officials," Katzenbach, supra, at 313. One federal choose believed that this variation became designed to keep away from the Fifth Circuit s injunction by way of "defy[ing] a Federal Appellate Court willpower that precise candidates were qualified [to vote]." Mississippi, supra, at 997. Such defiance would result in maintaining-even though not, in light of the absence of blacks from the Forrest County balloting rolls, in growingwhite political supremacy.

    This is exactly the kind of pastime for which § five became designed, and the purpose of § five would have demanded its software in this kind of case. See, e. g., Perkins, supra, at 395396 (Congress knew that the "Department of Justice d[id] now not have the assets to police effectively all of the States ... covered by means of the Act," and § 5 became intended to make certain that States now not institute "new laws with appreciate to balloting that might have a racially discriminatory motive"); Katzenbach, supra, at 314 (Prior to 1965, "[e]ven while favorable decisions ha[d] sooner or later been obtained, some of the States affected ha[d]


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    merely switched to discriminatory gadgets not blanketed via the federal decrees").

    And not anything in the Act s language or its history indicates the opposite. See, e. g., H. R. Rep. No. 439, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., 10 (1965) ("Barring one contrivance too regularly has induced no trade in end result, most effective in techniques"); S. Rep. No. 162, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. three, p. 12 (1965) (joint views of 12 members of Senate Judiciary Committee, describing United States v. Parker, 236 F. Supp. 511, 517 (MD Ala. 1964), in which a jurisdiction answered to an injunction via instituting numerous method for "the rejection of qualified Negro candidates"); Hearings on H. R. 6400 earlier than Subcommittee No.five of the House Committee at the Judiciary, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., five (1965) (testimony of Lawyer General Katzenbach) (discussing the ones jurisdictions which are "capable, even after obvious defeat in the courts, to plan complete new methods of discrimination"); Hearings on S. 1564 before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, p. 11 (1965) (testimony of Lawyer General Katzenbach) (comparable).

    It appears obvious, then, that if Mississippi had enacted its "moral character" requirement in 1966 (after enactment of the Voting Rights Act), a courtroom applying § 5 could have observed "the purpose ... of denying or abridging the proper to vote due to race," even if Mississippi had supposed to allow, say, zero.four%, as opposed to 0.3%, of the black balloting age populace of Forrest County to register. And if so, then irrespective of the complexity surrounding the management of an "outcomes" check, the solution to these days s motive query is "sure."

    Oral Argument - April 26, 1999
    Oral Reargument - October 06, 1999
    Opinion Announcement - January 24, 2000
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