1998 年 13 巻 p. 159-168,273
This paper will focus on the consequences of the 1982 amendments of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA).
As a result of congressional redistricting in fifty states according to congressional apportionment based on the decennial census held in 1990, more than fifty minority-majority districts including black-majority and Hispanic-majority dishing were created by the states. Why was a record number of minority-majority districts created in the 1990 round? This paper assumes the effect of the VRA 1982 amendments.
Numerous challenges against racially gerrymandered districting plans have been filed in federal courts pursuant to VRA and the Constitution. The United States Supreme court transformed its judicial standards to review whether unconstitutional “minority vote dilution” had existed in challenged districting plans from “result standard” to “intent standard” in 1980. It charged plaintiffs alleging discrimination with the burden of proof to show the existence of “legislative intent” of racial discrimination in the plan. To avoid the “intent standard” from VRA litigation, Congress passed the 1982 VRA amendment which prohibited states and political subdivisions from enforcing any change “in a manner which results” in discrimination, and provided “the extent minority has been elected to office” was “one circumstance” which would be considered to scrutinize alleged discrimination. Soon after passing the amendment, the Court withdrew the “intent standard”.
Section 5, which provided a “preclearance” clause that forced certain states from the get preclearance from the Department of Justice or a declaration judgement from the U. S. district court for the District of Columbia before implementing any change in voting practices, was given a more significant role under amended section 2. The department has a broad power to review the possibility of violation of section 2 in plans submitted by the states with avague standard. It construed section 2 to maximize the number of minority-majority districts, and directed several states to create more minority-majority districts to meet the requirement of section 2 in the 1990 round.