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State and Federal Governments:
Hunt v. Cromartie

Docket Number: 98-85
Appealed From: U.S. District Court
Subjects: Congressional district boundaries; racial gerrymandering; Equal Protection Clause

Argued: January 20, 1999

Decided: May 17, 1999
Vote: 5-4

At Issue: Whether, in a gerrymandering case, shape and demographic evidence are enough to prove that race was a predominant motive in the creation of a majority-black voting district.

Decision: The court ruled that judges must look deeply into the evidence before deciding that state lawmakers have unconstitutionally used race as a major factor in drawing districts.

The full text of the Hunt v. Cromartie decision is available at the FindLaw Internet Legal Resources Web site.

The justices decided two other redistricting cases, Abrams v. Johnson and United States v. Johnson, in 1997.

Background from The Post
N.C. Redistricting Gets Another Chance (May 18, 1999)
High Court Weighs Race-Based Districts (January 21, 1999)

Sources: The Washington Post, Supreme Court, The United States Law Week (a Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. publication)

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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