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Shaw v. Hunt

Case Background, Question Of Racial Gerrymandering Or Minority Voter Representation, A Different Opinion, Impact


Ruth O. Shaw, et al.; James Arthur Pope, et al.


James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor of North Carolina, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That the state of North Carolina created an unconstitutional racially gerrymandered district, which may violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Robinson O. Everett (Shaw), Thomas A. Farr (Pope)

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Edwin M. Speas, Jr.

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

13 June 1996


The district court decision was reversed.


The case of Shaw v. Hunt raised many important issues regarding to what extent it is permissible for a state to use racial classifications as the primary consideration when drawing majority-minority voter districts. The ramifications of the Voting Rights Act, Sections 2 and 5, and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause were carefully considered with respect to the alleged racial gerrymandering discussed in this case.

Additional topics

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