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Bush v. Vera

Significance, Three Districts Challenged, A Difficult Decision, Impact, Further Readings


George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, et al.


Al Vera, et al.

Appellants' Claim

The Texas state legislature created three new congressional districts with African American and Hispanic majorities to better reflect 1990 census demographics. Appellants claimed that these districts were narrowly tailored to satisfy the strict scrutiny requirement in the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Appellants

Javier Aguilar (lawyer for state appellants), Paul Bender (lawyer for federal appellant), and Penda D. Hair (lawyer for private appellants)

Chief Lawyers for Appellees

Daniel E. Troy

Justices for the Court

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


Although three congressional districts were not sufficiently tailored to protect minority rights, they were, nonetheless unconstitutionally created because racial factors predominated in their creation.

Related Cases

  • Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339 (1960).
  • Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. 109 (1986).
  • Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993).
  • Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900 (1995).
  • Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899 (1996).

Additional topics

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