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Mahan v. Howell

Home-port Or Home Address?

At the same time, another suit was brought against the way the state senate districting had been done. The city of Norfolk had been split into three districts, with all African American voters isolated in one district, and all U.S Navy personnel assigned to another. In fact, U.S Navy personnel did not live only in the district to which they had been assigned. Their ships were docked in that district--their "home port"--but their actual residences were elsewhere. Thus, claimed the suit, the way the districts had been drawn was unfair to both African Americans and to U.S. Navy personnel.

When the district court overturned the state's plan, the state appealed to the Supreme Court. In a 5-3 decision, the Court approved the state's original plan, except for the part relating to Norfolk. The Supreme Court agreed with the district court.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Mahan v. Howell - Significance, What Is The Percentage?, Home-port Or Home Address?, Flexibility And Local Control