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Davis v. Bandemer


At first glance, the Court's decision in Davis appeared to be a victory for opponents of political gerrymandering; for the first time, the Supreme Court explicitly held that political gerrymandering can, in certain circumstances, intrude on the equal protection rights of a disadvantaged political group. However, the practical effect has been much different. Although not adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court, most lower federal courts considering political gerrymandering claims have applied Justice White's approach, which has been very difficult to meet. Further, although a majority of the Court did conclude that it can decide political gerrymandering cases, it has remained reluctant to do so. Indeed, although the Court continues to decide claims of racial gerrymandering, since Davis it has refused to consider a number of cases raising claims of political gerrymandering. Thus, in a practical sense, the decision has done little to curb the continued use of political gerrymandering.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Davis v. Bandemer - Significance, A Political Question?, An Agreeable Test, Inconsistent Results, Impact, Further Readings