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Bush v. Vera


Like the previous Shaw and Miller decisions, the ruling in Bush v. Vera was vigorously attacked. It divided the Supreme Court justices and was criticized by the four of them. Dissenters were joined by various civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union. One of its directors, Laughlin McDonald, predicted that "the inevitable consequence of the Court's action will produce a Congress that is increasingly white at the time that the nation is becoming increasingly diverse." He said that the decision invited even more reverse discrimination claims by making it easier to trigger judicial strict scrutiny and harder to satisfy it. McDonald concluded that the strict scrutiny test was originally developed to deal with invidious racial discrimination. But after Shaw and Bush, the test was applied to legislative efforts to remedy that discrimination.

Nonetheless, the Court persisted in its course. Alhough the Department of Justice supported Texas, the Court continued striking down majority-minority districts created to protect the electoral rights of minorities. The Supreme Court found that race again predominated in their creation and other districting principles were neglected. The Court held that more "narrow tailoring" (better balance between racial and other considerations) could satisfy both the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentBush v. Vera - Significance, Three Districts Challenged, A Difficult Decision, Impact, Further Readings