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United Jewish Organizations v. Carey 430 U.S. 144 (1977)

UNITED JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS v. CAREY 430 U.S. 144 (1977)

Under the voting rights act of 1965 New York sought approval of the United States attorney general for its reapportionment of voters in state legislative districts in Greater New York City. To increase the nonwhite majorities in certain districts, and thus secure approval, the legislature divided a Hasidic Jewish community into two districts, each with a nonwhite majority. Petitioners claimed that assignment of voters solely on the basis of race violated the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments.

By a 7–1 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the race-conscious reapportionment. There was no majority opinion but a series of overlapping alignments. Four Justices, noting that the percentage of nonwhite-majority districts was less than the percentage of nonwhites in the county in question, said that the use of racial criteria to comply with the act was not limited to compensating for past discrimination. Other Justices emphasized the lack of stigma or legislative purpose to disadvantage the Hasidim. Justice william j. brennan, in a comprehensive opinion on race-conscious remedies, appeared to look ahead to regents of university of california v. bakke (1978). Chief Justice warren e. burger dissented.

Kenneth L. Karst
(1986)

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