Saturday, December 7, 2013

Miller v. Johnson case brief

Miller v. Johnson case brief summary
515 U.S. 900 (1995)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants, various state officials, challenged a decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia which invalidated a congressional redistricting plan enacted by the state.

CASE FACTS
Appellee voters challenged appellant state officials' congressional redistricting plan as violative of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV. Appellants challenged the trial court's invalidation of the plan.

DISCUSSION
  • The United States Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's finding. It held that the redistricting was so bizarre on its face that it was unexplainable on grounds other than race and therefore it could not be upheld unless it was narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest. 
  • It further held that appellants' true interest in designing the plan was to satisfy preclearance demands under the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 1973c, and compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws alone was not a compelling state interest. 
  • The Court said that appellants' plan was not reasonably necessary under a constitutional reading and application of the substantive provisions of the federal anti-discrimination laws even if it was required in order to obtain preclearance.
CONCLUSION
The Court affirmed a decision which invalidated appellants' congressional redistricting plan as violative of the Fourteenth Amendment where it was so bizarre on its face that it was unexplainable on grounds other than race and compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws alone was not a compelling state interest.

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