Friday, December 27, 2013

Shaw v. Reno [Shaw I] case brief

Shaw v. Reno [Shaw I] case brief summary
509 U.S. 630 (1993)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants challenged a ruling of a three-member panel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina that dismissed its case for failure to state a claim and lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

CASE FACTS
As a result of the 1990 census, the state of North Carolina gained an additional congressional seat and a new district was created. The state legislature reapportioned the state and the new district was irregularly shaped, extremely narrow and over 150 miles long. The plan was objected to pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C.S. § 1973c. A revised plan was enacted, and appellants brought suit alleging political gerrymandering. The district court dismissed the action stating that the District Court for the District of Columbia had exclusive subject matter jurisdiction and that appellant's claim was also barred by the U.S. Constitutional, art. I § 4 or U.S. Constitutional art. I § 2.

HOLDING
The U.S. Supreme Court held that appellants had stated a claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution but that the District Court for the District of Columbia had jurisdiction over the matter.

CONCLUSION
The Supreme Court reversed and held that appellants had stated a cause of action but did not rule on the constitutionality of the redistricting and affirmed the ruling that any challenge to the plan was to be made in the District Court for the District of Columbia.

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