C-SPAN Radio concludes its special series of five equal protection historic oral arguments with a 1993 case on race and re-districting: “Ruth Shaw and others, appellants v. Attorney General Janet Reno and others, appellees.”
U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno rejected a North Carolina congressional reapportionment plan, submitted after the 1990 census, because the plan created only one black-majority district. North Carolina submitted a second plan that created two black-majority districts. One of these districts was, in parts, no wider than the interstate road along which it stretched. Five North Carolina residents challenged the constitutionality of this unusually shaped district, alleging that its only purpose was to secure the election of additional black representatives. After a District Court ruled that the residents failed to state a constitutional claim, they appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.