Duke Law Professor Talks Short- and Long-Term Impact Of Redistricting Decision

May 22, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011.   A three-judge 

Duke University Law Professor Guy Charles
Credit Duke University

federal court ruling had previously found that lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing the boundaries.  Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the state did not offer compelling justifications for its reliance on race in either district. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Professor Guy Charles about the significance of this ruling.  He's the founding director of the Duke University Law School Center on Law, Race, and Politics.

Charles says the short-term impact of the ruling is that, "you're likely to see state legislature be extremely careful in using race in redistricting, because uses of race are likely to be struck down by a federal court." As for the long-term impact, he says it will limit voting rights plaintiffs because they often want the state to use race to enhance the political power of communities of color.