Johnson v. De Grandy Page 29

Johnson v. De Grandy general information

Media for Johnson v. De Grandy

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 04, 1993 in Johnson v. De Grandy

John Paul Stevens:

You have two cohesive groups, both Hispanic but different ethnic backgrounds, one is strong enough to discriminate against the other successfully.

Would the statute apply?

Joel I. Klein:

--If they... I think they could make a subgroup claim.

If they could show that their subgroup, that is, let's say, Hispanics who are from Puerto Rico and not from Cuba... yes, I think they could make that claim out under this statute.

So I think, in fairness, the record is absolutely clear on this.

And a single line that says there's racially polarized voting when you're dealing with three different racial groups, is not evidence.

And if the United States thought this was all done, they wouldn't have put on their case in this case.

They put on evidence about racial polarization in Florida.

The district court understood that.

That's this case.

Two other factors, if I might.

Even if you prove cohesion, there is simply no showing of compactness.

And I think the United States seriously misreads Gingles.

Let me explain why.

Gingles says you have to show compactness, not for a remedy but for liability, and there's a reason for that.

Section 2 only applies to State procedures, standards, and so forth that dilute votes.

There's no automatic cure for vote dilution.

You've got to show something that the State did.

Now, what is the State... what is the allegation here that's in play?

That is the State drew lines on a map and diluted votes.

Now, if you're not compact, the State lines don't dilute your votes.

That's the geography.

John Paul Stevens:

Let me ask you a question... another question there.

Did you hear the argument in the preceding case, the similar case this morning?

Joel I. Klein:

Yes, I did.

John Paul Stevens:

Where they suggested that five districts should be drawn in place of one.

Are you arguing that in order to sustain that argument they'd have to prove that all the relevant minority voters were in the one district that would be minority black?

Joel I. Klein:

I... they'd have to show a geographically compact group, absolutely.

I think--

John Paul Stevens:

So that they shouldn't even count the black voters who are not within the black majority district that might be created.