Race and Redistricting in the 1990s

Race and Redistricting in the 1990s

Race and Redistricting in the 1990s

Race and Redistricting in the 1990s

Excerpt

The Essays in this volume provide a portrait of how the 1990s round of redistricting treated the racial and linguistic minorities that had been given the special protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965--African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, and those of Spanish heritage, although most of the emphasis is on the first of these groups. While some chapters in this volume do review legal issues, unlike most other very recent work on race and redistricting (e.g., Grofman, Handley and Niemi, 1992; Aleinikoff and Issacharoff, 1993; Karlan, 1995; McDonald, 1995; McKaskle, 1995; Issacharoff, 1996; and the various essays in McClain and Stewart, 1995, and Peacock, 1997) the primary focus of this volume is not on the constitutional jurisprudence of voting rights. Instead, our focus is on the practical politics of redistricting and its consequences for racial representation.

Almost all of the authors in this volume have been directly involved in the 1990s redistricting process either as a legislator (Robert Holmes), a member of the Voting Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (Mark Posner), a Director of a Districting Commission (Tuckerman Babcock, Alan Gartner, Donald Stokes) or, most commonly, as an expert witness or lawyer in voting rights cases. They are thus able to bring to bear special insights as well as insider knowledge. Most of the chapters offer detailed discussion of the actual redistricting process in a single state, including details of the legislative process, while others provide an overview of the consequences of 1990s districting for black and Hispanic representation in congress and/or state . . .

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