Bartlett v. Strickland Decided

August 1, 2008

Whether minority voters who are deprived of the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice when a state court rejects a legislative district where coalition building has been successful can assert a vote dilution claim under the Voting Rights Act, even if minority voters do not represent 50 percent of the population in the proposed district? DECIDED

The Voting Rights Act prohibits vote dilution in order to ensure that minority voters have an equal opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice. In this case, minority voters in one of North Carolina's state legislative districts had successfully elected candidates of their choice through coalition building. In defending its decision to dismantle the district, the state court ruled that minorities cannot assert a vote dilution claim unless they represent 50 percent of the population. The ACLU submitted an amicus brief, along with other civil rights groups, arguing that the state court's position is inconsistent with the history, purpose, and prior interpretation of the Voting Rights Act.

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