The dillard litigation ultimately expanded to include

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The Dillard litigation ultimately expanded to include 183 cities, counties, and school boards employing discrim- inatory at-large election systems. Dillard v. Baldwin Cty. Bd. of Ed. , 686 F. Supp. 1459, 1461 (MD Ala. 1988). One of those defendants was Shelby County, which eventually signed a consent decree to resolve the claims against it. See Dillard v. Crenshaw Cty. , 748 F. Supp. 819 (MD Ala. 1990). Although the Dillard litigation resulted in overhauls of numerous electoral systems tainted by racial discrimina-
27 Cite as: 570 U. S. ____ (2013) G INSBURG , J., dissenting tion, concerns about backsliding persist. In 2008, for example, the city of Calera, located in Shelby County, requested preclearance of a redistricting plan that “would have eliminated the city’s sole majority-black district, which had been created pursuant to the consent decree in Dillard .” 811 F. Supp. 2d 424, 443 (DC 2011). Although DOJ objected to the plan, Calera forged ahead with elec- tions based on the unprecleared voting changes, resulting in the defeat of the incumbent African-American council- man who represented the former majority-black district. Ibid. The city’s defiance required DOJ to bring a §5 en- forcement action that ultimately yielded appropriate redress, including restoration of the majority-black dis- trict. Ibid. ; Brief for Respondent-Intervenors Earl Cun- ningham et al. 20. A recent FBI investigation provides a further window into the persistence of racial discrimination in state poli- tics. See United States v. McGregor , 824 F. Supp. 2d 1339, 1344–1348 (MD Ala. 2011). Recording devices worn by state legislators cooperating with the FBI’s investigation captured conversations between members of the state legislature and their political allies. The recorded conver- sations are shocking. Members of the state Senate deri- sively refer to African-Americans as “Aborigines” and talk openly of their aim to quash a particular gambling-related referendum because the referendum, if placed on the ballot, might increase African-American voter turnout. Id. , at 1345–1346 (internal quotation marks omitted). See also id. , at 1345 (legislators and their allies expressed concern that if the referendum were placed on the ballot, “‘[e]very black, every illiterate’ would be ‘bused [to the polls] on HUD financed buses’”). These conversations oc- curred not in the 1870’s, or even in the 1960’s, they took place in 2010. Id. , at 1344–1345. The District Judge presiding over the criminal trial at which the recorded conversations were introduced commented that the “re-
28 SHELBY COUNTY v. HOLDER G INSBURG , J., dissenting cordings represent compelling evidence that political exclusion through racism remains a real and enduring problem” in Alabama. Id. , at 1347. Racist sentiments, the judge observed, “remain regrettably entrenched in the high echelons of state government.” Ibid. These recent episodes forcefully demonstrate that §5’s preclearance requirement is constitutional as applied to Alabama and its political subdivisions.

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