163 Second Gingles has been interpreted as requiring jurisdictions in which

163 second gingles has been interpreted as requiring

This preview shows page 37 - 39 out of 60 pages.

163 Second, "Gingles has been interpreted as requiring jurisdictions in which voting is racially polarized to create, where possible, reasonably contiguous and compact minority-controlled districts so as to provide minorities an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. " 1 6 ' This has resulted in an increase in the number of African-American congressional districts and the number of African-Americans in Congress. 165 162 See Davidson, supra note 76, at 41 & n.112. 163 With the amendment of Section 2 came "streamlining and greater predictabili- ty of section 2 challenges," increasing the annual number of voting cases brought in federal court from 150 to 225. McDonald, supra note 133, at 71. As a result of the increase in litigation or the threat of litigation, more and more jurisdictions have abandoned the discriminatory features of their election systems, particularly at-large voting. According to the Department of'Justice, in the three years before 1982, fewer than 600jurisdictions in the states covered by section 5 changed their method of election; 1,354 did so in the three years following the amendment of section 2. Id. (footnote omitted) 164 Id. at 78 (footnote omitted). 165 For example: [D]ue to the redrawing of congressional districts following the 1990 census and [the] amendments to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were passed in 1982, there were 13 new black congressional districts created in the United States .... Every single one elected a black member, so that the total number of [black] members of the United States House of Representatives [following the 1992 election] increased from ... 26 to 39. USIA Foreign Press Center Briefing: The African-American Community and the Clinton Administration, Federal News Service, Nov. 19, 1992, available in LEXIS, Nexis Library, CURRNT File (statement of David Bositis, Senior Research Fellow) [hereinafter Press Briefing]. Moreover, "[i]n 1970, there were approximately 1,500 black elected officials across the country; about 10 members of Congress. Now there are close to 8,000." Id. Another commentator on the impact of the Voting Rights Act and the amended Section 2 has stated: When the Voting Rights Act was enacted there were.. fewer than 200 [black elected officials] nationwide. ByJanuary 1990 there were... 7,370 nationwide .... [A]s of the mid-1980s there were an estimated 3,360 elected officials of Latin American descent and 852 native Americans (in nontribal offices). The increase in minority officeholding can be traced to the operation of the Voting Rights Act as a whole .... Equally critical, however, has been the adoption of effective minority voting districts, many as a result of litigation or the threat of litigation under section 2. McDonald, supra note 133, at 73-74 (footnotes omitted). 2347 1993]
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2348 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW [Vol. 141: 2311 Although most voting rights activists praised the Gingles decision, it is not without its critics. Those critics claim that Gingles and the amended Section 2 set a standard that results in proportion- al representation for minorities in Congress. The claim warrants a closer examination.
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