White v. Regester
412 U.S. 755 (1973)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755 (1973)

White v. Regester

No. 72-147

Argued February 26, 1973

Decided June 18, 1973

412 U.S. 755

Syllabus

In this litigation challenging the Texas 1970 legislative reapportionment scheme, a three-judge District Court held that the House plan, state-wide, contained constitutionally impermissible deviations from population equality, and that the multi-member districts provided for Bexar and Dallas Counties invidiously discriminated against cognizable racial or ethnic groups. Though the entire plan was declared invalid, the court permitted its use for the 1972 election except for its injunction order requiring those two county multi-member districts to be reconstituted into single member districts.

Held:

1. This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1253 to consider the appeal from the injunction order applicable to the Bexar County and Dallas County districting, since the three-judge court had been properly convened, and this Court can review the declaratory part of the judgment below. Roe v. Wade,410 U. S. 113. Pp. 412 U. S. 759-761.

2. State reapportionment statutes are not subject to the stricter standards applicable to congressional reapportionment under Art. I, § 2, and the District Court erred in concluding that this case, where the total maximum variation between House districts was 9.9%, but the average deviation from the ideal was 1.82%, involved invidious discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Cf. Gaffney v. Cummings, ante, p. 412 U. S. 735. Pp. 412 U. S. 761-764.

3. The District Court's order requiring disestablishment of the multi-member districts in Dallas and Bexar Counties was warranted in the light of the history of political discrimination against Negroes and Mexican-Americans residing, respectively, in those counties and the residual effects of such discrimination upon those groups. Pp. 412 U. S. 765-770.

343 F.Supp. 704, affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in Parts I, III, and IV of which all Members joined, and in Part II of which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST,

Page 412 U. S. 756

JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which DOUGLAS and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 412 U. S. 772.

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