(Slip Opinion)
`NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
`being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
`The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
`prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
`See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
`No. 21–1086. Argued October 4, 2022—Decided June 8, 2023*
`The issue presented is whether the districting plan adopted by the State
`of Alabama for its 2022 congressional elections likely violated §2 of the
`Voting Rights Act, 52 U. S. C. §10301. As originally enacted in 1965,
`§2 of the Act tracked the language of the Fifteenth Amendment,
`providing that “[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall
`not be denied or abridged . . . on account of race, color, or previous con-
`dition of servitude.” In City of Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U. S. 55, this
`Court held that the Fifteenth Amendment—and thus §2—prohibits
`States from acting with a “racially discriminatory motivation” or an
`“invidious purpose” to discriminate, but it does not prohibit laws that
`are discriminatory only in effect. Id., at 61–65 (plurality opinion).
`Criticism followed, with many viewing Mobile’s intent test as not suf-
`ficiently protective of voting rights. But others believed that adoption
`of an effects test would inevitably require a focus on proportionality,
`calling voting laws into question whenever a minority group won fewer
`seats in the legislature than its share of the population. Congress ul-
`timately resolved this debate in 1982, reaching a bipartisan compro-
`mise that amended §2 to incorporate both an effects test and a robust
`disclaimer that “nothing” in §2 “establishes a right to have members
`of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the
`population.” §10301(b).
`*Together with No. 21–1087, Allen, Alabama Secretary of State, et al. v.
`Caster et al., on certiorari before judgment to the United States Court of
`Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.


` In 1992, §2 litigation challenging the State of Alabama’s then-exist-
`ing districting map resulted in the State’s first majority-black district
`and, subsequently, the State’s first black Representative since 1877.
`Alabama’s congressional map has remained remarkably similar since
`that litigation. Following the 2020 decennial census, a group of plain-
`tiffs led by Alabama legislator Bobby Singleton sued the State, arguing
`that the State’s population growth rendered the existing congressional
`map malapportioned and racially gerrymandered in violation of the
`Equal Protection Clause. While litigation was proceeding, the Ala-
`bama Legislature’s Committee on Reapportionment drew a new dis-
`tricting map that would reflect the distribution of the prior decade’s
`population growth across the State. The resulting map largely resem-
`bled the 2011 map on which it was based and similarly produced only
`one district in which black voters constituted a majority. That new
`map was signed into law as HB1.
` Three groups of Alabama citizens brought suit seeking to stop Ala-
`bama’s Secretary of State from conducting congressional elections un-
`der HB1. One group (Caster plaintiffs) challenged HB1 as invalid un-
`der §2. Another group (Milligan plaintiffs) brought claims under §2
`and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. And
`a third group (the Singleton plaintiffs) amended the complaint in their
`ongoing litigation to challenge HB1 as a racial gerrymander under the
`Equal Protection Clause. A three-judge District Court was convened,
`and the Singleton and Milligan actions were consolidated before that
`District Court for purposes of preliminary injunction proceedings,
`while Caster proceeded before one of the judges on a parallel track.
`After an extensive hearing, the District Court concluded in a 227-page
`opinion that the question whether HB1 likely violated §2 was not
`“close.” The Court preliminarily enjoined Alabama from using HB1 in
`forthcoming elections. The same relief was ordered in Caster.
`Held: The Court affirms the District Court’s determination that plain-
`tiffs demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of success on their claim
`that HB1 violates §2. Pp. 9–22, 25–34.
`(a) The District Court faithfully applied this Court’s precedents in
`concluding that HB1 likely violates §2. Pp. 9–15.
`(1) This Court first addressed the 1982 amendments to §2 in
`Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U. S. 30, and has for the last 37 years eval-
`uated §2 claims using the Gingles framework. Gingles described the
`“essence of a §2 claim” as when “a certain electoral law, practice, or
`structure interacts with social and historical conditions to cause an
`inequality in the opportunities enjoyed by black and white voters.” Id.,
`at 47. That occurs where an “electoral structure operates to minimize
`or cancel out” minority voters’ “ability to elect their preferred candi-
`dates.” Id., at 48. Such a risk is greatest “where minority and majority


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`voters consistently prefer different candidates” and where minority
`voters are submerged in a majority voting population that “regularly
`defeat[s]” their choices. Ibid.
` To prove a §2 violation under Gingles, plaintiffs must satisfy three
`“preconditions.” Id., at 50. First, the “minority group must be suffi-
`ciently large and [geographically] compact to constitute a majority in
`a reasonably configured district.” Wisconsin Legislature v. Wisconsin
`Elections Comm’n, 595 U. S. ___, ___ (per curiam). “Second, the mi-
`nority group must be able to show that it is politically cohesive.” Gin-
`gles, 478 U. S., at 51. And third, “the minority must be able to demon-
`strate that the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it
`. . . to defeat the minority’s preferred candidate.” Ibid. A plaintiff who
`demonstrates the three preconditions must then show, under the “to-
`tality of circumstances,” that the challenged political process is not
`“equally open” to minority voters. Id., at 45–46. The totality of cir-
`cumstances inquiry recognizes that application of the Gingles factors
`is fact dependent and requires courts to conduct “an intensely local
`appraisal” of the electoral mechanism at issue, as well as a “searching
`practical evaluation of the past and present reality.” Id., at 79. Con-
`gress has not disturbed the Court’s understanding of §2 as Gingles con-
`strued it nearly 40 years ago. Pp. 9–11.
`(2) The extensive record in these cases supports the District
`Court’s conclusion that plaintiffs’ §2 claim was likely to succeed under
`Gingles. As to the first Gingles precondition, the District Court cor-
`rectly found that black voters could constitute a majority in a second
`district that was “reasonably configured.” The plaintiffs adduced
`eleven illustrative districting maps that Alabama could enact, at least
`one of which contained two majority-black districts that comported
`with traditional districting criteria. With respect to the compactness
`criteria, for example, the District Court explained that the maps sub-
`mitted by one expert “perform[ed] generally better on average than”
`did HB1, and contained no “bizarre shapes, or any other obvious irreg-
`ularities.” Plaintiffs’ maps contained equal populations, were contig-
`uous, and respected existing political subdivisions. Indeed, some of
`plaintiffs’ proposed maps split the same (or even fewer) county lines
`than the State’s.
` The Court finds unpersuasive the State’s argument that plaintiffs’
`maps were not reasonably configured because they failed to keep to-
`gether the Gulf Coast region. Even if that region is a traditional com-
`munity of interest, the District Court found the evidence insufficient
`to sustain Alabama’s argument that no legitimate reason could exist
`to split it. Moreover, the District Court found that plaintiffs’ maps
`were reasonably configured because they joined together a different
`community of interest called the Black Belt—a community with a high


`proportion of similarly situated black voters who share a lineal con-
`nection to “the many enslaved people brought there to work in the an-
`tebellum period.”
` As to the second and third Gingles preconditions, the District Court
`determined that there was “no serious dispute that Black voters are
`politically cohesive, nor that the challenged districts’ white majority
`votes sufficiently as a bloc to usually defeat Black voters’ preferred
`candidate.” The court noted that, “on average, Black voters supported
`their candidates of choice with 92.3% of the vote” while “white voters
`supported Black-preferred candidates with 15.4% of the vote.” Even
`Alabama’s expert conceded “that the candidates preferred by white
`voters in the areas that he looked at regularly defeat the candidates
`preferred by Black voters.” Finally, the District Court concluded that
`plaintiffs had carried their burden at the totality of circumstances
`stage given the racial polarization of elections in Alabama, where
`“Black Alabamians enjoy virtually zero success in statewide elections”
`and where “Alabama’s extensive history of repugnant racial and vot-
`ing-related discrimination is undeniable and well documented.” The
`Court sees no reason to disturb the District Court’s careful factual
`findings, which are subject to clear error review and have gone unchal-
`lenged by Alabama in any event. Pp. 11–15.
`(b) The Court declines to remake its §2 jurisprudence in line with
`Alabama’s “race-neutral benchmark” theory.
`(1) The Court rejects the State’s contention that adopting the race-
`neutral benchmark as the point of comparison in §2 cases would best
`match the text of the VRA. Section 2 requires political processes in a
`State to be “equally open” such that minority voters do not “have less
`opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the
`political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”
`§10301(b). Under the Court’s precedents, a district is not equally open
`when minority voters face—unlike their majority peers—bloc voting
`along racial lines, arising against the backdrop of substantial racial
`discrimination within the State, that renders a minority vote unequal
`to a vote by a nonminority voter. Alabama would ignore this precedent
`in favor of a rationale that a State’s map cannot “abridge[ ]” a person’s
`right to vote “on account of race” if the map resembles a sufficient num-
`ber of race-neutral alternatives. But this Court’s cases have consist-
`ently focused, for purposes of litigation, on the specific illustrative
`maps that a plaintiff adduces. Deviation from that map shows it is
`possible that the State’s map has a disparate effect on account of race.
`The remainder of the Gingles test helps determine whether that pos-
`sibility is reality by looking to polarized voting preferences and the
`frequency of racially discriminatory actions taken by the State.
` The Court declines to adopt Alabama’s interpretation of §2, which


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`would “revise and reformulate the Gingles threshold inquiry that has
`been the baseline of [the Court’s] §2 jurisprudence” for decades. Bart-
`lett v. Strickland, 556 U. S. 1, 16 (plurality opinion). Pp. 15–18.
`(2) Alabama argues that absent a benchmark, the Gingles frame-
`work ends up requiring the racial proportionality in districting that
`§2(b) forbids. The Court’s decisions implementing §2 demonstrate,
`however, that when properly applied, the Gingles framework itself im-
`poses meaningful constraints on proportionality. See Shaw v. Reno,
`509 U. S. 630, 633–634; Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 906; Bush v.
`Vera, 517 U. S. 952, 957 (plurality opinion). In Shaw v. Reno, for ex-
`ample, the Court considered the permissibility of a second majority-
`minority district in North Carolina, which at the time had 12 seats in
`the U. S. House of Representatives and a 20% black voting age popu-
`lation. 509 U. S., at 633–634. Though North Carolina believed §2 re-
`quired a second majority-minority district, the Court found North Car-
`olina’s approach an impermissible racial gerrymander because the
`State had “concentrated a dispersed minority population in a single
`district by disregarding traditional districting principles such as com-
`pactness, contiguity, and respect for political subdivisions.” Id., at 647.
` The Court’s decisions in Bush and Shaw similarly declined to re-
`quire additional majority-minority districts under §2 where those dis-
`tricts did not satisfy traditional districting principles.
` The Court recognizes that reapportionment remains primarily the
`duty and responsibility of the States, not the federal courts. Section 2
`thus never requires adoption of districts that violate traditional redis-
`tricting principles and instead limits judicial intervention to “those in-
`stances of intensive racial politics” where the “excessive role [of race]
`in the electoral process . . . den[ies] minority voters equal opportunity
`to participate.” S. Rep. No. 97–417, pp. 33–34. Pp. 18–22.
`(c) To apply its race-neutral benchmark in practice, Alabama would
`require plaintiffs to make at least three showings. First, Alabama
`would require §2 plaintiffs to show that the illustrative maps adduced
`for the first Gingles precondition are not based on race. Alabama
`would next graft onto §2 a requirement that plaintiffs demonstrate, at
`the totality of circumstances stage, that the State’s enacted plan con-
`tains fewer majority-minority districts than what an “average” race-
`neutral plan would contain. And finally, Alabama would have plain-
`tiffs prove that any deviation between the State’s plan and a race-neu-
`tral plan is explainable “only” by race. The Court declines to adopt any
`of these novel requirements.
` Here, Alabama contends that because HB1 sufficiently “resembles”
`the “race-neutral” maps created by the State’s experts—all of which
`lack two majority-black districts—HB1 does not violate §2. Alabama’s
`reliance on the maps created by its experts Dr. Duchin and Dr. Imai is


`misplaced because those maps do not accurately represent the district-
`ing process in Alabama. Regardless, the map-comparison test that Al-
`abama proposes is flawed in its fundamentals. Neither the text of §2
`nor the fraught debate that produced it suggests that “equal access” to
`the fundamental right of voting turns on technically complicated com-
`puter simulations. Further, while Alabama has repeatedly empha-
`sized that HB1 cannot have violated §2 because none of plaintiffs’ two
`million odd maps contained more than one majority-minority district,
`that (albeit very big) number is close to irrelevant in practice, where
`experts estimate the possible number of Alabama districting maps
`numbers is at least in the trillion trillions.
` Alabama would also require plaintiffs to demonstrate that any devi-
`ations between the State’s enacted plan and race-neutral alternatives
`“can be explained only by racial discrimination.” Brief for Alabama 44
`(emphasis added). But the Court’s precedents and the legislative com-
`promise struck in the 1982 amendments clearly rejected treating dis-
`criminatory intent as a requirement for liability under §2. Pp. 22, 25–
`(d) The Court disagrees with Alabama’s assertions that the Court
`should stop applying §2 in cases like these because the text of §2 does
`not apply to single-member redistricting and because §2 is unconstitu-
`tional as the District Court applied it here. Alabama’s understanding
`of §2 would require abandoning four decades of the Court’s §2 prece-
`dents. The Court has unanimously held that §2 and the Gingles frame-
`work apply to claims challenging single-member districts. Growe v.
`Emison, 507 U. S. 25, 40. As Congress is undoubtedly aware of the
`Court’s construction of §2 to apply to districting challenges, statutory
`stare decisis counsels staying the course until and unless Congress
`acts. In any event, the statutory text supports the conclusion that §2
`applies to single-member districts. Indeed, the contentious debates in
`Congress about proportionality would have made little sense if §2’s
`coverage was as limited as Alabama contends.
` The Court similarly rejects Alabama’s argument that §2 as applied
`to redistricting is unconstitutional under the Fifteenth Amendment.
`The Court held over 40 years ago “that, even if §1 of the [Fifteenth]
`Amendment prohibits only purposeful discrimination,” City of Rome v.
`United States, 446 U. S. 156, 173, the VRA’s “ban on electoral changes
`that are discriminatory in effect is an appropriate method of promoting
`the purposes of the Fifteenth Amendment,” id., at 177. Alabama’s con-
`tention that the Fifteenth Amendment does not authorize race-based
`redistricting as a remedy for §2 violations similarly fails. The Court is
`not persuaded by Alabama’s arguments that §2 as interpreted in Gin-
`gles exceeds the remedial authority of Congress.
` The Court’s opinion does not diminish or disregard the concern that


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`§2 may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power
`within the States. Instead, the Court simply holds that a faithful ap-
`plication of precedent and a fair reading of the record do not bear those
`concerns out here. Pp. 30–34.
`Nos. 21–1086, 582 F. Supp. 3d 924, and 21–1087, affirmed.
` ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part
`III–B–1. SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, and JACKSON, JJ., joined that opinion in
`full, and KAVANAUGH, J., joined except for Part III–B–1. KAVANAUGH, J.,
`filed an opinion concurring in all but Part III–B–1. THOMAS, J., filed a
`dissenting opinion, in which GORSUCH, J., joined, in which BARRETT, J.,
`joined as to Parts II and III, and in which ALITO, J., joined as to Parts II–
`A and II–B. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GORSUCH, J.,


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`Opinion of the Court
`NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
`United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of
`Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543,
`, of any typographical or other formal errors.
`Nos. 21–1086 and 21–1087
`[June 8, 2023]
` CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the
`Court, except as to Part III–B–1.*
` In January 2022, a three-judge District Court sitting in
`Alabama preliminarily enjoined the State from using the
`districting plan it had recently adopted for the 2022 con-
`gressional elections, finding that the plan likely violated
`Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 52 U. S. C. §10301. This
`Court stayed the District Court’s order pending further re-
`view. 595 U. S. ___ (2022). After conducting that review,
`we now affirm.
`*JUSTICE KAVANAUGH joins all but Part III–B–1 of this opinion.


`Opinion of the Court
` Shortly after the Civil War, Congress passed and the
`States ratified the Fifteenth Amendment, providing that
`“[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not
`be denied or abridged . . . on account of race, color, or previ-
`ous condition of servitude.” U. S. Const., Amdt. 15, §1. In
`the century that followed, however, the Amendment proved
`little more than a parchment promise. Jim Crow laws like
`literacy tests, poll taxes, and “good-morals” requirements
`abounded, South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 301,
`312–313 (1966), “render[ing] the right to vote illusory for
`blacks,” Northwest Austin Municipal Util. Dist. No. One v.
`Holder, 557 U. S. 193, 220–221 (2009) (THOMAS, J., concur-
`ring in judgment in part and dissenting in part). Congress
`stood up to little of it; “[t]he first century of congressional
`enforcement of the [Fifteenth] Amendment . . . can only be
`regarded as a failure.” Id., at 197 (majority opinion).
` That changed in 1965. Spurred by the Civil Rights move-
`ment, Congress enacted and President Johnson signed into
`law the Voting Rights Act. 79 Stat. 437, as amended, 52
`U. S. C. §10301 et seq. The Act “create[d] stringent new
`remedies for voting discrimination,” attempting to forever
`“banish the blight of racial discrimination in voting.” Kat-
`zenbach, 383 U. S., at 308. By 1981, in only sixteen years’
`time, many considered the VRA “the most successful civil
`rights statute in the history of the Nation.” S. Rep. No. 97–
`417, p. 111 (1982) (Senate Report).
` These cases concern Section 2 of that Act. In its original
`form, Ҥ2 closely tracked the language of the [Fifteenth]
`Amendment” and, as a result, had little independent force.
`Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, 594 U. S. ___,
`___ (2021) (slip op., at 3).1 Our leading case on §2 at the
`1 As originally enacted, §2 provided that “[n]o voting qualification or


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`Opinion of the Court
`time was City of Mobile v. Bolden, which involved a claim
`by black voters that the City’s at-large election system ef-
`fectively excluded them from participating in the election of
`city commissioners. 446 U. S. 55 (1980). The commission
`had three seats, black voters comprised one-third of the
`City’s population, but no black-preferred candidate had
`ever won election.
` The Court ruled against the plaintiffs. The Fifteenth
`Amendment—and thus §2—prohibits States from acting
`with a “racially discriminatory motivation” or an “invidious
`purpose” to discriminate. Id., at 61–65 (plurality opinion).
`But it does not prohibit laws that are discriminatory only
`in effect. Ibid. The Mobile plaintiffs could “register and
`vote without hindrance”—“their freedom to vote ha[d] not
`been denied or abridged by anyone.” Id., at 65. The fact
`that they happened to lose frequently was beside the point.
`Nothing the City had done “purposeful[ly] exclu[ded]” them
`“from participati[ng] in the election process.” Id., at 64.
` Almost immediately after it was decided, Mobile “pro-
`duced an avalanche of criticism, both in the media and
`within the civil rights community.” T. Boyd & S. Markman,
`The 1982 Amendments to the Voting Rights Act: A Legisla-
`tive History, 40 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1347, 1355 (1983)
`(Boyd & Markman). The New York Times wrote that the
`decision represented “the biggest step backwards in civil
`rights to come from the Nixon Court.” N. Y. Times, Apr. 23,
`1980, p. A22. And the Washington Post described Mobile
`as a “major defeat for blacks and other minorities fighting
`electoral schemes that exclude them from office.” Washing-
`ton Post, Apr. 23, 1980, p. A5. By focusing on discrimina-
`tory intent and ignoring disparate effect, critics argued, the
`Court had abrogated “the standard used by the courts to
`prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be im-
`posed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge
`the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or
`color.” 42 U. S. C. §1973 (1970 ed.).


`Opinion of the Court
`determine whether [racial] discrimination existed . . . :
`Whether such discrimination existed.” It’s Results That
`Count, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 3, 1982, p. 8–A.
` But Mobile had its defenders, too. In their view, aban-
`doning the intent test in favor of an effects test would inev-
`itably require a focus on proportionality—wherever a mi-
`nority group won fewer seats in the legislature than its
`share of the population, the charge could be made that the
`State law had a discriminatory effect. That, after all, was
`the type of claim brought in Mobile. But mandating racial
`proportionality in elections was regarded by many as intol-
`erable. Doing so, wrote Senator Orrin Hatch in the Wash-
`ington Star, would be “strongly resented by the American
`public.” Washington Star, Sept. 30, 1980, p. A–9. The Wall
`Street Journal offered similar criticism. An effects test
`would generate “more, not less, racial and ethnic polariza-
`tion.” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19, 1982, p. 28.
` This sharp debate arrived at Congress’s doorstep in 1981.
`The question whether to broaden §2 or keep it as is, said
`Hatch—by then Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee be-
`fore which §2 would be debated—“involve[d] one of the most
`substantial constitutional issues ever to come before this
`body.” 2 Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Consti-
`tution of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 97th
`Cong., 2d Sess., pt. 1, p. 1 (1982).
` Proceedings in Congress mirrored the disagreement that
`had developed around the country. In April 1981, Con-
`gressman Peter W. Rodino, Jr.—longtime chairman of the
`House Judiciary Committee—introduced a bill to amend
`the VRA, proposing that the words “to deny or abridge” in
`§2 be replaced with the phrase “in a manner which results
`in a denial or abridgement.” H. R. 3112, 97th Cong., 1st
`Sess., 2 (as introduced) (emphasis added). This was the ef-
`fects test that Mobile’s detractors sought.
` But those wary of proportionality were not far behind.
`Senator Hatch argued that the effects test “was intelligible


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`Opinion of the Court
`only to the extent that it approximated a standard of pro-
`portional representation by race.” Boyd & Markman 1392.
`The Attorney General had the same concern. The effects
`test “would be triggered whenever election results did not
`mirror the population mix of a particular community,” he
`wrote, producing “essentially a quota system for electoral
`politics.” N. Y. Times, Mar. 27, 1982, p. 23.
` The impasse was not resolved until late April 1982, when
`Senator Bob Dole proposed a compromise. Boyd & Mark-
`man 1414. Section 2 would include the effects test that
`many desired but also a robust disclaimer against propor-
`tionality. Seeking to navigate any tension between the two,
`the Dole Amendment borrowed language from a Fourteenth
`Amendment case of ours, White v. Regester, 412 U. S. 755
`(1973), which many in Congress believed would allow
`courts to consider effects but avoid proportionality. The
`standard for liability in voting cases, White explained, was
`whether “the political processes leading to nomination and
`election were not equally open to participation by the group
`in question—[in] that its members had less opportunity
`than did other residents in the district to participate in the
`political processes and to elect legislators of their choice.”
`Id., at 766.
` The Dole compromise won bipartisan support and, on
`June 18, the Senate passed the 1982 amendments by an
`overwhelming margin, 85–8. Eleven days later, President
`Reagan signed the Act into law. The amended §2 reads as
` “(a) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting
`or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or
`applied by any State or political subdivision in a man-
`ner which results in a denial or abridgement of the
`right of any citizen of the United States to vote on ac-
`count of race or color . . . as provided in subsection (b).
` “(b) A violation of subsection (a) is established if,


`Opinion of the Court
`based on the totality of circumstances, it is shown that
`the political processes leading to nomination or election
`in the State or political subdivision are not equally
`open to participation by members of a class of citizens
`. . . in that its members have less opportunity than
`other members of the electorate to participate in the
`political process and to elect representatives of their
`choice. The extent to which members of a protected
`class have been elected to office in the State or political
`subdivision is one circumstance which may be consid-
`ered: Provided, That nothing in this section establishes
`a right to have members of a protected class elected in
`numbers equal to their proportion in the population.”
`52 U. S. C. §10301.
` For the first 115 years following Reconstruction, the
`State of Alabama elected no black Representatives to Con-
`gress. See Singleton v. Merrill, 582 F. Supp. 3d 924, 947
`(ND Ala. 2022) ( per curiam). In 1992, several plaintiffs
`sued the State, alleging that it had been impermissibly di-
`luting the votes of black Alabamians in violation of §2. See
`Wesch v. Hunt, 785 F. Supp. 1491, 1493 (SD Ala.). The law-
`suit produced a majority-black district in Alabama for the
`first time in decades. Id., at 1499. And that fall, Birming-
`ham lawyer Earl Hillard became the first black Representa-
`tive from Alabama since 1877. 582 F. Supp. 3d, at 947.
` Alabama’s congressional map has “remained remarkably
`similar” after Wesch. Brief for Appellants in No. 21–1086
`etc., p. 9 (Brief for Alabama). The map contains seven con-
`gressional districts, each with a single representative. See
`Supp. App. 205–211; 582 F. Supp. 3d, at 951. District 1 en-
`compasses the Gulf Coast region in the southwest; District
`2—known as the Wiregrass region—occupies the southeast;
`District 3 covers the eastern-central part of the State; Dis-
`tricts 4 and 5 stretch width-wise across the north, with the


`Cite as: 599 U. S. ____ (2023)
`Opinion of the Court
`latter layered atop the former; District 6 is right in the
`State’s middle; and District 7 spans the central west. Id.,
`at 951.
` In 2020, the decennial census revealed that Alabama’s
`population had grown by 5.1%. See 1 App. 86. A group of
`plaintiffs led by Alabama legislator Bobby Singleton sued
`the State, arguing that the existing congressional map was
`malapportioned and racially gerrymandered in violation of
`the Equal Protection Clause. 582 F. Supp. 3d, at 938–939.
`While litigation was proceeding, the Alabama Legislature’s
`Committee on Reapportionment began creating a new dis-
`tricting map. Ibid. Although the prior decade’s population
`growth did not change the number of seats that Alabama
`would receive in the House, the growth had been unevenly
`distributed across the State, and the existing map was thus
`out of date.
` To solve the problem, the State turned to experienced
`mapmaker Randy Hinaman, who had created several dis-
`tricting maps that Alabama used over the past 30 years.
`Id., at 947–948. The starting point for Hinaman was the
`then-existing 2011 congressional map, itself a product of
`the 2001 map that Hinaman had also created. Civ. No. 21–
`1530 (ND Ala.), ECF Doc. 70–2, pp. 40, 93–94; see also 582
`F. Supp. 3d, at 950. Hinaman worked to adjust the 2011
`map in accordance with the redistricting guidelines set by
`the legislature’s Reapportionment Committee. Id., at 948–
`950; 1 App. 275. Those guidelines prioritized population
`equality, contiguity, compactness, and avoiding dilution of
`minority voting strength. 582 F. Supp. 3d, at 1035–1036.
`They also encouraged, as a secondary matter, avoiding in-
`cumbent pairings, respecting communities of interest, min-
`imizing the number of counties in each district, and pre-
`serving cores of existing districts. Id., at 1036–1037.
` The resulting map Hinaman drew largely resembled the
`2011 map, again producing only one district in which black
`voters constituted a majority of the voting age population.


`Opinion of the Court
`Supp. App. 205–211. The Alabama Legislature enacted
`Hinaman’s map under the name HB1. 582 F. Supp. 3d, at
`935, 950–951. Governor Ivey signed HB1 into law on No-
`vember 4, 2021. Id., at 950.
` Three groups of plaintiffs brought suit seeking to stop Al-
`abama’s Secretary of State from conducting

This document is available on Docket Alarm but you must sign up to view it.

Or .

Accessing this document will incur an additional charge of $.

After purchase, you can access this document again without charge.

Accept $ Charge

Still Working On It

This document is taking longer than usual to download. This can happen if we need to contact the court directly to obtain the document and their servers are running slowly.

Give it another minute or two to complete, and then try the refresh button.


A few More Minutes ... Still Working

It can take up to 5 minutes for us to download a document if the court servers are running slowly.

Thank you for your continued patience.

This document could not be displayed.

We could not find this document within its docket. Please go back to the docket page and check the link. If that does not work, go back to the docket and refresh it to pull the newest information.

Your account does not support viewing this document.

You need a Paid Account to view this document. Click here to change your account type.

Your account does not support viewing this document.

Set your membership status to view this document.

With a Docket Alarm membership, you'll get a whole lot more, including:

  • Up-to-date information for this case.
  • Email alerts whenever there is an update.
  • Full text search for other cases.
  • Get email alerts whenever a new case matches your search.

Become a Member

One Moment Please

The filing “” is large (MB) and is being downloaded.

Please refresh this page in a few minutes to see if the filing has been downloaded. The filing will also be emailed to you when the download completes.

Your document is on its way!

If you do not receive the document in five minutes, contact support at

Sealed Document

We are unable to display this document, it may be under a court ordered seal.

If you have proper credentials to access the file, you may proceed directly to the court's system using your government issued username and password.

Access Government Site

We are redirecting you
to a mobile optimized page.

Document Unreadable or Corrupt

Refresh this Document
Go to the Docket

We are unable to display this document.

Refresh this Document
Go to the Docket