What Is the Shaw V. Reno Case?

The Shaw v. Reno case examined whether or not there was equal protection in a district within North Carolina. It was decided, 5-4, that there was not equal protection; redistricting that had taken place was done through unacceptable racial gerrymandering, according to the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The district that had been created in North Carolina was an odd shape and 160 miles long. The only common aspect of the various areas in the district was that all the areas had high black populations, according to the Cornell University Law School.

Creating a district in an attempt to put all of one race in that very district is unlawful. The Supreme Court found that it made sense to create multiple districts out of this one district and that its bizarre shape could only be linked to the large black populations, states the Cornell University Law School. The dissenters on the Supreme Court believed that race-based voting areas was a different kind of affirmative action because it did not take away the individual's rights, such as the right to vote in a way that race-based hiring practices would, writes the Cornell University Law School. The case itself was argued on April 20, 1993 and then decided on June 28, 1993.