Per their order entered on May 13, the three-judge panel handling the redistricting case will hold hearings today and tomorrow to consider specific factual issues before deciding the parties’ respective requests for judgment.
The judges have asked for testimony and additional evidence in two separate areas:
First, were challenged districts subject to the Voting Rights Act drawn in places where racially-polarized voting existed — i.e., where black voters in the minority of voters were unable to elect candidates of their choice — and was the drawing of such districts a reasonable response under the Act?
And second, in certain districts not subject to the Act (Senate 31 and 32, House 51 and 54, Congressional 4 and 12), where a majority black voting population was not achieved during redistricting, is there additional evidence that race nonetheless was the predominant factor in drawing those districts?
The court has held in abeyance any ruling on these and other issues raised by the parties in their requests for judgment pending completion of these hearings.