The Supreme Court is returning to the familiar intersection of race and politics, in a pair of cases examining redistricting in North Carolina and Virginia.
The eight-justice court is hearing arguments Monday in two similar cases about whether race played too large a role in the drawing of electoral districts, to the detriment of African-Americans.
The claim made by black voters in both states is that Republicans created districts with more reliably Democratic black voters than necessary to elect their preferred candidates, making neighboring districts whiter and more Republican.
A lower court agreed with the challengers in North Carolina that two majority-black congressional districts were unconstitutional because they relied too heavily on race. In Virginia, a court rejected a constitutional challenge to 12 state legislative districts.