MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.
Appellants, citizens and registered voters of New York's Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Congressional Districts, all in New York County (the Island of Manhattan), brought this action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging the constitutionality of that part of Chapter 980 of New York's 1961 congressional apportionment statute which defined these four districts.
The case was heard by a District Court of three judges. During these hearings, counsel for appellants made it clear that their case did not depend on "under-representation because of the variation in the size of the Congressional districts"; it was rather, he said, "a case of ghettoizing the Island of Manhattan" so as "to create a white Congressional district and a non-white Congressional district." "I think," counsel said, "the only province of the Court in this area is to determine whether or not these districts have been created with racial considerations in mind, and, if they have, or if the results of this districting, the effect of the statute is to create racially segregated areas, we maintain that it violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments." Appellants offered maps, statistics, and some oral evidence designed to prove their charge that it was impossible to have districts such as these were unless they "were drawn with regard to race." The statistics showed that the Eighteenth District contained 86.3% Negroes and Puerto Ricans; the Nineteenth, 28.5%; the Twentieth, 27.5%; and the Seventeenth, 5.1%. The evidence also showed irregularities in the boundaries of the districts and some variation
A majority of the District Court found that appellants had not made out their case on the crucial factual issues.
Judge Murphy dissented. He viewed the evidence as "tantamount for all practical purposes, to a mathematical demonstration" that the legislation was "solely concerned with segregating" white voters from colored and Puerto Rican voters "by fencing colored and Puerto Rican citizens out of the 17th District and into a district of their own (the 18th)" and as establishing "per se a prima facie case of a legislative intent to draw congressional district lines in the 17th and 18th Districts on the basis of race and national origin."
While a number of other matters have been discussed, we find it necessary to decide only the first question presented in the jurisdictional statement, namely "[w]hether appellants sustained their burden of proving that the portion of Chapter 980 . . . which delineates the boundaries of the Congressional districts in Manhattan Island segregates eligible voters by race and place of origin in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment." We accept the findings of the majority of the District Court that appellants failed to prove that the New York Legislature was either motivated by racial considerations or in fact drew the districts on racial lines. Compare Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339. It may be true, as Judge Feinberg thought, that there was evidence which could have supported inferences that racial considerations might have moved the
We accept the District Court's finding that appellants have not shown that the challenged part of the New York Act was the product of a state contrivance to segregate on the basis of race or place of origin. That finding was crucial to appellants' case as they presented it, and for that reason their challenge cannot be sustained. We do not pass on the question which appellants have not presented here, that is, whether the state apportionment is constitutionally invalid because it may fail in its objective to create districts based as nearly as practicable on equal population.
The judgment dismissing the complaint is
MR. JUSTICE HARLAN, concurring.
I join the opinion of the Court on the premise that the only issue in this case involves alleged racially segregated districts. The case is thus, in my opinion, governed by entirely different constitutional considerations, see Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, than those which I believe
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, with whom MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG concurs, dissenting.
This case raises a question kin to that in Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, where racial gerrymandering was used to deprive Negroes of the right to vote. Here no Negroes are deprived of the franchise. Rather, zigzag, tortuous lines are drawn to concentrate Negroes and Puerto Ricans in Manhattan's Eighteenth Congressional District and practically to exclude them from the Seventeenth Congressional District. Neighborhoods in our larger cities often contain members of only one race; and those who draw the lines of Congressional Districts cannot be expected to disregard neighborhoods in an effort to make each district a multiracial one.
Manhattan is divided into four districts and as a result of the serpentine path that the lines follow, those districts reflect substantial, though not complete, segregation by races:
Negro and Puerto White percent Rican percent of District of district district 17th . . . . . . . . . . 94.9 5.1 18th . . . . . . . . . . 13.7 86.3 19th . . . . . . . . . . 71.5 28.5 20th . . . . . . . . . . 72.5 27.5
To achieve this racial gerrymandering, careful manipulation of the boundaries of the Eighteenth District was necessary. The southeast corner is near the East River and from there it goes—west four blocks, north two blocks, west one block, north five block, west one block, north one block, west one block, north one block, west one block, north eleven blocks, west five blocks across the northern line of Central Park to Morningside, north along Morningside about twelve blocks, west one block, north along Amsterdam from 122d to 150th, east two blocks, north fifteen blocks to 165th, and east to East River.
The record strongly suggests that these twists and turns producing an 11-sided, step-shaped boundary between the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Districts were made to bring into the Eighteenth District and keep out of the
A second judge concluded that petitioners "have not met their burden of proving" that the boundaries in question were "drawn along racial lines." Id., at 468. The third judge expressed no view on the precise issue.
The evidence which I have summarized was not rebutted or challenged, the State introducing no evidence. We have not only inferences from conceded facts but also New York's frank concession that it is not possible to say "that race is irrelevant to districting."
Racial segregation that is state-sponsored should be nullified whatever may have been intended. In Johnson v. Virginia, 373 U.S. 61, we held segregation of a courtroom audience by race to be unconstitutional, without stopping to inquire what the motive may have been. A
I had assumed that since Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, no State may segregate people by race in the public areas. The design of voting districts involves one important public area— as important as schools, parks, and courtrooms. We should uproot all vestiges of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, from the public area.
The intervenors are persons who apparently have a vested interest in control of the segregated Eighteenth District.
The fact that Negro political leaders find advantage in this nearly solid Negro and Puerto Rican district is irrelevant to our problem. Rotten boroughs were long a curse of democratic processes. Racial boroughs are also at war with democratic standards.
What we have in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Districts in Manhattan is comparable to the Electoral Register System which Britain introduced into India. That system gave a separate constituency to Sikhs, Muslims, Anglo-Indians, Europeans, and Indian Christians.
Hindus responded favorably.
Racial electoral registers, like religious ones, have no place in a society that honors the Lincoln tradition—"of the people, by the people, for the people." Here the individual is important, not his race, his creed, or his color. The principle of equality is at war with the notion that District A must be represented by a Negro, as it is with the notion that District B must be represented by a Caucasian, District C by a Jew, District D by a Catholic, and so on. Cf. Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368, 379. The racial electoral register system weights votes along one racial line more heavily than it does other votes. That system, by whatever name it is called, is a divisive force in a community, emphasizing differences between candidates and voters that are irrelevant in the constitutional sense. Of course race, like religion, plays an important role in the choices which individual voters make from among various candidates.
In Anderson v. Martin, 375 U.S. 399, we barred Louisiana from putting on a ballot opposite a Negro candidate's name the word, "Negro," as it was a device encouraging racial discrimination. When we said in that case that a State may not encourage its citizens "to vote for a candidate solely on account of race," id., at 404, I had assumed that we would hold a fortiori that no State could make an electoral district out of any racial bloc unless the electoral unit represented an actual neighborhood. Yet we violate that principle here.
When racial or religious lines are drawn by the State, the multiracial, multireligious communities that our Constitution seeks to weld together as one become separatist; antagonisms that relate to race or to religion rather than to political issues are generated; communities seek not the best representative but the best racial or religious partisan. Since that system is at war with the democratic ideal, it should find no footing here.
"Separate but equal" and "separate but better off" have no more place in voting districts than they have in schools, parks, railroad terminals, or any other facility serving the public.
MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG, with whom MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins, dissenting.
I fully agree with and join what my Brother DOUGLAS has written in dissent but wish to add these words by way of comment on the Court's opinion.
The question for decision in this case is whether appellants have sustained their burden of proving that the boundaries of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Congressional Districts of New York were purposefully drawn on racial lines. The Court resolves this question against appellants by accepting "the District Court's finding that
My difficulty with this conclusion is that the record does not support the Court's treatment of the District Court's finding. The District Court was a three-judge court and the three judges did not agree upon and, as a court, made no express findings of fact. Instead there were three separate and differing opinions. Judge Moore implied that racially segregated voting districts are constitutional absent a showing of serious under-representation or other specific harm to the individual complainants. 211 F.Supp. 460, 467-468. He also suggested that segregated voting districts could be constitutionally justified because they may enable persons of the same race or place of origin "to obtain representation in legislative bodies which otherwise would be denied to them." Id., at 467. Finally, Judge Moore intimated that factually segregated voting districts would be unconstitutional only where the legislature was "motivated or influenced" to create such districts. Ibid. To establish this motivation or influence complainants must introduce proof, and in this case no such proof was tendered by the appellants who, therefore, failed to make a case "upon the facts and the law." Id., at 468.
Judge Moore did not in my view apply the proper constitutional standard. The Constitution, I strongly believe, proscribes state-sanctioned racial segregation in legislative districting as well as in voting and in public schools and facilities. E. g., Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483; Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339; Johnson v. Virginia, 373 U.S. 61; Watson v. City of Memphis, 373 U.S. 526; Goss v. Board of Education, 373 U.S. 683; Anderson v. Martin, 375 U.S. 399. Certainly in these areas the Fourteenth Amendment "nullifies
Furthermore, as I shall point out, Judge Moore also erred in holding that in any event appellants' proof was insufficient to establish a prima facie case of unconstitutional racial districting.
Judge Feinberg disagreed both with Judge Moore's implication that segregated voting districts are constitutional absent serious under-representation and with the view that segregated districts could be constitutionally justified by alleged advantages to persons of a particular race or place of origin. Judge Feinberg stated that the "constitutional vice would be use by the legislature of an impermissible standard, and the harm to plaintiffs that need be shown is only that such a standard was used." 211 F. Supp., at 468. He then frankly acknowledged that:
Judge Feinberg, on this reasoning, cast his vote for Judge Moore's result on the ground that appellants failed to sustain the "difficult burden" of attacking the constitutionality of this statute: Even where such racially segregated districting results and complainants' evidence "might justify an inference that racial considerations motivated" the districting, still complainants fail to sustain their burden unless they also disprove every other permissible or reasonable purpose which the legislature might have had in mind.
Judge Murphy, in his dissent, agreed with Judge Feinberg as to the applicable constitutional standard. But, on Judge Murphy's view of the record, the appellants carried their burden of proving that "the legislation was solely concerned with segregating white, and colored and Puerto Rican voters by fencing colored and Puerto Rican citizens out of the 17th District and into a district of their own (the 18th)"; that the legislation had effected "obvious segregation"; and that the statute constituted a "subtle exclusion" of Negroes from the Seventeenth and a "jamming in of colored and Puerto Ricans into the 18th or the kind of segregation that appeals to the intervenors." Id., at 473-475. Accordingly, Judge Murphy thought appellants had met their burden of proving segregation and, in the absence of any proof by the State or by intervenors, were entitled to a judgment declaring the statute unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
My Brother DOUGLAS in his dissent has set forth the virtually undisputed facts. I shall not repeat them here. He has also set forth the correct constitutional standard which I believe we should unhesitatingly reaffirm and apply. On the basis of the evidence,
The question therefore recurs: What more need appellants have proved? Judge Moore apparently would have required them to introduce proof that the legislature's actual motive was to create racially segregated voting districts. Appellants, however, by their evidence established a pattern of segregation not adequately explained on a geometric, geographic, equalization, party-compromise, neighborhood or other basis. To require a showing of racial motivation in the legislature would place an impossible burden on complainants. For example, in this case the redistricting bill was recommended and submitted to the legislature on November 9, 1961, passed on November 10, 1961, and signed by the Governor on that date. No public hearings were had on the bill and no
"No proof was tendered that the Legislature in drawing the district lines in previous years was motivated or influenced by any considerations which have become unconstitutional during subsequent years. Plaintiffs wholly failed to support their allegation of `repeated and energetic efforts' to seek legislative correction or that efforts were unavailing because of unconstitutional apportionment." 211 F. Supp., at 467.
"No one who is not a Sikh, a Muhammadan, Anglo Indian, European or an Indian Christian, is entitled to be included in a Sikh, Muhammadan, Anglo Indian, European or an Indian Christian constituency respectively. No person who is entitled to be included in a Sikh, Muhammadan, Anglo Indian, European or an Indian Christian constituency will be included in the electoral roll for a General Constituency in a province."
Allocation along community lines of specified offices appears in various forms at each stratum of government. For example the President is Greek, the Vice President, Turkish. Id., Pt. I, Art. 1. "The public service shall be composed as to seventy per centum of Greeks and as to thirty per centum of Turks." Id., Pt. VII, Art. 123 (1).
Cyprus shows some of the end products of fractionalizing communities by race. After the recent riots of Turks versus Greeks, Arnold Toynbee commented on the Cyprus complex:
"Unfortunately the Cypriots have to contend with the incubus of their history, and of the memories that this history has left rankling in their minds.
"Cyprus, together with the Lebanon, is the last unpartitioned remnant of a great multi-national society, the Ottoman Empire. In the course of the last 150 years, all the rest of the vast former Ottoman dominions has been partitioned into a mosaic of national successor-states, in each of which some single nationality is now master of the house.
"Unfortunately the tide of history has run too strongly in the direction of partition on national lines, with all the woes that this inevitably entails. The mutual animosity of the intermingled peoples has been too strong; the prestige of the exotic Western political ideology of nationalism has been too potent. In the Lebanon, as well as in Cyprus, a regime requiring cooperation between different ex-Ottoman nationalities is something of a tour de force, as the recent civil war in the Lebanon showed. In Cyprus it would be utopian to hope that the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and that a little child will lead them. The truth is that there are no ex-Ottoman lambs; the ex-Ottoman peoples are all lions or tigers.
"It looks then as if in Cyprus the price of political stabilization is going to be the segregation of intermingled nationalities that are irreconcilable." Washington Post, Jan. 11, 1964, p. A8.
"The uncontradicted proof submitted by plaintiffs, however, establishes a visual figure picture of the end results of the recent redistricting of Manhattan Isle (New York County) as follows:
"Manhattan has a population of 1,698,281 people and is entitled to four congressmen. The census figures of 1960 divided the ethnic groups into only two classes—white and non-white and Puerto Rican. These classes have been counted and according to the census 1,058,589 or 62.3% are white and 639,622 or 37.7% are non-white and Puerto Rican.
"The district lines as fixed by Chapter 980 created the four districts in question with the following make-up:
Non-White and Puerto Rican Total White Population Origin Population District Population % of District of District ________ __________ ________________ _________________ 17th 382,320 362,668 94.9% 19,652 5.1% 18th 431,330 59,216 13.7% 372,114 86.3% 19th 445,175 318,223 71.5% 126,952 28.5% 20th 439,456 318,482 72.5% 120,974 27.5% _________ _________ _____ _______ _____ Total 1,698,281 1,058,589 62.3% 639,692 37.7%
"The following table shows the percent of non-white persons and persons of Puerto Rican origin in each congressional district in relation to the total number of such persons in the entire county:
% of Non-White and District Puerto Rican of County ________ ______________________ 17th 3.1% 18th 58.2% 19th 19.8% 20th 18.9% ______ 100.0%
"The figure picture of the 17th District shows that the lines as drawn encompass a population 94.9% white and 5.1% non-white and Puerto Rican. It further shows it has a population of 382,320 people, or between 15.4% and 12% less than any of the adjoining districts. The 18th District encompasses a population that is 86.3% non-white and Puerto Rican and only 13.7% white. Its population of 431,330 people is 12% more than the 17th and 5% above the state average." 211 F.Supp. 460, 472.