KING, Circuit Judge:
We address, for a third time, the claims of a group of citizens from the city of Westwego, Louisiana that the form of their city's government bars Westwego's black citizens from any meaningful degree of participation in the city's political life. On the basis of the evidence presented to and the facts found by the district court, we conclude that the plaintiffs have prevailed on their claims under the Voting Rights Act. Accordingly, we reverse the district court's dismissal of their claims, render judgment in their favor, and remand for the development and implementation of an electoral scheme which will remedy the vote dilution that attends the current at-large method of electing aldermen.
I. Procedural History
The procedural history of this case has been an unfortunately prolonged one. Although more fully set out in the two prior opinions of this Court, see Westwego Citizens for Better Government v. City of Westwego, 872 F.2d 1201 (5th Cir.1989) (Westwego I) and Westwego Citizens for Better Government v. City of Westwego, 906 F.2d 1042 (5th Cir.1990) (Westwego II), it is useful to summarize that history here. Plaintiffs
This Court remanded the case for entry of specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. We held that because the district court "failed to explain its reasoning with sufficient particularity, we must remand this case to the district court so that it may make the specific findings of fact and conclusions of law necessary to support a judgment." Westwego I, 872 F.2d at 1204.
Promptly after we issued our mandate, and without any consultation with the parties or any further proceedings, the district court entered Supplemental Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Westwego II, 906 F.2d at 1043. In those supplemental findings and conclusions, the court held that the plaintiffs' case foundered for two reasons: 1) the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that blacks would constitute the majority of the voting age population of any single-member aldermanic district, and 2) the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that the white citizens of Westwego would
Within ten days of the district court's entry of its supplemental findings and conclusions, the plaintiffs moved to amend those findings and conclusions on the basis of evidence of developments in Westwego in the two years since the trial. In particular, plaintiffs wished to introduce evidence that in 1989, for the first time, a black man ran for alderman in Westwego and that the results of that (indigenous) election showed high racial polarization of the Westwego electorate. The plaintiffs also proffered evidence that under certain hypothetical single-member districting plans, a single-member aldermanic district could be created in which the black voting age population would exceed 50%, so that in those districts the black citizens of Westwego would possess the potential to elect candidates of their choice. The district court refused the plaintiffs' proffer and denied their motion. Again, the plaintiffs timely appealed.
This Court reluctantly held that it was necessary to remand the case for a second time. It was error for the district court to refuse to consider the evidence offered by the plaintiffs, and the district court still had not "explain[ed] specifically which evidence it finds credible and which it does not." Id. at 1044. Accordingly, we remanded the case to the district court "for further proceedings, including a hearing at which [the plaintiffs] will have the opportunity to adduce the evidence referred to in their motion." Id. at 1047. We specifically directed the district court to "enter supplemental findings of fact and conclusions of law on the two issues discussed and on any other issues raised by the parties and the evidence...." Id. This panel otherwise retained jurisdiction of this appeal.
On the second remand the district court held a hearing at which the plaintiffs presented their evidence and the defendants responded. Prior to the hearing both sides had submitted to the district court proposed findings of fact, and after both sides had presented their evidence, the district court announced from the bench which of the plaintiffs' and defendants' proposed findings it adopted and which it rejected. The district court did not draw any conclusions of law or enter any new judgment, believing that the limited scope of our remand did not confer jurisdiction on it to do anything but make additional findings of fact. The parties have now returned to this Court, each claiming to have prevailed.
Careful review of the entire record discloses that the district court found or the parties stipulated to the following facts.
A. Westwego and its Board of Aldermen
The city of Westwego lies just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. It has an area of one square mile, and is bisected by the West Bank Expressway, a wide highway that runs east-west. Westwego is divided by the Bureau of the Census into three tracts, numbered from south to north as 271, 272, and 273. Tract 271 contains south Westwego, below the West Bank Expressway. Tract 272 contains most of the city's population north of the Expressway, and tract 273 runs along the Mississippi River and contains some population in its western section. The central and eastern sections of Tract 273 are uninhabited. According to the 1990 census, the population of Westwego is 11,218 persons, of whom 81.6% are white and 15.6% are black. The total voting age population of the city of Westwego is 8,072 persons, of whom 85.1% are white and 12.4% are black.
No black candidate has ever been elected to the board of aldermen or to any other municipal office in Westwego. Prior to the 1989 aldermanic primary election, no black had ever run for alderman in Westwego. In 1989, Glenn Green, a black resident of Westwego and former policeman, ran for a position on the board of aldermen. Of the sixteen candidates in the 1989 primary, Green finished twelfth. He received approximately 89% of the black vote and approximately 16% of the white vote. Green did not qualify for the runoff election and was not elected to office.
B. The Districting Plans Proposed by the Plaintiffs
At trial the plaintiffs proposed three plans for dividing Westwego into single-member aldermanic districts and proposed two more plans at the hearing held on the second remand of this case. These plans were identified as Plans A through E. Two are of interest here. Plan A was the first plan the plaintiffs proposed. It was originally conceived based on 1980 census data, and contains five single-member districts. Data from the 1990 census indicates that one of the districts in Plan A would have a total black population of 59.6% and a black voting age population of 54.0%. At the hearing held on the second remand of this case, the plaintiffs proposed Plan D. Plan D is a variation on Plan A, drawn to account for population changes between 1980 and 1990. It too contains five single-member districts, and according to 1990 census data one of its districts would have a total black population of 59.1% and a black voting age population of 52.8%.
The district court found that plaintiffs' districting Plan A was "an acceptable districting scheme": that is, the plan did not disregard Westwego's historical, political, and geographic boundaries and did not require any unreasonable or objectionable gerrymandering of the city. Moreover, the district court concluded that under any of the districting plans proposed by plaintiffs, including Plans A and D, a black candidate would have a better opportunity to be elected alderman than under the at-large scheme.
C. Racial Polarization of the Westwego Electorate
Both plaintiffs and defendants presented expert testimony on the voting patterns of
On many issues the experts were in agreement. Both experts performed bivariate ecological linear regression analyses of results from several elections. Both experts analyzed results from both exogenous and indigenous elections. Both experts testified that the degree of racial polarization of the Westwego electorate should not vary between exogenous and indigenous elections.
Based on the testimony of the experts, the district court concluded that black voters in Westwego vote cohesively. This conclusion was based in part on the fact that the exogenous elections studied by Dr. Rose displayed racial polarization of the Westwego electorate. In particular, the district court found that the results from the 1984 Democratic Party presidential primary election, which included a black candidate — Jesse Jackson — and the results from four recent parish-wide elections — each of which included one black candidate — exhibited racial polarity among the Westwego electorate. The district court further found that in every election which included a viable black candidate, the election results revealed that the Westwego electorate is racially polarized. The court also noted for the record that defendants' expert Dr. Wildgen conceded at trial that no black candidate could be elected alderman under Westwego's current at-large system of electing aldermen.
This concession was borne out by the testimony of plaintiffs' expert Dr. Rose at the hearing held on the second remand of the case. Dr. Rose testified that the results from Glenn Green's electoral bid were consistent with his prior testimony — that is, that Green would not be a viable candidate under the existing at-large system, but that he could win in a single-member district with a black voting majority. After reviewing the results from the 1989 aldermanic primary, Dr. Rose testified that if Green had run for alderman in the black majority district created by any of the plaintiffs' proposed districting plans, Green would have finished first in that district and won a seat on the board of aldermen. The district court did not offer any further remark on this portion of Dr. Rose's evidence beyond its general statement that it found Dr. Rose's testimony to be credible.
The defendants do not dispute that the elections which included black candidates reveal racial polarization among the Westwego electorate. Rather, they argue that elections which included no black candidates exhibit no evidence of racial polarity. The plaintiffs agreed with this aspect of the defendants' case, and the district court found that when there were no black candidates in an election, that election showed no racial polarization of Westwego's voters.
D. Other Factual Findings
As directed by this Court in our mandates remanding the case, the district court made specific findings with respect to a variety of other factors relevant to a section 2 claim.
1. History of Discrimination
All parties stipulated to the trial testimony of Dr. Raphael Cassimere, Jr. in Citizens for a Better Gretna v. City of Gretna, 636 F.Supp. 1113 (E.D.La.1986), aff'd, 834 F.2d 496 (5th Cir.1987), cert. denied, 492 U.S. 905, 109 S.Ct. 3213, 106 L.Ed.2d 564 (1989). In Gretna Dr. Cassimere testified that there was a long history of racial discrimination in Louisiana and Jefferson Parish. As had the district court in Gretna, the district court in this case found Dr. Cassimere's testimony to be "entirely credible." As the court put it, "[t]he unfortunate history of racial discrimination in Louisiana (and the South in general) is a matter of common knowledge."
2. The Lingering Effects of Discrimination
The district court also found that blacks in Westwego continue to bear the effects of discrimination. In particular, the district court noted that there was a "significant gap between the socioeconomic status of blacks in Westwego and that of whites," and that "data collected by both parties reveals that housing in Westwego remains largely racially segregated." Both of these findings are well supported by the evidence. Data from the 1990 census shows that almost 50% of all of Westwego's black citizens live in a seven-block area in the central portion of the city. Another large segment of Westwego's black population lives in a small area near the river in the northeastern part of the city.
Moreover, the parties stipulated to several facts that reveal all too clearly that the black citizens of Westwego continue to bear the heavy burdens of past racial discrimination. By almost any measure, the black families of Westwego are less well off than their white neighbors. The median family income for whites residing in Westwego is $15,879; the median family income for blacks residing in Westwego is $8,562. Of all the white families residing in Westwego, 12.8% live below the poverty line; of the black families residing in Westwego, 43.3% live below the poverty line. Of the whites over 16 years of age in the labor force in Westwego, 4.4% are unemployed; of the blacks over the age of 16 in the Westwego labor force, 10.9% are unemployed.
In addition, the statistics indicate that black families are less likely to own their own homes and less likely to own a car. Of the white housing units in Westwego, 41.4% are renter-occupied; of the black housing units, 65.1% are renter-occupied. Of the white occupied housing units in Westwego, 16.1% have no vehicle available; of the black occupied housing units in Westwego, 42.9% have no vehicle available.
3. Westwego's Local Politics
Heeding the Supreme Court's directive that section 2 vote dilution claims require a "flexible, fact-intensive" inquiry into the "past and present reality" of the political process, Gingles, 106 S.Ct. at 2764, both plaintiffs and defendants offered evidence of past and present political realities in Westwego. The district court did not discuss, either to credit or discount, any of this evidence. Accordingly, this Court has before it no findings to review. It is appropriate to survey some of the evidence presented, however, as it does bear on other findings made by the district court.
All five of Westwego's current aldermen and its mayor testified at the hearing held on the second remand of this case. Review of their testimony and materials from some of their political campaigns (put into evidence by the defendants) indicates that under the current at-large system, to gain a seat on the board of aldermen a potential candidate must join and be active in certain civic organizations. While the aldermen mentioned several organizations, three appear to be particularly influential: the Volunteer Fire Department, the Young Men's Business Club, and the Westwego Civic
The testimony of Westwego's current officeholders indicates that these influential civic organizations are not equally open to all of Westwego's citizens. The Young Men's Business Club has no black members. The Westwego Civic Association has no black members. Until 1981, the Volunteer Fire Department's by-laws restricted membership to males of "pure white race." Glenn Green was the first black man admitted to the Volunteer Fire Department, and then only after four years of efforts to obtain membership. The Volunteer Fire Department now has three black members. Green has attempted to join the Westwego Civic Association; to do so, he must convince some current member to sponsor his application and then receive a majority of the votes of the members. So far, he has been unable to find a sponsor.
III. The Voting Rights Act, Vote Dilution, and Thornburg v. Gingles
To prevail on a claim of vote dilution under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,
A. The First Gingles Factor: The Size and Compactness of Westwego's Black Population
In our prior opinions in this case, we have been unable to determine from the
B. The Second Gingles Factor: The Political Cohesiveness of Westwego's Black Population
Usually, plaintiffs in a vote dilution case will attempt to establish both the second and third Gingles factors with statistical evidence of racial polarization of the electorate. As this Court put it in Westwego I, "[e]vidence of racially polarized voting `is the linchpin of a section 2 vote dilution claim,' and is relevant to establishing two of the three elements set forth in the Gingles decision — the political cohesiveness of the minority group and the ability of the white majority usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate." 872 F.2d at 1207 (quoting Citizens For a Better Gretna v. Gretna, 834 F.2d 496, 499 (5th Cir. 1987)).
C. The Third Gingles Factor: The Voting Patterns of Westwego's White Majority
Just as evidence of racial polarity in the electorate can satisfy the second Gingles requirement, so can it satisfy the third — that the white majority votes cohesively enough to cause it usually to defeat the candidates preferred by the racial or ethnic minority. Despite its conclusion that the Westwego electorate is racially polarized, however, the district court found at trial, and reiterated on the first remand of this case, that "plaintiffs have not sustained their burden to prove that whites would vote as a bloc to defeat a black candidate for alderman in Westwego." On the second remand of this case the district court stated its belief that our mandate prohibited it from addressing this finding again; accordingly, the district court did not revisit this finding, either to repudiate it or to confirm its continuing validity.
In a section 2 claim, as in federal actions generally, the district court's findings of fact are subject to review only for clear error. Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a); Gingles, 106 S.Ct. at 2781; Jones v. City of Lubbock, 727 F.2d 364, 371 (5th Cir.1984). A finding of fact is "clearly erroneous" only when although there may be evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. Campos v. City of Baytown, Texas, 840 F.2d 1240, 1243 (5th Cir.1988).
First, we note that the district court's finding that whites would not vote as a bloc does not take into account any of the evidence offered by plaintiffs at the hearing on the second remand of this case. In particular, the district court's finding does
Moreover, even at the time it was entered, the district court's finding was, on the record, at odds with its other findings in regard to racial polarization of the Westwego electorate. The district court found that every election which included a viable black candidate exhibited racial polarization. The court did not explain how, in the face of that evidence, which it fully accepted, it could conclude that whites in Westwego did not vote as a bloc.
In sum, this Court holds that the evidence in the entire record unmistakably demonstrates that white voters in Westwego do vote as a bloc, so that they usually defeat the candidates preferred by Westwego's black voters. Assuming the district court's finding to the contrary survived the latest remand of this case, its finding is clearly erroneous. The plaintiffs have established the third and last of the Gingles threshold factors.
IV. The Totality of the Circumstances
The question which the court must answer in a section 2 case is whether "as a result of the challenged practice or structure plaintiffs do not have an equal opportunity to participate in the political processes and to elect candidates of their choice." Gingles, 478 U.S. at 44, 106 S.Ct. at 2763. See also Westwego I, 872 F.2d at 1204. While it is widely recognized that "multimember district and at-large voting schemes may operate to minimize or cancel out the voting strength of racial minorities in the voting population," such schemes are not per se violative of section 2. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 47, 106 S.Ct. at 2765; Westwego I, 872 F.2d at 1204. Rather, the determination whether Westwego's at-large election scheme violates section 2 "depends upon a searching practical evaluation of the past and present reality" and on a "functional view of the political process." Gingles, 478 U.S. at 45, 106 S.Ct. at 2763; Westwego I, 872 F.2d at 1204.
Thus, once the court has established that the plaintiffs have met each of the threshold requirements identified in Gingles, it must inquire in some detail into the past and present reality of the challenged electoral structure and the community which employs it. In general, several factors are relevant to this inquiry. The legislative history of the Voting Rights Act identifies nine.
A. History of Discrimination
As noted above, the district court found that Louisiana and the South in general had a long history of racial discrimination. In addition, the district court found "entirely credible" the stipulated testimony of Dr. Cassimere regarding racial discrimination in Louisiana and Jefferson Parish. Further, the district court stated that "Westwego is not an island in itself in the history of Louisiana in terms of discrimination." Nevertheless, at trial the district court found that plaintiffs had not presented any evidence of discrimination in Westwego. The district court added: "I say again as I have said before, that for the last 20 years — and certainly, I confidently say for 15 — there is no indication that that [history of discrimination] continues."
In Westwego I this Court addressed the district court's findings and remarks on the issue of the history of discrimination in Westwego.
872 F.2d at 1211-12. In light of these instructions, on the first remand of this case the district court did not reiterate its personal opinion that discrimination has been eradicated in Westwego in the last 15 or 20 years. The district court did persist, however, in its conclusion that the plaintiffs had presented no evidence of discrimination specific to Westwego. On the second remand of this case, the district court did not address itself to the issue of the history of discrimination in Westwego.
There can be no question that the district court clearly erred when it found that the plaintiffs had presented no evidence of a history of discrimination in Westwego. Indeed, such a finding is fundamentally inconsistent with several of the district court's other findings. For instance, the district court found "entirely credible" the testimony of Dr. Cassimere, which recounted in some detail the history of discrimination in Louisiana and Jefferson Parish, with particular emphasis on voting-related discrimination. See Gretna, 636 F.Supp. at 1116-1118. Dr. Cassimere also testified that schools in Jefferson Parish remained segregated until 1971, and that black schools were inferior to white schools. Id. Further, the district court acknowledged the long history of discrimination in Louisiana, and affirmatively stated that, in terms of discrimination, Westwego was "not an island in itself." Moreover, the district
On the basis of the record before us, this Court can come to no other conclusion but that the plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated that a history of discrimination in Louisiana, Jefferson Parish, and Westwego has combined with the existing political structures in Westwego to "perpetuate a historical lack of access to the political system." The evidence presented — and indeed, the district court's own findings — admit of no other result. The district court clearly erred when it found that plaintiffs had presented no evidence of a history of discrimination in Westwego.
B. Racial Polarization
As discussed above,
C. Lingering Effects of Discrimination
As stipulated to by the parties and found by the district court, Westwego's black citizens, inheritors of a long history of discrimination, continue to suffer significant disabilities. As noted,
D. The Extent to Which Blacks Have Been Elected to Office in Westwego
As noted above, the Supreme Court has held that the two most important factors to consider in inquiring into the totality of the circumstances in a section 2 claim are 1) whether the electorate is racially polarized, and 2) whether, under the challenged electoral practice, the minority group has been able to elect candidates of its choice. Gingles, 106 S.Ct. at 2765 n. 15. The plaintiffs have made strong showings on both: the degree of racial polarization is discussed above, and the parties have stipulated that no black has ever been elected to municipal office in Westwego. The only black man to run for alderman, Glenn Green, finished twelfth in a field of sixteen candidates (despite getting 89% of the black vote).
E. Other Factors
Finally, the legislative history of the Voting Rights Act identifies two factors which may be of limited relevance when inquiring into the totality of the circumstances: 1) the responsiveness of elected officials to the needs of the minority community, and 2) the political subdivision's justification for
The district court initially found that the policy underlying Westwego's at-large election scheme was not tenuous. At the trial of this action, and again on the first remand, the district court found that the defendants
Although we expressed some misgivings about this conclusion in our prior opinion, see Westwego I, 872 F.2d at 1212, we need not revisit the issue. The parties now agree that Louisiana law prohibits aldermen from serving as department heads and have stipulated that that practice has ended in Westwego. Accordingly, the district court's initial finding that the at-large system was justified by "concerns of administrative efficiency" no longer finds any support in the evidence. Moreover, the defendants have not argued that there is any other policy or interest served by the at-large system. The district court did not revisit this issue on the second remand of this case. We assume, therefore, that there is no longer any issue in this case with respect to the policy underlying Westwego's at-large system.
The plaintiffs have clearly established the existence of several of the factors relevant to an inquiry into the totality of the circumstances. No blacks have ever been elected to any municipal office in Westwego; the electorate is racially polarized; Westwego, like Jefferson Parish and Louisiana generally, has a long history of discrimination; the black citizens of Westwego continue to bear the effects of that history of discrimination. After reviewing the entire record, this Court is firmly and definitely convinced that the plaintiffs have demonstrated, under the totality of the circumstances, that these conditions interact with Westwego's at-large election scheme to dilute the voting power of Westwego's black citizens in violation of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
V. The Remedy
Having proven that the current at-large electoral scheme impermissibly dilutes the voting strength of Westwego's black citizens, the plaintiffs are entitled to a remedy. Plaintiffs urge this Court to order Westwego to implement a single-member districting plan along the lines of their proposed Plan D, and to order Westwego to hold a special election under that plan. We must decline.
The Supreme Court has made clear that state legislatures have "primary jurisdiction" over legislative apportionment. White v. Weiser, 412 U.S. 783, 795, 93 S.Ct. 2348, 2354, 37 L.Ed.2d 335 (1973). Thus, "reapportionment is primarily a matter for legislative consideration and determination.... [J]udicial relief becomes appropriate only when a legislature fails to reapportion according to federal constitutional requisites in a timely fashion after having had an adequate opportunity to do so." Id., 412 U.S. at 794-95, 93 S.Ct. at 2354 (quoting Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 586, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 1394, 12 L.Ed.2d 506 (1964)). See also Wise v. Lipscomb, 437 U.S. 535, 539, 98 S.Ct. 2493, 2497, 57 L.Ed.2d 411 (1978) ("The Court has repeatedly held that redistricting and reapportioning legislative bodies is a legislative task which the federal courts should make every effort not to
Moreover, these principles do not apply only to state legislatures: this Court has repeatedly held that it is appropriate to give affected political subdivisions at all levels of government the first opportunity to devise remedies for violations of the Voting Rights Act. See, e.g., East Jefferson Coalition for Leadership & Development v. Parish of Jefferson, 926 F.2d 487, 490 (5th Cir.1991) (affirming district court's decision, after finding Parish's existing system caused impermissible vote dilution, to impose redistricting plan drawn by Parish); Citizens for a Better Gretna v. City of Gretna, 834 F.2d 496, 504 (5th Cir.1987) (affirming district court's decision to afford city first opportunity to propose plan to remedy vote dilution caused by at-large election of board of aldermen); Cook v. Luckett, 735 F.2d 912, 918 (5th Cir.1984) (county supervisors had jurisdiction over county apportionment).
Westwego's board of aldermen has primary jurisdiction over Westwego's electoral system. It must be left to that body to develop, in the first instance, a plan which will remedy the dilution of the votes of the city's black citizens.
Accordingly, this Court will again remand this case to the district court. The district court is directed to give the City of Westwego 120 days to develop and submit to the United States Attorney General, in accord with section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a plan to remedy the current vote dilution. If and when the plan submitted is precleared, the district court shall review the plan to determine whether it rectifies the current vote dilution and otherwise complies with the law. If Westwego does not develop and have precleared a remedial plan in a timely fashion, or if the district court determines that the plan proposed by Westwego does not comply with section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or other provisions of law, the court shall determine what remedial plan to impose, whether of the plaintiffs' or its own design.
This Court has every confidence that the City of Westwego will promptly and in good faith develop a plan that remedies the current violation of section 2, and that the district court will insure that this Court's mandate is fully and faithfully executed. Of course, should events prove otherwise, plaintiffs may again resort to this Court by means of an appropriate filing, including, if necessary, a petition for a writ of mandamus. This panel shall retain jurisdiction of this case solely to the extent that any future filing with this Court shall be returned to this panel.
Finally, the district court shall also determine on remand whether the plaintiffs are entitled to an award of court costs and attorneys' fees, and, if so, in what amount.
The time has come for Westwego to leave behind its at-large system of electing aldermen, a system which has effectively barred the black citizens of Westwego from any meaningful role in Westwego's government. The judgment of the district
REVERSED, RENDERED, AND REMANDED.
Although the district court did not so indicate — indeed, the district court did not remark at all on the evidence concerning the civic organizations in Westwego — it seems apparent that the fact that none of these organizations officially endorses candidates is a primary reason for the district court's finding that there is not now and has never been a slating process in Westwego.
42 U.S.C. § 1973.
First, it must be remembered that the defendants have conceded that the statistical evidence of racial polarity demonstrates that Westwego's black citizens vote cohesively. The only question, therefore, is whether that same evidence demonstrates that Westwego's white citizens also vote cohesively enough to cause them usually to defeat the candidates preferred by Westwego's black citizens.
Second, it is important not to lose sight of what the plaintiffs must prove. In a strict sense, the Gingles factors do not oblige the plaintiffs to prove that the Westwego electorate is racially polarized. All that Gingles and the decisions of this Court require is that the plaintiffs prove that the majority group votes as bloc such that it usually defeats the candidates preferred by the minority group. While statistical evidence of racial polarization is most commonly employed to make this showing, this Court, as noted above, see supra note 12, has held that such statistical evidence is not required.
Third, this Court has already addressed and rejected the defendants' arguments concerning the plaintiffs' reliance on the results of exogenous elections. As we explained in Westwego I, "evidence from [exogenous] elections may be used to support a vote dilution claim where evidence from the specific electoral system at issue is sparse...." 872 F.2d at 1208 n. 7. Thus, "[t]o the extent that [the defendants' position asserts] that plaintiffs could not, as a matter of law, make out a vote dilution claim based on evidence of racially polarized voting drawn from elections other than the aldermanic elections themselves, this view is incorrect under both Gingles and Citizens for a Better Gretna." Id. at 1208. Moreover, the plaintiffs here rely not only on evidence drawn from the voting patterns of Westwego precincts in the 1984 presidential primary election and various parishwide elections, but also on evidence from an indigenous election — Glenn Green's attempt to become an alderman in Westwego's most recent election.
Fourth, the district court properly discredited much of the defendants' expert's analysis of voting patterns because that analysis focussed primarily on elections which included no black candidates. As we noted in Westwego I, "the evidence most probative of racially polarized voting must be drawn from elections including both black and white candidates." 872 F.2d at 1208 n. 7. "[W]hen there are only white candidates to choose from it is `virtually unavoidable that certain white candidates would be supported by a large percentage ... of black voters.'" Id. (quoting Gretna, 834 F.2d at 502). Thus, it is not particularly surprising — and not particularly probative — that analysis of elections that included only white candidates did not reveal any racial polarization. "Evidence of black support for white candidates in an all-white field ... tells us nothing about the tendency of white bloc voting to defeat black candidates." Id. See also Campos v. City of Baytown, Texas, 840 F.2d 1240, 1245 (5th Cir.1988) ("The district court was warranted in its focus on those races that had a minority member as a candidate.").
S.Rep. No. 417, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. 28-29 (1982), reprinted in 1982 U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 177, 206-07. Additional factors which may be of limited relevance in some cases are
Id. See also Seastrunk v. Burns, 772 F.2d 143, 150 (5th Cir.1985); Jones v. City of Lubbock, 727 F.2d 364, 379 (5th Cir.1984) (responsiveness and policy underlying challenged practice are of "limited relevance").