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Democratic Equality$
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James Lindley Wilson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190914.001.0001

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Racial Vote Dilution and Gerrymandering

Racial Vote Dilution and Gerrymandering

(p.216) Chapter Nine Racial Vote Dilution and Gerrymandering
Democratic Equality

James Lindley Wilson

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores one important controversy bedeviling nonproportional, territorial-districting systems such as those that exist in the United States: the problem of racial minority vote dilution. Vote dilution is indeed a serious political injustice, and consideration conception demonstrates why. In some circumstances, districting schemes diluting minority votes reflect and promote broader deliberative neglect of certain minority groups-that is, they reflect and promote failures of consideration. Recognizing these injustices does not commit one to supporting the proportional representation of groups in the legislature. The discussions of proportional representation and vote dilution together reveal that the fair representation of groups requires a variety of forms of consideration, and that there are few institutional means that will universally guarantee those forms of consideration in all political societies. These analyses also explain what is objectionable about partisan gerrymandering—that is, efforts to draw districts to favor a particular political party. Such efforts deny various forms of consideration to supporters of other parties.

Keywords:   territorial-districting systems, vote dilution, racial minority votes, minority groups, fair representation, partisan gerrymandering, proportional representation, political injustice

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