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In 1992, when I filed a lawsuit attacking North Carolina's recently enacted congressional redistricting plan, my premise was that drawing a plan for a racially-defined purpose violates equal protection and for this reason and others is unconstitutional. Having now argued four appeals before the Supreme Court concerning North Carolina's redistricting, I still believe in the correctness of my original premise; but, in addition, I am concerned that districts drawn with a predominantly racial purpose tend to polarize our society, discourage the formation of multiracial coalitions, and, in the long run, to harm even those they are intended to protect. I also have observed subterfuges designed to mask the presence of a racial motive by describing it as political. Because concealment of motive occurs frequently and often can be readily undertaken, I-like many others-have become increasingly skeptical that legislators can put aside racial gerrymandering, and I am now persuaded that the best approach is to create independent commissions to draw redistricting plans. This Article seeks to provoke discussion of some of the issues posed by racial gerrymandering and to challenge some views that I believe are too readily accepted.

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