A VRA Claim in Pennsylvania?

Rick noted that there’s been some talk of a VRA challenge to the new Pennsylvania congressional districts. An initial obstacle to such a claim is that the relevant new districts are nearly identical, demographically, to their predecessors. PlanScore’s pages for the old and new plans include the most up-to-date minority citizen voting-age population (CVAP) shares for all of the districts. The old plan had one black-majority district (District 2, 57.5% black CVAP) and one arguable coalition district (District 1, 33.3% black CVAP, 12.6% Hispanic CVAP). The new plan also has one black-majority district (District 3, 57.3% CVAP) and one arguable coalition district (District 2, 25.3% black CVAP, 19.7% Hispanic CVAP). It seems unlikely that if the old districts didn’t dilute minorities’ votes, the new ones, with their almost indistinguishable minority CVAP shares, would. (This is to say nothing of all the other hurdles a VRA claim would face: showing that two compact majority-minority districts could be drawn in the area, proving sufficient racial polarization in voting, demonstrating political cohesion between black and Hispanic voters, and so on.)


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