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in a unanimous decision, the justices affirmed a ruling by a Mississippi federal court enjoining the state from using a state court-devised plan for congressional redistricting. Branch v. Smith, No. 01-1437; Smith v. Branch, No. 011596. The state had lost one congressional seat as a result of the 2000 Census. The Mississippi court fashioned its own plan when it became clear that no state plan would be in place in time to qualify congressional candidates. The justices held that the district court had properly enjoined the enforcement of the state plan because the state plan would not have been precleared by the U.S. Department of Justice by the March 1 deadline, as required by § 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Scalia wrote the court’s opinion.

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