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Many in the media are trumpeting Hunt v. Cromartie, the Supreme Court’s latest redistricting decision, as a defeat for critics of racial gerrymandering. And indeed, the Court did reverse a determination that North Carolina had, once again, violated the Fourteenth Amendment by taking race into account in drawing district lines. However, as is indicated both by the unanmity of the decision and its authorship — by Justice Clarence Thomas, an ardent opponent of racial gerrymandering — the case really involved the conventional application of summary judgment standards to a discrimination claim. What Hunt does foreshadow is the difficult and fact-intensive nature of the inevitable post-2000 round of redistricting litigation.

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