Charles M. Tolbert, II, Forrest A. Deseran, and Troy C. Blanchard



Communities of Interest, Social Justice, and Congressional Redistricting: The Case of Louisiana’s Fourth District in the 1990s

Authors Charles Tolbert, Forrest Deseran, and Troy Blanchard recount their efforts, on behalf of the Clinton Justice Department, to conduct research and serve as expert witnesses in litigation (Hays v. Louisiana) over congressional redistricting. The case centered on an attempt to create a majority African American electoral district in Louisiana. The authors cite the late federal judge, A. Leon Higginbotham, to explain why they believe that the creation of “majority-minority” electoral districts is fundamental to the promotion of social justice: “In the context of American history and contemporary reality, minority-majority districting is often the only way of fully achieving the pluralist aspirations of American politics and remedying the longstanding exclusion of African Americans from full participation in government.” Their article focuses on their analytical approach and the statistical results of their social demographic research on the fourth congressional district in Louisiana, as well their interactions with the Department of Justice legal team and their experiences in depositions in federal court.

congressional redistricting, Hays v. Louisiana, African American exclusion, social demographic research, statistics, Clinton administration

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003): 91-107