Beer v. United States

In Beer v. United States, 425 U.S. 130 (1976), the Court found that the reapportionment plan at issue enhanced the position of Negro voters, since it increased the number of districts in which they constituted a majority. 425 U.S., at 141-142. The Court stated its holding as follows: "We conclude. . . that such an ameliorative new legislative apportionment cannot violate 5 unless the new apportionment itself so discriminates on the basis of race or color as to violate the Constitution." Id., at 141. That the Court viewed the ameliorative nature of the reapportionment as central to its holding is confirmed by footnote 14 of the opinion, which states: "It is possible that a legislative reapportionment could be a substantial improvement over its predecessor in terms of lessening racial discrimination, and yet nonetheless continue so to discriminate on the basis of race or color as to be unconstitutional." Id., at 142, n. 14.