tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 22, 2016 6:03pm-8:01pm EST
would ship you things like this avocado farmer sent us a box full of avocados as a thank you for doing something, and so to me, a lot of the highs were feeling that we had made people's lives better with the thing we invented. how would say the lowes word, there were two forms of low, one was running out of money, that sucks. another was running out of money and doing anything to keep that company alive. that company is more important than anything you would be willing to cut your credit cards and borrow money and sleep on couches and go without pay. my cofounder went without pay for six months, it's not like we could afford it, it's just that we had to. the pressure to get to the next level and fund ourselves, we always survived those things, thankfully, but those were one
of the lowes for the other low had to do with people. i really had to do with when things aren't working and when people can get along with each other, and i will say some of the greatest things were people. two years ago we had the 20th anniversary of the sale of our company, and at the time we had 100 employees and i had a barbecue at my house and 32 people came who had been employed in so many people, all of us in many of us still keep in constant touch. the idea that we forged these incredibly close relationships, we were like family and that really is one of the highs. i think because you go through those incredibly tough times, going through those tough times as the strongest way to forge a relationship with somebody. to this day they remain my closest friends.
>> what i like to talk now is about technology and innovation, with software and web security and innovation is the lifeblood but i would love to hear a story that gives a window into how you are able to not only have the first innovative idea or process, but the next one. what has been behind being able to have sustained innovation? >> i've been doing this for seven and half years. a group of us worked on it for your half before we started. i'm seven and half years in. this is not an overnight success by any means. i have seen so many people sell their companies, leave their companies and people change jobs in seven and a half years. just think about yourself.
i often get asked, how do you do it. there are a lot of people who want to start companies because they want to be a founder. i think that's the worst reason to start a company. being employee number 50000 at facebook would have been a wonderful choice because look at where facebook has gone and they need really smart entrepreneurial people to make that happen. we are 300 people, we've done a great job that we've just scratched the surface of what's possible. we need great people to come and execute and everyone plays a huge role in making it happen. people just want to start a company because they feel like they want to be the founder. i like being a founder of a company that does nothing but doesn't have any impact really sucks and no one talks about that. i've seen people who said say it really sucks to build a company that no one uses and you get stuck in a rut but no one talks about it.
the things that do work, the questions i do think you should ask yourself is are you solving a meaningful problem and can you assemble the right group of people to really execute on that idea. that's where it starts. a lot of people are solving problems that aren't meaningful, or they're not doing the right things to attract the people you need to execute. you need both the big idea and the right people to execute. you often hear people have big egos who can execute or they're working on things that don't matter. are we solving a real problem, to use steve jobs quote, what are you going to do to make a dent in the universe. people laughed at us. what were doing that and we are
on our way and it's kind of these big audacious crazy ideas, but it was a really big idea that if you're right it would really impact a lot and so that's what we think about and if you're an entrepreneur, really easy questions to ask yourself and be honest with yourself about the answer. if the answer is no, if it's a small idea and you can get your hands around it you should go work at a big company because there will be another great opportunity. >> that's just one perspective. >> i think it's an excellent perspective. most of the great entrepreneurs that i have had the pleasure to work with have been people who recognize the problem and go out to solve it. i would say one of the reasons our company survived for 14 years is because honestly we
started at a spreadsheet company so we wouldn't have survived if that's all we ever do. i said this is the future. then when i wasn't so much the future anymore and we said this internet thing we think will be big and we started working on ideas for what we could do with the internet and we came up with the idea for remote ordering and printing it did that and ultimately sold the company. we went through many iterations, but i would would say two things. one we were looking for problems to solve, we had some ideas and we started with a problem that obviously my brother was solving over and over again with customers, but we also had the advantage of being here. we get to see things like pre-released versions of things we get to understand things and
live in the world where people are walking around with more powerful devices and internet connectivity, except if you live in woodside which actually the internet and cell coverage sucks there. it always surprises me but we get to understand what's coming down the line and i think the creativity is ,-comma what nativity can we solve knowing where this technology is going to be in a year. the one difference that i beg to differ with which is, i actually work for a firm whose motto is think big. we always they were looking for big ideas. one thing about venture capital, it's a a funding mechanism to fund really big things, and i won't go into it. if you want to learn all about that there's a book called
venture deals, everything you want to know where whatever it is. it's great book and for anyone who wants to raise venture, go buy that book and read it and you know everything that would take me a few hours to tell me in tell you and i wouldn't cover it all. venture is not for everyone. the vast majority of companies should not be venture backed companies because they are not intending to have multi- hundred dollar outcomes. that said there are numbers of companies were solving what some companies might say is a small problem. i can't tell you how many people go out and say i have a problem, i'm in in a create an app for my problem on my god, other people may have this problem and may use this app too. it might be a really niche problem, but if there but the person with that problem it's an awesome thing. the thing i describe is if you're an entrepreneur and you go out and do that and you write an app and you can sell 250,000 a year of that app and you
charge a dollar for it, you are going to have an amazing life. if you raised million dollars to do that your life is going to suck. i don't think just because your idea is that the biggest in the universe that it makes it a bad idea. think number one are you passionate about it, is it worthy of your time, another entrepreneur that i just adore says is it important enough that it's worthy of all your time, if it's not worthy of all your time to do it and don't do it. but it might be worthy of all your time even if it isn't going to make venture capitalist a bunch of money, and might solve a really important problem for important set of people that you care about including, maybe your own problems. just understand what it is, why you're doing it, and therefore how big is the market
opportunity, how big how much money can you afford to put into it, are you suitable for venture vesting, don't don't have unrealistic expectations about what you're going to do if it isn't of venture packable, ipo company. i feel like in silicon valley at the disease. the first first thing you do is print t-shirt and then you go to sandhill because god for bid you can start a company without venture capital. mike brother and i boosted up my company for six years before we ever taken venture capital. now yes it took us six years to get there, but sometimes i say let the let's imagine venture capital didn't exasperate how would you get this company going because that's how most of the world starts companies. it is not, i sound like an anti-venture capitalist, venture capitalist, but it really is, my
favorite kind of funding is customer funding because here's why it's not dilutive. you can sell stuff to customers and still owned 100% of your company. that is super awesome. it is also validating, product markets that we all talk about trying to find product market fit, the best way is to make a product and convince someone to pay you for it. that proves you have product market fit. so finding customers that are willing to work with you is the purest form of venture financing that includes everyone to think about that is your first way to make money, not your last way. >> thought-provoking. >> it's clearly not for the faint of heart and we often celebrate success, but maybe we don't often enough talk about failure. you both talked about a time
when things didn't go as planned and if we had stopped at that moment it would've been failure, but was it? what did you learn, how did you recover and go forward? let's start with you. >> in venture, not all companies succeed, right. actually the statistics used to be that more than half of venture investments never return the capital invested. it's the outliers that make up for the difference which is why people keep investing in venture half of the entrepreneurs will not have a successful outcome. i think for me a lot of it is understanding the risks of the game you're going into, knowing you will have to work your off that this is not easy and you
will live and die to make it happen. as much as i have respect for people who start companies and have kids and a family and spouses, i respect that but i didn't have any of that until way late in my entrepreneurial career. i don't know how people do that, it's hard, honestly it's hard to do, it doesn't mean you can't do it. i think that you have to have tenacity and since we have a lot of women i would generally say there is gender bias and you will have more doors slammed in your face. it's just the honest truth, you will. if if you are not going to change who you are, and i really believe that being a woman can be moved to, but somebody's in your face, you have to be willing to knock the blood off your face and go knock on the next-door. people who don't have that drive
to not fail and not take it personally will be beaten into submission. for me that tenacity, which is my word, i love the word tenacity because i really believe those days are really dark and you have to get up the next day. that is my life as an entrepreneur. my life as a venture capitalist, when things don't always work out, the thing that i think is important to do is recognize reality and redefine what success is in that reality. for example there are a lot of companies in silicon valley, here's my joke. i meet an entrepreneur and the great news is that he built a nice $10 million company. the bad news news is you blew through $50000 doing it. there are those, trust me, there are those who are out there. the reality is they're unhappy
because they're not going to make money on the deal. they're coming into work every day and he or she knows they have this overhang that are not to be able to overcome and they don't know what to do but they're still money in the bank so let's whisper to us not a problem until the money runs out. the good news is if you're profitable, you can live forever. if not profitable, that, that money will run out eventually and it will be bad. one of the things i try to do is go to the stakeholders and say let's redefined what this looks like. okay maybe we don't get all our money back but maybe we get half of it back and let's think about employees and the other stakeholders and let's try to figure out if there is a win that we can affect even if it isn't the win we all hoped it would be. sometimes people are relieved to hear people talking like that. sometimes people are insulted or there isn't a win.
for whatever reason the structure is in place that crushes under the weight. every structure is different. what i would say to all of you is that structure and money, all that aside, we are all people. i know it sounds like a super hallmark card but were all people and we work with our goals and aspirations and our investors feel that way and our employees feel that way and if you can just sort of peel the onion in a problem situation and get to the root of it, you very often can find a solution. you had to give up your fantasy that you will be that person on the forklift. unfortunately that's hard fantasy for people to give up. >> thank you.
failure, the thing everyone loves to talk about. our job is to make the internet faster and safer around the world. we have a lot of customers, a lot of internet companies that use it, back in 2121 of our customers had a large attack in our network engineer had a bug in our vendor software that not only to that off-line but our whole network off-line which meant for 45 minutes, from 215 until 3:00 a.m., all of our customers which is about 2 million websites at the time of 1.5 were off-line which is the exact opposite of making it faster and safer. they were not assessable. that was the first time and it
was very stressful so they immediately realize something was wrong and called for help through our escalation service and the team jumped on and while they solved the problem, the support team got a flood of in flurry, twitter blew up. 1 million websites is a lot of websites, people noticed. some people went into the office , somewhere on a ski trip, we all jumped in and rallied. forty-five minutes later oliver network had been reset and the site back online and we reply to all of the customer service
ticket and we headed up by four in the six in the morning. we had information of about what we were doing and how it would be prevented from happening in the future again. we were so embarrassed and whatnot, but the question in these situations is how much do you share. we were very transparent. we told him exactly what went wrong, we told them the exact rule that we had pushed to the router, it was a piece of software that had a bug in it, but it doesn't matter. it was still our problem. we had what we were doing to safeguards and again and we refunded a lot of our paying customers and we really did the right thing and we lost customers but i think we gain more customers because of the way we handled it. this is one of the things, when you're the leader and at the end
of the day your customers are people. we didn't throw them under the bus. they were trying to do the right thing and they asked for help right away and it was a full team effort. that is just one of many stories i have of where we failed, it's like in life ,-comma what can we learn from this. if you're always getting better, then you're in a good spot and that's how we think about it. >> great story. thank you. >> i like to to read a quote from president obama who recently spoke here at stamford in june. he said starting your business is not easy. you have to have access to capital. you have to meet the right people and have mentors and that can be difficult for women and young people and minorities and others who have and always had access to the same networks and
opportunities. you deserve the same chance to succeed as everyone else. you have to make sure everyone has a fair shot to reach their potential. you can't leave more than half the team on the bench. reaction or,? >> g, that's a pretty true statement. one buffet always says it's silly to ignore women because you give up half of the brain trust. then he said it's actually more than half of the brain trust. that's one of the things i love about him. i do think things are changing, i think rooms like this are hoping that happened. there is evidence that is happening. there are more more women entrepreneurs and women on the venture side. there's diversity at every level. i fundamentally believe in diversity.
i think it creates stronger biology's and stronger systems. i'm a big believer in it. that said silicon valley has been a machine that kicks out certain kind of companies in certain kind of and printers and they tend to come from central casting. have my undergrad w from mit and i worked at google and i got my mba from stanford harvard, but you go to get your mba and then you come back and you become a product manager and then you start your company. we need to break that mold. one of the things that's very powerful is that a lot of the entrepreneurship is building the infrastructure. it's building the guts on which all of these great consumer apps get to live.
most people get on the website everyday don't know that you exist, nor do you want them to. we only know when the wrong code gets pushed in and they can't get on their gaming site or their shopping or whatever their new site or whatever. there's a reason why technology entrepreneurship was sort of dominated by a particular class, a certain kind of education and a certain kind of job trajectory, but if you look at today, i think that because of things like you've built, there are many entrepreneurs who don't have to know how this technology works in order to start really interesting companies that you really interesting things, because they can rely on other
things in various level of abstraction that takes the technology further and further away from the application of usage. you have people have brilliant ideas. i used to say, hey, i don't have to know how to build a barge to get use of a car. i can drive one, i can sit in one, a car can be useful to me if i don't have a driver's license. i think more and more were seeing people elicit the technology and see if i can use can use this to solve a problem, but i don't have to be this. that's what were seeing more more diversity in the entrepreneurial pool. no one has a lock on great problems to solve. that is not the domain of purely engineers. i think we can all think of great problems that we need to solve and more and more people are going out and feeling empowered to tackle those problems.
>> it's funny take a while and i will have to support each other but i definitely see a shift. >> thank you for being a part of this tonight. were very committed to it. michelle. >> if i can do it, so can you. for a long time, i didn't participate in the women in technology conversation. i didn't want to be put into a box of old your woman found her. i wouldn't do any interviews about it. this was a big topic and i just really didn't want to be part of the conversation. my personal opinion has changed a little bit more, it's more about having a voice and having an opinion because i do think the next generation of women coming up, i want to see lots of
different paths for career and i think technology is a great industry if you are at all interested to pursue. you get paid very well, you get to work with very smart people and you really get to work on problems that impact people around the world. that is pretty awesome. i want the next generation of boys and girls to feel like this is great, i want to be part of this growing industry. it's not going away and we need lots of smart ambitious people. diversity is critically important to making it work but it's not just technology. finance needs more diversity. there's lots of industries that need it. and so, if you're a woman you should absolutely stay in the workforce and pick the path you want to do. if your your man, you should actually make sure that you are making sure your team is diverse and making sure you're encouraging women around you to take chances. part of the reason why i get to be where i am is because i have a business partner who thinks of me as michelle and thinks that
he couldn't be happier about who he picked as a business partner and the fact that he believes in me means that i can get up and took a job at work. i feel really lucky about that. we raise a lot of venture capitalist and our investors think i'm a huge asset to the company and now because i've done so well, they're lightweight, i need more michelle. again i'm just one data point. what i think i need to do is win so it's just another point of this you can also do this but it's lots of different sorts of things. : >>
>> tell us your word with the short explanation. >> tenacity. but i really do believe if there is of word that you can apply what is that word. you are not necessarily born with tenacity. i do believe that anybody can teach themselves to have tenacity. so what did beans is what i said earlier that somebody tells you you r.h. a dumb ass or i cannot tell you that to trying to raise money or we tried to raise
and nobody gave it to was could be a blessing in disguise. if they did they may have fired me in the first year but because we grew the company echoed learned for the first secures. but i really believe we have to get up again and one of those times that is my word. >> a good word. >> mine is sweat the details. often in a company you doing things that are not scalable. so trying to get the first hundred was so hard i would
color this then every day wednesday get 100 people we are going to vegas. so we don't do this every time that is not the same as physically talking to somebody. and those that sign up that is not that many. you can go light by lighting . that bill is scalable sweat the details that first. if they are not profitable you cannot write those
generalizations i think they are better when i am around then when i am not. so people was say women don't believe bin infrastructure. to say that did not feel so good that makes me want to be light -- hide behind a rock and throw rocks. laugh laugh and there is the great speech that said i don't walk around all day thinking i am a woman or it would never get my job done. that is right. to make sure we are surrounded by good people.
so to focus on winning. and to be weighed more fun. and then is how there are great people out there. >> i went beyond that and underscore. so if you try to be somebody else all day long the cycle is very long so with men in particular want to be like to end with the leadership roles getting people to like you want people to respect me.
and so that doesn't always make you popular but it does make you respected. there would be 100 people in the room there rigby born woman. but i got used to that because i was the only woman lots of time so i didn't think of myself as being different. so you just thank you are the same. that is why my dog thinks she is a human. [laughter] i do believe that for me i did not think of myself as being different but gave me it vantage that i was.
and then there would be 20 students gathered i always had my question. that was good. also in the early days of hiring because i was gender blind because i was a woman i hired a lot of women we were 60 percent female up 1. . contract i am so sorry this is a funny story we were doing our demonstrations two men were standing there once said this is the booth with although women and we immediately bristled and there were nine of us in be were all women and we did not even realize the word me
entirely female they thought we had done that as of play. not just as with men to work for a the company. use that to your vantage if you are not being supported you probably are not. if you feel that way it is probably true. so sadly cultures are hard to change if i went to work for those cultures that realize to empower women one if you are already that company that understands that you are voting with your precious time they will
be more successful. >> what is the most exciting thing you are working on right now? >> when you work with one dozen companies that is like naming your favorite child when your daughter is here. [laughter] >> we have a long-running joke about that. i will not answer with a specific company but what i am most excited about with my work but you don't have to have good ideas just know it when you see it.
and they want to come talk to. and to have a hundred million dollars but that is like table stakes. so the of problem is a lot of people have that kind of money in silicon valley is a commodity but we need to have entrepreneurs so that is what i love to do. one so i get to meet with people who try to change the of world. and that just makes you want to go every day.
and those that are working on with uh traffic that is a huge trend and back in 2014 only half of the percent went over. half of a percent. that is nothing we help to make that easier we make that simple and cheaper so if you remember back to the apple encryption is a hot topic but to see very smart people with cryptography there's the underlying math and science of love the
standards behind that encryption work with so the bold new standard is the next tendered so we made that available to all customers this week so now every single customer is now over the most secure the you can have high confidence around this encryption we are a sick share old company and that we can come to market so that is just one example and we have a lot of other things that we push these new standards and redo that in realtime.
>> the next question is about talent what to look for when you hire and what do look for when you invest greg. >> i don't expect you to everything back crawford is today and we changeover time people are curious and want to learn what reworking on? i get to work with people who are very curious but second i say people who can get things done if they get 90% done is useless you have to get over the finish line but not everyone can do it
so how long did the project take you? some people love that the environment and others don't. so those are the two qualities that we look for. >> wish there was a perfect answer how people fill out the form. and everyone is different as we gravitate toward those are successful they listen to your comments they will challenge today don't agree but they are thoughtful about it because you make something out of nothing that means there isn't a playbook for what you are doing and the other thing is
in some cases you have to have that subject matter that in some field most things are built on the shoulders sunday on japan air who has this curiosity who has a deep domain expertise in the field that they are trying to go disruptive is powerful and i say this with 100 examples it is not true but with rare exception there is no single on japan your investing and team dynamics is one of the most important things so for
us it isn't just the individual but when you are in a meeting pitching us we are watching your dynamics if you finish each other's sentences so are talking over each other or how the dynamic those i know want i would be like here is my plan give me the check. like their the ogre at the bridge the pile is the money say the secret word again get the money. but we are in a room with you we are thinking can spend the next seven years of my life with you? you are driving the bus i am sitting in the passenger side i have to trust you as a minority owner.
and to try to figure out can i work with you for many years? within defined that they are very self-serving and also understanding today relationship that is what it is about not just saying the secret word to get the money [laughter] >> can you talk about how to go through the networks? what about those who have not yet established networks >> guys here node network. it is possible. so early fall laypeople on
twitter one with their experience you feel that you know, people without ever meeting them. for ibm reading even every night before igo to bed that is part of my job. even if i don't know them it is my job to be considering this. and then as to make progress people are very often that they just cannot for one week. and those of caltrans.
as long as you can communicate it is up to you to follow-up with those people and then they start to build on each other if you can find a way for people to come to you you don't have to have the network but once you start there are a network to you. a lot of people say all my god. absolutely it was amazing me were so under the of radar.
i have never heard the view and the job of every venture capitalist is to find out what is going on. so then they are rushing to meet us. and there is the couple of different avenues hopes but the biggest is to follow-up with people and it is shocking how many people do not do that. if you say we met one year ago because heidi meets a lot of people i just make it easy for them. >> i love that meeting play.
don't they make it easy to ask? and then they say could i buy you a coffee and pick your brain? by the way i don't have a car. could you drive to stanford for the meeting or right to ask you about my career? i can do that i don't have enough hours in the day but if they send me the e-mail. and i would love to pick your brain for five minutes that is compelling i want to talk to that person just to know how that investment is
the high court is considering if a violation of the equal protection clause this in is bethune-hill purses virginia state board of elections. >> the argument bethune-hill verses virginia state board of election. >> mr. chief justice if it pleases the court a new legal standard that permitted for june yet to apply the one-size-fits-all
55% ratio for to all 12 of the predominantly black districts. virginia applied this rule to move the voters in and out of districts on the basis of race rather of demographics geography or the interest of black voters in each of those districts in actual conflict test that they invented for predominance has no basis. with judicial and unity it sounds like never the less was the dominant purpose and how is that predominance that is the challenge.
and to say that they have to come from a city absolutely. and to come from such a city in california. the predominant factor? >>. >> i don't care about the case. you can set aside be population factor with the state of california has the predominant factor it is to which all others must yield. >> how do you know, that? is seems i've wondered thousand is the criteria.
>> it may be unyielding criteria. and what i am trying to highlight one dominates over all the others it is easy to imagine a situation that one does not dominate so what do you do when a situation like that? sony their criteria. so they did not meet that burden of predominance so they but not getting that second step. >> if you try to figure out where the test of the challenge comes from one way to tell is to see if they
conflict then how do you resolve that question that is predominant. but that is one way is that evidence is deduced. but to use that hypothetical of a legislature of california the sitting they set the criteria so because of the states of california. and also with the city of more than 500,000 members. we know that because the legislature told them. that is the dominant criteria. >> and if they say we want to follow the traditional
but the one thing that we do not want is the voting rights act we have those majority districts we don't want to do anything to them the results in no liability. is that predominant? >> if race was the controlling factor may be when the court completes its inquiry it is a strong basis of evidence that drawing the district's that way is the good faith understanding and then the state wins but. >> dido understand the answer to your the question but one thing we don't want is to violate the voting rights act.
that is not necessarily predominance? >> there is any number of ways that do not require race to be the dominant and controlling factor. you have any number of districts better job by legislatures if they start with redistricting and it is over 50 percent and they never need to trump the traditional but in this case >> what is your evidence of that? i hampshire you have read that in the alabama caucus that i help it does not seem to have done but if you make the comparison i don't think
it is enough for you to say there were just traditional factors was that they were using with race predominately looking at these other evidence was pretty strong 15,785 new voters right? if you look at their use of the traditional factors are irrelevant but i make a point of that so what is the equivalent is sending you did not say exactly the right word what is the mistake? >> setting be arbitrary threshold at 55% by year
would show that in fact, they did use race what is your strongest pieces of evidence? that is pretty strong. >> if you look at district 71 you find the inner-city district that had a 46-point 3% and the cousin of that 55 percent rule the district court agrees that was a rule that guided the district's and as a result of that was it uc is racial gerrymandering by essentially rating every heather district to bring
those black voters in but that was of a classic crossover district that essentially white liberals would vote and harmony. >> how many are black? >> of those that have moved out of the district of new were black or white approximately? >> i don't have the precise number but there was a significant number in that many thousands of voters. >>.org is after all that was the key factor it is then the joint appendix as a standard don't know them but
it is a significant number it is several thousand in a district. >> i found what i wanted to know. >> so to nature i enders to and the policy says typify% across of board and this is the most important criteria and that it will trump of others. but as i understand your argument you're not resting on that fact alone? why is that when when such a policy not to act on the district? denied that is the exact point if you have the district with no impact in
did not cause them to be moved in significant numbers then we agree with the inspector general's office benefits significant number of voters are not be moved as a result then is not triggered. >> so we are really looking at what justice briar suggested to the movement of voters in and out of a particular district. >> idol think that is in dispute we would hear from my colleague that the issue is the of legal error committed by the district pdf to say if we find that district that looks like criteria that is the end of the inquiry. >> even if we can see all the african americans were
moved in and the whites moved out? >> even if done for the vowel letter would racial reason the legislature of virginia would say we ought to crawl all african americans that we can we don't want them to in fact the neighboring districts if low and gold -- behold under the judge's opinion don't have the question about race >> so you do not need a conflict quick steve agree with the solicitor general in the vast majority of cases the conflict may ppv evidence to establish?
connected on '05 and say the vast majority of cases you will have a correlation i agree. >> so why is that that you are less than that quick. >> in the real-world the way it distributes you will need to create that in many parts of the country to conduct the violation but richmond is exactly where that is not necessary because you have a district with the young professionals with the prior urban center to reinforcing
the african american population but never the less the crossover district to create for the sake of 55%. >> we have not said that for a reason we said that it hast to predominate and my problem with your argument here to go on with the district court said, you may be bright but it is such a complicated area it is the easiest thing in the world to go through date -- through a court to find a sentence that is not exactly right. so if we ever had districting done you have to prove your case of italy was that wrong but it mattered
as strong evidence. >> i avery but i make two points this was not a stray sentence over and over there was said discussion of this district to read data analysis he says it is visually appealing we don't need to address it and by the way district court should not be in the business to assess credibility between the two legislatures because why would we want to do that? not an isolated statement beware these principles can explain to look at other evidence.
>> and that is not something that comes up over andover that is unique. >> so are you proposing to tell the district for you applied the wrong standard the right standard is that race can -- raise can predominate blacks. >> i do think that this proper with respect to some of these districts it is reversed. with richmond analysis the facts are not in dispute. >> it is hard to do that the tissue cannot pull the orders in and now you push them back quick. >> that is a fair point. look at the map we are talking about those
geographic pockets for cosell side virginia the against of border of north carolina the lower and upper him to inroads 50 each of those with impact to the other so i do agree in general but if you recall indicates that the core of her glass turn that with a single district that was racially gerrymandered for:date did the redistricting it only affected the neighboring districts. but i do understand the .1. >> in that sense it would not be unreasonable step to take and apply it correctly.
>> to understand your agreement to apply the right standard that was done fairly where does he have to change that view and where is that same result? >> that resulted is everywhere but to answer your question in the richmond area daring is no question i'm sorry in the richmond area district 71 and 6970 and 74 there is no question that will lead to a difference results some of
south side of virginia which is to districts, 75 and 63 this is carious. because they found it did predominate because of the county was a border county on racial grounds the that was with respect to 63 so figure out on the one side of the of line but not predominate on the other and? >> so if that strict scrutiny was met with those conventional factors greg. >> is seems that is the strongest case quick. >> it is that the
application that we've met that burden of predominance in this regard if you look at the actual evidence because once predominance was found now the burden shifted to the government why they did what they did. >> your basis of evidence was the elected official felt she needed more african-americans in her district so with all due respect to most incumbents they feel like they need more voters in their district who will support them. that cannot be a strong basis of evidence so this is interesting it is the
stereotyping that the intended to avoid there's nothing with the racial demographics nothing to believe that they raise or lower the voting age population, they said it was 8,000 black people that is the racial stereotyping that cannot form the basis. >> in that primary where they wind over that of white candidates. >> i am glad because that's is the most important she won by only 300 votes for the districts were drawn following 2000 in 2001 there
was incumbent they won again in the landslide but then they retired and that wasn't the open primary so what is interesting is those 300 notes is 5% this was the 6,000 boat one primary said tuesday that she won by 300 votes she had a landslide that was five percentage points as a non incumbent. >> i thought it was only 1.5%. >> ended general but what happened next the incumbent who ran against in the primary she had beaten endorses the republican
opponent so this longtime incumbent endorses the opponent and then wins. >> but these will last for a decade there is no guarantee the candidates will be running but you think that after take this into account is very complicated because they have the incumbent in vintage quick. >> i say that in 2001, 2001, 2003, a 2007, 2009 but 2005 it was not close it was a 5.two election where she won. >> so if did idiosyncratic. >> but they have never said it is a guarantee that they will win their it is the
statement it is not a guarantee. >> the to what degree of confidence will remain the majority minority? >>. >> like to reserve the remainder of my time. >>. >> mr. chief justice said it may please the court they were right to hold the race -- a ratio target cannot have scrutiny but it was wrong to hold of conflict with redistricting principles has gerrymandering with the use of racial target for the court cases have drawn uh distinction as a factor and
the use of racial target as the court explained in alabama the critical question is if it was predominantly used and is evidence but not conclusive proof into take one example example, if the district starts off 75 percent black voting age population towards redistricting that is based on the general demographic patterns and the target is set don't drop below 50 percent and it is not the case that the district lines that are drawn to come into compliance are necessarily going to be based on race rather than traditional districting principles if
the racial target was sufficient to loan it would deprive of the flexibility that they need for the voting rights act. >> use a 175 down and 50 that does not necessarily say quick. >> no. i said if it should not go below 50 or that it had to get to that. >> if it is that 75 we will not get below 50. >> anywhere between 70 or 50. so that is the in-between that is not necessarily the case. so that is so low at 50% most of the lines you are drawing is on duh
districting factors that they will have to predominantly used -- use race above 50%. >> is this the zero need district where a target would not have an impact? if it has a population so far above the target nothing they do is affected? is that the only kind quick. >> know. because in this case if you start at 60 there is no reason to think that will predominate. they start s60 the based on traditional redistricting factors no reason they could not end up for the same reasons.
>> so you would need more evidence. >> of what? >> the most important evidence in is conflict with traditional redistricting principles. if you could establish that in did effected a substantial number of voters >> if we're at 53 or 55%? we could do that to it is even more compact. >> ordinarily speaking it is difficult to show without showing a conflict without those redistricting principles but no hard and fast rule. >> so when could that be possible? that you could imagine that
happening quick. >> we have to examples in the brief so the first relies on direct evidence and where it is discredited by the evidence whiff tens of thousands of predominantly white voters and then the mapmaker set aside did that to hit the target been racial predominance could be made but it was reasonably compact and that second example the state says politics explains that but then you look at the evidence to use racial data rather than political data and that predominance could be made even if there is no
politics. >> but this is very a complicated they have to redistrict large number in a short amount of time with the multi factory vague predominance standard, when will they have evidence to have the voting rights act claim is not clear. so isn't this just an invitation one quick. >> we are very sympathetic to comply with of voting rights act while simultaneously pursuing the redistricting policies we propose a version to the court case of miller but we
read that of the conflict requirement and instead is a complicated test if race predominated even the traditional factors also played a role. >> is distilled the office position one for what was required when quick. >> so putting aside yes yes, except we don't want that to bleed over. >> so your objection is that it required conflict. correct? and that vast majority of cases don't need to show a conflict? . .
and virtually said what you said and at the end to deal with the problem you are raising, we say it has to be a strong basis of evidence. that's because you don't want to put the district court in the position in the legislature. so it tries to they do that. if the decision of the court that i thought having done that there would be lots of lower courts that would rely on that decision. is it a good idea now suddenly to changing go to something different? >> no i'm not saying you should go to different tests. they think stare decisis
considerations are what they are through the ports alabama approaches the right approach but under that approach justice breyer you do not say it's essential to show a conflict. >> correct come exactly predominate in that it has the two power which i talked about which are immense to illustrate what that predominance means. they are pretty much what i think pretty much what you said. c yes, we would agree with that. >> what is it that you said? [laughter] >> i think what we said are two things. one, but simply because you use a racial target you are not in strict scrutiny and that's from alabama and two a conflict is not essential to critical claim but three there has to be some pretty strong evidence besides just the use of the racial target to pay u.n. scrutiny. >> may ask mr. gornstein the
same question that i asked mr. elias. if we did vacate this on the grounds for what you just said and that is not the standard the district court used, what do you think would happen if the standard that you just stated was fairly applied, would anything change? >> we have only done a close analysis of three districts as you can see from our brief and in two of those three districts we thought there was a pretty strong case but not one where we could say definitely be would come out one way or the other. c but a strong case that would change in those districts are? >> those are 71 and 95. c thank you, counsel. mr. clemens. >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court to the 2011 redistricting of the virginia house of delegates was a bipartisan success story. there was wide agreement that
the 12 majority minority districts that existed in the benchmark plans should be preserved and there was consensus on the bipartisan privileges and elections committee that a 55% level was the appropriate level to ensure african-american candidates in those 12 districts had an opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice. >> where was 55% arrived at? >> the testimony justice ginsburg shows i was arrived at by the members that bipartisan committee principally done by the principle architect of the plan delegate chris jones by talking to members of the public and members of particularly the african-american offices and they told delegate johnson then they reinforce this on the floor in the floor debates in the house of delegates something on the cd in the joint appendix, volume one of the joint appendix and it's worth a look because the african-american members of
the house of delegates testified based on their knowledge of their districts african-american voters did not vote in the same numbers as white voters therefore to simply have 50%. >> mr. clemens said 55% was based on a single district, 75 and they said okay we have looked at 75 and unique 55% there and then it was applied across-the-board to every other majority minority district without any granular analysis. >> i don't think the record would support that characterization of the evidence just as kagan. i think it was, leon ht 75 but it was also based on the testimony of delegates from district 63 patient testified as well that it has to be north of 50%. it was also done in consultation with delegates roe a delegate
from district 77 and was based on not just the demo graphics and h.p. 75 though that was essentially the starting point but also based on the characterizations of districts. >> isn't there something a bit strange about this kind of rule and is not to say that this kind of rule is the end-all be-all. it might be that you could have this rule can still be absolutely fine in the way that mr. gornstein suggested that the idea that you would look at 12 districts and say that every single one of them ought to meet the same bvap standard without looking at the characteristics of those standards, how they vote, i mean it's sort of defies belief that you could pick a number and say that applies with respect served majority minority district. >> just as kagan i think that maybe if you are picking one number for every district in the
state from stone gap to arlington maybe that would be the case and if you are trying to apply when number two latino districts in one part of the state and african-american districts in another part of the state you might have a point that there are 12 districts and therefore subregions. these are all pretty much in the same part of the state. they all started on the benchmark map as somewhere between 46 and about 62% for starting so it's not like the number comes out of thin air. with respect to nine of the 12 districts they were already north of 55% between 55 and 62. two of the other ones are very close. there are like 54 and 33 and one is a little bit lower, 46 which is district 71 which i hope we will get a chance to talk about because there is very strong evidence the redrawing was not done so we. >> let's talk about 71. i have a particular question.
remember what i was trying to do at least in alabama. c sure. >> according to cases at that moment pre-alabama i am one of the problems so i am trying to reflect for better or for worse and to make it clear. the column i have referred to talks really about evidence showing predominance. does it or doesn't it and there are two things there that are crucial i think in those two paragraphs. one, there was direct evidence that they moved 15,000 people that are all black, okay? two when you look at the redistricting traditional criteria they are pretty weak as applicable to that case. now let's look at 71. the same kind of thing, the same kind of thing. they moved, you have it in the brief too they moved 11,000293 people out and 17,000 so let's
look at those people. the ones they moved out for -3/4 or something white and the ones they moved in were -3/4 and something black. it's pretty similar. seems to me they paid a lot of attention to race and then they say let's look at the traditional criteria. the one i mentioned they said they did it to keep the preserve already chain and the changes at have nothing to do this are what they are saying in that case look at that specificity and you will see that the mistake of the judge and listening -- listing the criteria the statement really broad made a difference in senate back to get them to do it right. that's a long question. >> i'm glad to be focused on district 71 because with the district court did is not apply any sort of cartoonish analysis.
he looked at the district that was drawn in the first thing you notice is preserved 70% of the core of the districts which is higher than the statewide average of 70%. so you have the core of the district teen preserved which is a traditional districting principle. he then looks at those and he doesn't just look at them and say they look a little funny. he has direct testimony from delegate john to jury the district and he realizes they were drawn in order to preserve an incumbent in the neighboring districts so that could saner district. he then looks at precinct 207 where he says he doesn't want to get into conflicting testimony between two delegates and what he says absolutely correctly as this is a contiguous precinct. it's 207. right on the border so whether it's in or out he conforms with traditional districts. >> you have to possible districts, each of them look
conventional. each of them are conventional in the same sense that you've been describing that the stated reason, the stipulated reason for choosing district a over district b is because it has more of a certain race latino black whatever. is that predominantly based on race? >> i would say the right answer to that with predominance within the meeting of your statement is no. >> that is what the district court says another problem with that because predominance is designed to measure intent when there are multiple causes. my hypothetical is the tipping point, the principle voting was race and you say in the district court i think that because the districts are conventional and all other respects of scrutiny
doesn't apply to have a problem with that. >> justice canady i thought you might like to say three things to try to convince you in the sense of district courts. first of all when this court system says predominant sites in the main predominance over something else and i think something else is traditional in principle so when race predominates over those principles those principles are sacrificed. things that's the way to make sense of this court case. second of all i think if you applied the test that we what you are doing is you are mapping on the test to the theory of a shock claim. you may disagree with that but what makes a shock claim a shock claim is not that somebody is checking in a perfectly formed district and the community of interest based on race. it's a particular injury to say the supreme court said the state who had shared nothing in common
except the color of their skin agreed together in the same district rate that's what makes the shock claim different from other kinds of claims and i completely agree with the solicitor general's office but in thinking about this question you should be thinking about shock claim since speaking about them separately. i think there's a real problem in this area of the law. what has happened is that shah which started as a doctrine for outlying districts and how long claims has become the weapon of choice in redistricting litigation and people see shaw violations everywhere. that is not the way shaw was originally constructed. it tours there was a shut separate dilution claim that can be brought that is a much higher standard of proof than people are essentially trying to evade that by bringing junior varsity -- is people are bringing junior varsity dilution claims under the guise of calling them shaw claims.
the third to put it on the table at some point you have to ask the question if you disagree with me on the first place and you think you have a different conception of what a shaw i miss there still has to be the question of is the gain worth the candle given the need to defer to state legislatures. 80 members of the house of delegates voted in favor of this plan because they comport it was to district -- traditional district principles and everybody wanted to preserve majority districts. >> going back to justice kennedy's questions it seems clear in the cases after shaw because she's shaw could have looked at it that this is all about the district's look and in shaw to eidemiller the court makes the where it's not all about the way the district looks >> can i stop the there? and miller with this court confront it was an argument and the bizarreness is the element of the claim. nobody thinks that is the right
answer. >> if you look at shaw and shaw, two and then miller any think about the hypothetical that justice kennedy gave you which is essentially and maybe i will change a little bit is essentially a mapmaker who says look we really want to do race-based districting here. we can manage to do this in a way where the maps look contiguous and kind of regularly shaped but what we are doing is for race based decision-making. seems clear to me if you look at shaw to a new look at miller, that's exactly the opposite of what the district court said here. >> i don't think you have to read those decisions and not we. i think if you are going to read those decisions and not we it's appropriate to pause and reflect where it has gotten us. i think everyone of those decisions starts out by saying this is a very difficult task
for state legislatures. hard enough to draw districting without the voting rights act but to draw them in compliance with the voting rights act is difficult and we want to have deference to state legislatures. >> i'm with justice breyer has suggested a few years ago we took those concerns into account and we try to figure out a test that was responsive to those concerns and that is not the test the district court used here. >> i beg to differ. justice breyer was six explaining the first 25 minutes give the district court a little more credit than that. the district court had alabama in front of him and he of him in the ousting of the arguments of the parties and i think if you go back and look and with all due respect to my friends on the other side they did not argue this in terms of let's look at all the people moving into now. that was not the thrust of their case. they really argued this was a direct evidence case based on the fact. >> that's what i have to do in
this argument. you gave me exactly what i needed. you gave me the things to look up and you gave me the things on the other side and they didn't use exactly the right test but does it matter? i think the reason i approach it that way is because, for the reasons he said, okay? you have to give leeway here, we way, leeway but there was really important evidence he didn't look at and that's my job to go back and read these things and figure out the evidence. >> absolutely but i think you should look at the evidence in this case and you should look at the evidence that could then mounted. you should look at the evidence that came in, the way was argued to the district court and if you look for example at the closing arguments in this case you will see the other side did not say this is a case about moving to many people in and out of that particular district. they said this is a direct
evidence case. they told you what the problem was. they told you they would apply a 55% bvap so really they tried to get not just some tailwind from the fact that there was a bvap they tried to make -- rest their case o opposition and as a result it left a vacuum in the evidence because we have extraordinarily good evidence on our side of this case. the principle map drawers w. jones testified for hours and hours about why particular lines were drawn and in every case he provided explanations for why they departed with traditional principles for not just that. he he told you why the lines were there. the lanes were there because it had a 55% even after getting everything had to go out the window. he said well you know down here in south we have three incumbents that are close together because this part of the state lost a lot of the population so i drew some zigzags to keep it separate which i think is a perfect
nonracial at explanation for the delegate 77 in district 77 that looks a little funny but i got together with delegates parul and delegates parole city want to reunite the old city so we did that and we moved a couple of districts around and there it is. there are reams of data naturally affect enough evidence on the other side of this. they do want to rewind the tape a little bit here which is the reason it's so problematic i think, to think just because they applied a bvap two or three force of the way to applying strict scrutiny is what else is the state legislature supposed to do? i don't think in this context the bvap for is inherently sinister and i'm only thinking about this justice kagan, the voting rights act itself is a bvap floor. no situation where a sq requires a majority minority district is a quantitative work at least 50 plus .01% but everywhere it's a
qualitative floor that you have to preserve the ability to elect. so in this context and i think that's exactly why this court has gotten where it has gotten and i'm not so sure you could rather -- further refine what he said in alabama to make it ozar to what i love -- what i think the law should be but here's the point to the reason this very unique with the court allows race to be considered is in part because the voting rights act makes the consideration of race absolutely necessary and i don't think you want to send the signal unless you want to take the first steps towards declaring the voting rights act unconstitutional you don't want to send the signal that when the legislature's approach this in a way that i think is perfectly appropriate what's going on, virginia has. >> u.s. we don't mr. clemons but is one thing for a legislature to say we view it as the core priority with one person one
vote to comply with the voting rights act. it's another thing for the legislature to do what it did for example in the alabama case which is to just say something about they can't be any retrogression from whatever there is notwithstanding that is just not section 5 loft and similarly it's another thing for the legislature to pick a number out of one district, applied to all 12 districts and say that's compliance with the voting rights act that i agree with you in mr. elias and mr. gornstein that does not get you all the way there but there are some things alabama suggested, this was evidenced when the state says across-the-board we are going to do something bad on its face is not required by the voting rights act, that's a problem. >> him i'm with a lot of what he had to say justice kagan. where i'm not with you is that
there is something particularly problematic about picking a 55% number and applying it in richman and in the hampton roads area and i think two things about that. in the universe of possible numbers 55% is about the best number he could come up with. my friends on the other side agree to solve needs to be majority minority districts of the whole debate is it has to be somewhere north of 50%, i mean 55% which gives you a little bit of a margin for the fact that there may be differentials in turnout and where the rubber is going to make the road remember the incumbents are always going to win and most of these districts are majority minority but they are we majority democrats so where the preppers going to meet the wrote about opportunities to elect its going to be in the open primaries. that's when you can tell whether the african-american community
has the opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice. those are relatively rare and so the idea that it's somehow presumptively unconstitutional for the state to look at one of the most recent open primaries in hd 75 to say well five percentage points is only 300 votes and delicate tyler herself is saying these need to be north of 50%. everybody's basically saying that. i don't think it's fair to put this and i guess this is where i take issue, i don't think we should put this in the same basket as alabama. the activity can go from 80 to 70% is a cartoonish version of the voting rights act. to say in an area where nine of the 12 districts are already north of 55%, to say that 55% is a pretty darned good threshold for compliance with the voting rights act justice and in the same category at all.
i know they try to get a lot of mileage out of the idea that it's one-size-fits-all but the two things i would say about that and what i have already said which is we are talking about the same part of state and there's no reason to think there's a different dynamic in this. all of these districts are majority minority african-american districts. not like they are playing one role in trying to say that it's fixed for the complicated districts in northern virginia with multiracial groups in the districts in the south. they are all similar districts. that's one thing. the second thing is keep in mind whatever role you adopt is not just for a relatively sophisticated state legislature. it's going legislature. it's going to apply to all sorts of school boards and districts. i just don't think the analysis is that you have to go district by district with regression analysis in order to comply with the voting rights act. i don't think that's the role you want to lay down and i also think this is responsive to justice kennedy's earlier question.
the idea that they have on the other side is against racial targets. they agree agreed these need to be majority minority districts and they agree they need to be north of 50% of the real beef is with the legislature making commonsense judgments based on evidence in front of them that it should be 55%. what they want is more use of race and more minute detail where you go district by district and say all right if it's 75 it's going to be 55 minutes at 63 it's going to be 74 and 77 comments going to be 56. i don't think that gets us further along the line in the equal protection clause and i also don't think it's practically possible. >> i think the real difference between your standard and the st standard is in your standard the shape of the district functions as a threshold inquiry such that if the shape is okay we don't look at anything else and
particularly we don't look even if the districting was completely race-based and motive that's just what the three-part test does. sets up a threshold about how the district is shaped in a way that some people thought when shaw was announced and this court and won, two, three subsequent cases made clear. >> justice kagan first of all the real difference between our position in the sg's position is the difference in the real world which is the it's not going to make a difference in 99% of the cases. a lot of these cases it won't make any difference. given the space it's going to mean lots more state legislatures get sued over at districts that don't look particularly suspicious and this case is the perfect example. these districts existed for four
years into complete election cycles before anybody perceive there was a racial gerrymander working here. what changed in 2014 was the resident of the governor's mansion in richman. what happened is these guys realized that we can get these districts thrown out and they have to redraw the district we will now have veto a veto power that we didn't have before. that explains why lines that with perfectly square relatively and were proved needed nine with a majority of democrats supporting them, all but two members of the african-american caucus supporting them and one of the two members of the caucus opposing because the numbers weren't high enough. that's the dynamic in 2011. you go from that bipartisan success story where everybody points to the house and says these guys did it right, the senate not so much. the house got it exactly right. they did everything they were supposed to do. four years later they can still draw a racial gerrymandering charge and they have to litigate for years based on this
theoretical possibility that maybe, just maybe in drawing the square lines. >> it's more than a theoretical possibility and mr. gornstein said says that he seems to these sensitive to the idea giving the states latitude but he looks at this and he says the standard did make a difference on the ground that there were districts that were kicked out and said oh this isn't race-based because it looks good even though it was race-based. >> i would put represent the state legislature of virginia my bona fides and looking out for the states ahead of mr. mr. gornstein and it's easing the solicitor general's office to try the standard that will force lots of other people to litigate for years. these districts were good enough for everybody for four years. they were good enough to be prepared by the justice department. heavens detailed inquiry out there validated years later does not seem to me to have a lot of of.
>> thank you counsel. you have two minutes left. >> mr. chief justice may it please the court. i want to clarify a few factual points and obviously answer any questions you have that first is the timing of this case following the page decision. it was the page court that ruled on the congressional map that then, it had nothing to do, that case was filed when there is a public and the governors mansion and had nothing to do with who is in the governor's mansion. justice breyer to the question you pose to me earlier which is part of this we completely agree and alabama that there needs to be, you need to show voters on account of this rule and if you look at ja 672 you will see there is a 50.8% differential
between the white voters who moved in the black voters that moved in. three-quarters of the voters moved in were black and. >> make a point of that. i think i heard him say this is being brought up after the case is over. >> your honor dinner expert report. just not true. you can find it in the ja. it was in our experts report, point number one. point number two very quickly this court and shaw versus hunt specifically dealt with justice stevens dissent saying there should be an actual test and what this court said this in his defense justice stevens argues strict scrutiny does not apply with traditional districting principles. that is not the standard