US top court hands partial victory to challengers in Virginia voting case
U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a partial victory to voters who accused Virginia's Republican-led legislature of trying to dilute the clout of black people at the ballot box, throwing out a lower court's endorsement of how a series of legislative districts were drawn.

The voters who filed the legal challenge said the lawmakers unlawfully considered race as a factor when mapping voting districts for the state legislature. A federal district court in 2015 upheld 12 state House of Delegates districts, but the justices directed a three-judge panel of the lower court to take another look at 11 of those.

At issue was the state legislative map drawn by Republicans after the 2010 census.

Democrats have accused Republicans in Virginia and other states of crafting such legislative maps in a way that crams black and other minority voters into certain districts in order to reduce their overall sway in the state.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)