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This is a part of a book by Thomas Sowell called "Black Rednecks And White Liberals"

In Illinois during this same era, legal restrictions on access to public accommodations for blacks were removed from the law, even though there were not enough black voters at the time to influence public policy, so that this represented changes in white public opinion

This is a definition I found for "so that"

  1. To such a strong degree or extent (of some quality or characteristic) that something happens or is the case as a result. Used with an adjective between "so" and "that." The vegetable is quite nutritious, but it's so pungent that many people refuse to eat it. I was waiting so long that I ended up falling asleep.

The problem is that it says "Used with an adjective between "so" and "that" and in the example, from the book it isn't

Is this the correct meaning?

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Collins shows another definition:

so that
in British English
CONJUNCTION

used to introduce a clause of purpose
another name for in order that

It is always tempting for politicians to ease the requirements of exams so that standards seem to improve.

Your example sentence isn't particularly well written. It isn't entirely clear if it was intended to mean

... even though there were not enough black voters at the time to influence public policy, in order that changes in white public opinion were represented.

or whether it means this

even though there were not enough black voters at the time to influence public policy, so that this [change in the law] represented changes in white public opinion

because the law could not have been voted through by black people.

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    I think the meaning of your second version is exactly what the OP's example sentence was intended to mean and, to be honest, I don't really understand your first version.
    – Papa Poule
    Jul 15, 2022 at 20:48
  • @PapaPoule the first version was an attempt to make sense of it using the "so that" in question, and the second version makes more sense, but doesn't use it. As I wrote, the original doesn't seem very clear. Jul 15, 2022 at 20:56
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    In Illinois during this same era, legal restrictions on access to public accommodations for blacks were removed from the law, even though there were not enough black voters at the time to influence public policy, which means that this clearly represented changes in white public opinion Jul 15, 2022 at 20:57

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