Supreme Court Rejects “One Man One Vote” Challenge

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The Supreme Court today unanimously rejected a challenge to the principle of “one man, one vote” that was seeking to create legislative districts based on eligible voters, not population. This would have been an enormous boon for conservative, rural areas at the expense of more densely populated urban areas.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that states may satisfy “one person, one vote” rules by drawing election districts based on the total population of a place, a defeat for conservative interests that wanted the districts based only on the number of people eligible to vote.

The case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was considered one of the most important on voting rights this term, and a decision the other way would have shifted political power away from urban areas, where Democrats usually dominate, and toward more Republican-friendly rural areas.

The court’s ruling left open the possibility that other methods of reapportionment might be constitutional. But the decision was clear that using anything other than total population would face certain Supreme Court review.

Expect such redistricting schemes to be attempted after the 2020 census, most likely beginning in Texas.

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