March 01, 2011

"Of Squares and Uncouth Twenty-Eight-Sided Figures: Reflections on Gomillion V. Lightfoot After Half a Century"

Jonathan Entin has posted this draft on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    This essay, part of a symposium on political powerlessness and constitutional interpretation, focuses on Gomillion v. Lightfoot, which rejected an attempt to remove virtually every African American registered voter from the city limits of Tuskegee, Alabama. The paper examines why and how the case arose in a community with an unusually large and independent black middle class that had long placed high priority on voting rights as well as the impact of the ruling not only on political life in Tuskegee but also on the ruling in Baker v. Carr that launched the reapportionment of legislative bodies around the nation. The discussion also considers the legacy of Gomillion in the continuing debate about the meaning of voting rights in cases involving majority-minority districts.

Posted by Rick Hasen at March 1, 2011 07:55 PM