A Reminder About Justice Alito and One Person One Vote

With today’s SCOTUS decision to hear Evenwel, here’s an ELB post from Jan. 10, 2006:

 

JUDGE ALITO STATES WHAT HE MEANT BY ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE CRITICISM IN 1985 JOB APPLICATION

In this Findlaw column, I questioned what Judge Alito meant in his 1985 Reagan Administration job application when he stated: “In college, I developed a deep interest in constitutional law, motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause and reapportionment [of voting districts].”

Judge Alito has given his first answer today, in response to a question from Sen. Kohl. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post‘s Campaign for the Court blog post on the topic:

      The principle of “one man, one vote” is a fundamental principle of constitutional law, Alito said.

 

      “I don’t see any reason why it should be reexamined…..I never was opposed to the one-person one-vote concept.”

 

      So what was it that concerned him, asked Kohl.

 

      He said his father, then working for the New Jersey legislature, had brought to his attention the question of “how exactly equal districts had to be.” It seemed that the Supreme Court, at one point, was saying they had to be exactly equal and “that would have wiped out” some of the New Jersey re-mapping.

 

    But one-man, one vote, “that’s very well settled,” said Alito.

 

And my Findlaw column from Nov. 30, 2005 began:

In 1985, Samuel Alito – now a Supreme Court nominee – made a brief comment criticizing the Supreme Court’s “one person, one vote” cases on a job application for a deputy attorney general position in the Reagan Administration.

Alito wrote, “In college, I developed a deep interest in constitutional law, motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause and reapportionment [of voting districts].”

In response, Senator Joseph Biden told FOX News that based on the comment, a Senate filibuster of Alito’s nomination might be merited. Biden said, “If [Judge Alito] really believes that reapportionment is a questionable decision — that is, the idea of Baker v. Carr, one man, one vote — then clearly, clearly, you’ll find a lot of people, including me, willing to do whatever they can to keep him off the court. … That would include a filibuster, if need be.”

 

 

 

(Thanks to Mike Sacks for the reminder).

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