Why the Court Should Leave the Choice of One Person One Vote Rules to the States

In my Slate piece on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear Evenwel, which I wanted to title “Unsettling Precedents,” I argue that whether to use total population or total voters (or perhaps some other denominator) in redistricting to comply with one person, one vote rules is properly left to the states. (I use the piece to argue for the irony of conservatives pushing states to adopt only a single measure of one person, one vote, which not only goes against earlier precedent but also is not tied to the actual text of the Constitution.)

I thought it worth pointing out that I’ve developed at length an argument for when the Supreme Court needs to intervene in election cases (primarily to protect a “core” of political equality rights) and when the Court need not intervene when a question does not involve the core, but involves issues which are appropriately addressed by states within a range of choices). Think of it as a kind of political equality federalism.  I make the argument in my 2003 book, The Supreme Court and Election Law: Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore, so this is no new idea for me. But Evenwel and potential variations on the one person, one vote rule are a perfect example of my argument.

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