A big upheaval could be coming for America’s state legislatures. On December 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Evenwel v. Abbott, a closely watched case from Texas that will decide whether states must change the way they draw legislative districts. The new analysis in this paper shows that if the Evenwel challengers prevail, the nationwide impact will be far greater than previously assumed.
Like other states, Texas currently draws districts so they contain a roughly equal number of people rather than voters. Indeed, over the course of American history districts have overwhelmingly been drawn this way. But the Evenwel challengers say Texas’s legislative plans are unconstitutional because while districts may contain approximately the same number of people, many vary widely in the number of eligible voter