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Major Blow To Conservatives At Supreme Court

April 4, 2016

The Supreme Court handed conservative challengers a mayor loss today regarding a voting  rights case.

In a unanimous ruling, the court said a state can draw legislative districts based on total population. At issue in the case was the “one person, one vote” principle dating to the 1960s, when the court held that state legislative districts must be drawn so they are equal in population.

But until today, justices never specified whether that doctrine applied to the general population or to the voting population, as conservatives suggested in this case.

As a practical matter, the ruling mostly helped Democrats.  But from a purely legal perspective this is a massive win for the fair process of how districts should be drawn. 

Until this decision, the court had never resolved whether voting districts should contain the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters. Counting all people amplifies the voting power of places that have large numbers of residents who cannot vote legally — including immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, illegal immigrants, children and prisoners. Those places tend to be urban and to vote Democratic.

It was–in my estimation–a stain on the whole concept of what constitutes fairness in political boundary construction to have this case brought this far in the judicial system.  I clearly was not alone and when given the chance to rule the justices from all points of  judicial perspective batted the case out of the park.

A job well done by the Supreme Court!

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