The Supreme Court has ruled that in order to uphold the “principle” of “one person, one vote“, the states may give some voters lopsided influence and power over other voters in order to insure that each district has the same number of war bodies.
Justice Ginsberg made some curious comments in the majority ruling…
Of note, she defends the appropriation of Representatives as an invariable guide to how the state’s must redistrict, ignoring that not only did the Constituton demand (and forever protect) the unequal distribution of Senator based on population, but that many Southern states, such as Virginia, allocated districts based on total population despite the Constitutional distribution of House of Representative seats being based on the total number of freeman and 3/5 of “all others”. That Congressional allocation between the states does not, nor can it, imply mandatory patterns of allocation within the state, seems to nonetheless be a rather obsessive point by Ginsberg.
The irony is that Ginsberg states “this Court’s pastdecisions reinforce the conclusion that States and localities may comply with the one-person, one-vote principle by designing districts with equal total populations” requires that voters have an unequal voice in order to have districts contain the same number of warm bodies.
As noted, in previous cases, the question of equality when it came to voter impact and equality of representation of warm bodies was highly conflated. A review of the findings from the previous Reynolds v. Sims case that sadly obliterated the difference between voters and citizens and warm bodies. Notes on the finding from Reynolds v. Sims:
1. The right of suffrage is denied by debasement or dilution of a citizen’s vote in a state or federal election. Pp. 554-555.
2. Under the Equal Protection Clause, a claim of debasement of the right to vote through malapportionment presents a justiciable controversy, and the Equal Protection Clause provides manageable standards for lower courts to determine the constitutionality of a state legislative apportionment scheme. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, followed. Pp. 556-557.
The primary finding were that one’s vote being equally weighed against all others would clearly suggest that Ginsberg ignored precedent in order to side with her delusional dreams of a more Progressive utopia….
3. The Equal Protection Clause requires substantially equal legislative representation for all citizens in a State regardless of where they reside. Pp. 56l-568.
(a) Legislators represent people, not areas. P. 562.
(b) Weighting votes differently according to where citizens happen to reside is discriminatory. Pp. 563-568.
4. The seats in both houses of a bicameral legislature must, under the Equal Protection Clause, be apportioned substantially on a population basis. Pp. 568-576.
Herein is the basis of the contradiction. Equal representation based on population, or that weighing votes unequally is the greater sin. One can either equalize the number of warm bodies represented, or one can construct the districts such that votes are weighed equally.
It is either-or. Gisberg clearly doesn’t care if a voters vote is weighed equally to that of others, only that the same number of warm bodies are included in each district.
Additional findings were noted that were not absolutely relevant to Evenwal v. Abbott.
Of note was the, as usual, spot on concurrent opinion of Justice Thomas, which breathed wisdom unto the debate:
“I write separately because this Court has never provided a sound basis for the one-person, one-vote principle. For 50 years, the Court has struggled to define what right that principle protects. Many of our precedents suggest that it protects the right of eligible voters to cast votes that receive equal weight. Despite that frequent explanation, our precedents often conclude that the Equal Protection Clause is satisfied when all individuals within a distric t— voters or not — have an equal share of representation. The majority today concedes that our cases have not produced a clear answer on this point….
“In my view, the majority has failed to provide a sound basis for the one-person, one-vote principle because no such basis exists. The Constitution does not prescribe any one basis for apportionment within States. It instead leaves States significant leeway in apportioning their own districts to equalize total population, to equalize eligible voters, or to promote any other principle consistent with a republican form of government. The majority should recognize the futility of choosing only one of these options.
“The Constitution leaves the choice to the people alone—not to this Court.”
Giving upper legislative districts non-population based apportionment is quite rational. It isn’t about “area” but about providing a check upon an urban majority in order to give rural and suburban voices some weight in legislative discussion. If a state has a large urban population, than rural populations will be shut out of having an effective voice or chance to legislatively defend themselves against a mere majority (or plurality). Provided that one legislative house is distributed by population, then why shouldn’t a secondary house be construed such that they provide a check upon a temporary majoritarian sentiment? Such proper republican restrains might have resulted in an actual check upon the majoritarian madness in California, amongst other states.
The full decision, including concurrences can be read below:
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