Everyone Counts

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected what was widely viewed as an effort to manipulate voting district lines in Texas to favor the conservative vote. In Evenwel v. Abbott, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas’s existing Senate map, which attempted to equalize its voting districts based on total population rather than just the population of registered voters. The Court found that the map, which considered the total number of residents, was consistent with the principle of “one person, one vote.” In doing so, the opinion’s author, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reminded us that, “As the Framers of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote . . . By ensuring that each representative is subject to requests and suggestions from the same number of constituents, total-population apportionment promotes equitable and effective representation.

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