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View Diary: What nobody is addressing about the Electoral Vote-rigging scheme (180 comments)

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  •  With this court who knows, but in the 1960s there (0+ / 0-)

    were a series of rulings that might apply. I listed them here with links. To start, and end, quotes from one ruling:

    To the extent that a citizen's right to vote is debased, he is that much less a citizen. The fact that an individual lives here or there is not a legitimate reason for overweighting or diluting the efficacy of his vote.
    Malapportionment can, and has historically, run in various directions. However and whenever it does, it is constitutionally impermissible under the Equal Protection Clause.
    Reynolds v. Sims - 377 U.S. 533 (1964)

    Baker v. Carr dealt with jurisdiction of federal courts over just such imbalance in Tennessee. A lower court had ruled lack of jurisdiction.

    In light of the District Court's treatment of the case, we hold today only (a) that the court possessed jurisdiction of the subject matter; (b) that a justiciable cause of action is stated upon which appellants would be entitled to appropriate relief, and (c) because appellees raise the issue before this Court, that the appellants have standing to challenge the Tennessee apportionment statutes. [Footnote 16] Beyond noting that we have no cause at this stage to doubt the District Court will be able to fashion relief if violations of constitutional rights are found, it is improper now to consider what remedy would be most appropriate if appellants prevail at the trial.
    The Supreme Court ruled:
    Held:

    1. The District Court had jurisdiction of the subject matter of the federal constitutional claim asserted in the complaint. Pp. 369 U. S. 198-204.

    2. Appellants had standing to maintain this suit. Pp. 369 U. S. 204-208.

    3. The complaint's allegations of a denial of equal protection presented a justiciable constitutional cause of action upon which appellants are entitled to a trial and a decision. Pp. 369 U. S. 208-37.

    179 F.Supp. 824, reversed and cause remanded

    In Reynolds v. Sims, all about rural v. urban, Chief Justice Warren noted:
    To the extent that a citizen's right to vote is debased, he is that much less a citizen. The fact that an individual lives here or there is not a legitimate reason for overweighting or diluting the efficacy of his vote. The complexions of societies and civilizations change, often with amazing rapidity. A nation once primarily rural in character becomes predominantly urban. [Footnote 43] Representation schemes once fair and equitable become archaic and outdated. But the basic principle of representative government remains, and must remain, unchanged -- the weight of a citizen's vote cannot be made to depend on where he lives. Population is, of necessity, the starting point for consideration and the controlling criterion for judgment in legislative apportionment controversies. [Footnote 44]

    Footnote 43 is particularly interesting:

    Although legislative apportionment controversies are generally viewed as involving urban-rural conflicts, much evidence indicates that presently it is the fast-growing suburban areas which are probably the most seriously underrepresented in many of our state legislatures. And, while currently the thrust of state legislative malapportionment results, in most States, in underrepresentation of urban and suburban areas, in earlier times, cities were, in fact, overrepresented in a number of States. In the early 19th century, certain of the seaboard cities in some of the Eastern and Southern States possessed and struggled to retain legislative representation disproportionate to population, and bitterly opposed according additional representation to the growing inland areas. Conceivably, in some future time, urban areas might again be in a situation of attempting to acquire or retain legislative representation in excess of that to which, on a population basis, they are entitled. Malapportionment can, and has historically, run in various directions. However and whenever it does, it is constitutionally impermissible under the Equal Protection Clause.
    There are court decisions, generally under the category "one man, one vote" rulings, that indicate this is not a slam dunk win for these schemes now in some state legislatures.

    Perhaps some of our lawyers will take a look and chime in.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:11:47 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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