❝ The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state and local governments can continue their longstanding method of drawing equal-sized election districts, rejecting calls for what might have been a transformational change reducing Hispanic voting clout.
Unanimously upholding Texas voting lines Monday, the justices rejected conservative groups’ arguments that map-drawers should stop using total population and start using eligible voters as the measure for the Constitution’s “one person, one vote” principle. That approach might have reduced representation for areas with large numbers of children and non-citizens and shifted some seats to more heavily Republican areas.
❝ Writing for six justices, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the total-population approach protects the interests of nonvoters, including children who attend public schools and their parents.
“As the framers of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote,” she wrote. “Total-population apportionment promotes equitable and effective representation…”
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito agreed with the outcome only, writing separately to lay out different reasoning.
❝ The ruling touched on a fundamental question about representative democracy, asking whether lawmakers serve on behalf of everyone in their district or only those eligible to cast ballots. The issue has taken on greater importance as the share of non-citizens in the U.S. has grown…
❝ The case stemmed from the Supreme Court’s landmark 1964 Reynolds v. Sims ruling, which established the “one person, one vote” standard and said the Constitution’s equal protection clause requires states to make their voting districts roughly the same size. The ruling voided maps across the country that had disproportionately allocated legislative seats to heavily white rural areas.
I still support the formation of a non-partisan redistricting commission along Canadian lines. Take the political crap motivating both of the two old parties out of the equation. That would follow the tenets of representative republican democracy in legitimate fashion. And, then, we might finally lose the silliness of an electoral college fashioned to the demands of horse-drawn transportation and rural slave-owners.