Christopher Skinnell '99 and Ken Miller, Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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Taking Voter Equality Seriously: What Does "One-Person, One-Vote" Really Mean?

The Supreme Court first formulated the "one person, one vote" rule in the 1960s, holding that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment includes a "one-person, one-vote" principle. This principle requires that when members of an elected body are chosen from separate districts, each district must be established on a basis that will insure that equal numbers of voters can vote for proportionally equal numbers of officials. The Court, however, has never resolved the issue of what is the appropriate population to use for redistricting, whether it is total population, voting age population, citizen voting-age population, citizen-eligible voting-age population, or some variant.

Evenwel v. Abbott, a case now before the Supreme Court, focuses on this question and will the subject of this conversation. Participants include Christopher Skinnell '99, a partner at Nielsen Merksamer and Ken Miller, professor of government at CMC.