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Name: ___Tanmay Bangalore____________________________ Date: ___17/11/11_____ Period: __5__

Presentation Notes ● Key Cases—Congressional Districting
Directions: Use this form to complete the case brief using the CQ Supreme Collection synopsis as your source. Refer to the “How to…” handout distributed in class to know how to write this up. 1. Case Title/Date: Baker v. Carr 2. Facts of the Case: The Constitution states that each state has members in the House of Representatives based on the state's share of the population, but does not prescribe how representatives are assigned within the state. Some states periodically redrew lines of congressional districts to equalize the representation of individuals between districts, but some states failed to redistrict after three decades despite major population shifts by the 1950s. In states like California, where most of the population was centered about Southern California and the Bay Area, senatorial districts grossly undervalued urban areas and overvalued rural votes. After the series of Civil Rights cases in the 1950s, voters believed their ballots were diluted by the misappropriation of representation in their districts. Urban voters in Tennessee launched Baker v. Carr to redistrict their district for the first time in 61 years, since 1901. In March 1962, the Court ruled in favor of the citizens, with Justice Brennan ruling that citizens who believed their votes had been diluted had the right to sue in federal district court, assigning the power and responsibility to afford relief from malapportionment to the lower courts. However, according to the current political question doctrine, the Court had previously refused jurisdiction because earlier questions had lacked manageable standards for resolving the issue; of course, in Gormillion, the Court had asserted the power to resolve problems deemed justiciable. The Court’s two leading proponents of judicial restraint, Frankfurter and Harlan, were understandably outraged, with Frankfurter accusing the majority of risking the Court’s prestige in an area that should be left to Congress. 3. Constitutional Question: The court tried to address the issue of whether the reapportionment of voting districts was a justiciable question whether the court had the power to decide in redistricting cases.

fifth. if it infringed on the powers of a particular branch of government. Third. the court must not have judicially manageable or discoverable standards for resolving it.” with Brennan citing executive war powers and foreign affairs as examples of political departmentalization. if it required unquestioning adherence to a previous political decision. .APGP 4. stating that Baker’s case was justiciable and the courts could intervene in the reapportionment of voting districts. Second. if they possessed "Textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. fourth. sixth. if it was potentially embarrassing due to various multifarious opinions expressed on it by one department of government. Justice Brennan reformulated the guidelines of what constituted a justiciable case. a case was a political question if it was impossible to resolve without an initial policy determination of a kind for nonjudicial discretion. marking cases as political questions and not justiciable based on six factors – first. Decision & Reasoning/Significance: The case was decided in favor of the plaintiff.

8. reversing the decision 6-3 and stating that the earlier decision was invalid because it abridged Article 1. 5. meanwhile. Section 2 of the Constitution. the district court dismissed the case brought to the court despite the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Baker v. failed to redistrict and a number of cases entered the Court under the title Reynolds v. Some states. Sanders 6. had the dissenting opinion. At the time. This was a major precursor to apportionment cases a few months later. Justice Harlan. while also agreeing with the majority. Refer to the “How to…” handout distributed in class to know how to write this up. Facts of the Case: After the landmark Baker v. arguing that the Constitution provides the state legislatures and Congress over congressional reapportionment cases. 7. Sims in 1964. Decision & Reasoning/Significance: The majority argued for a conventional reading of the Constitution. however. Justice Clark.APGP Name: ________________________________________ Date: _______________ Period: _____ Presentation Notes ● Key Cases—Congressional Districting Directions: Use this form to complete the case brief using the CQ Supreme Collection synopsis as your source. Case Title/Date: Wesberry v. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.” guaranteeing equality of representation in the election of members in the House of Representatives. Constitutional Question: The constitutional question at hand was whether the representatives in each state should be appointed based on the populations in each state to equalize every man’s congressional power. arguing that the case should decide whether the apportionment statue violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District’s population was over twice that of the average population in the rest of the state’s ten districts. Justice Black wrote that the debates of the Constitutional Convention demonstrated that the Framers had meant for legislation “by the People. Carr case. however. dissented. . which requires that one man’s vote must be worth as much as another’s. Carr. states began to reapportion districts to equalize their legislative clout. meanwhile.

gerrymandering along district lines was illegalized. In the case of Gomillion v. a district with a black majority.APGP Name: ________________________________________ Date: _______________ Period: _____ Presentation Notes ● Key Cases—Congressional Districting Directions: Use this form to complete the case brief using the CQ Supreme Collection synopsis as your source. and the Justice Department pressured states to create more majority-minority districts to ensure at least some black representation. Reno 10. as well. Lightfoot. In Shaw. while Rogers v. and Section 2 sought to guarantee an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process for minorities. which was a serious problem with the North Carolina plan. Constitutional Question: The constitutional question at hand was whether redistricting by race must be held to a standard under the Equal Protection Clause. meanwhile. 9. Refer to the “How to…” handout distributed in class to know how to write this up. Courts were soon flooded with challenges from whites who claimed that redistricting deprived them of an equal vote. provided that states would redistrict areas to give minorities proportional representation in the total makeup of a state’s congressional delegation. The state created a district that was a 160 mile long winding curve to connect areas with a large black population. Decision & Reasoning/Significance: North Carolina revised its districting with one majority-minority black district. the states had to redraw their district lines. Facts of the Case: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured that the minority vote would count. Section 5. After the 1990 census. Lodge ruled that districts could have black majorities. Case Title/Date: Shaw v. 11. 12. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor called the new district “bizarre” and the court found that such an odd shape is unexplainable beyond the grounds of race and should be held to the standard of strict scrutiny. The majority-minority district in North Carolina was an odd shape. The dissenters noted that the case was brought to court by white voters . the Court ruled that whites in North Carolina had a justiciable claim under the Equal Protection Clause to challenge the redistricting.

Additionally. . the holding citing the 14th Amendment made redistricting blacks subject to more scrutiny than other districts.APGP challenging North Carolina’s first black representatives since Reconstruction.

Johnson. The Court heard the Miller v. therefore. appealed to the Supreme Court. while the Georgia case deemed redistricting unconstitutional and set a racial line-setting standard for the future. 16. Justice Kennedy said that the Court’s initial decision in Shaw v. Five white voters placed in one of these districts filed suit against the plan. Georgia had to apply for preclearance from the Justice Department before they could follow through with the plan. In that case. Johnson case as well as a case from Louisiana on the same subject. Reno.APGP Name: ________________________________________ Date: _______________ Period: _____ Presentation Notes ● Key Cases—Congressional Districting Directions: Use this form to complete the case brief using the CQ Supreme Collection synopsis as your source. 14. claiming that it segregated voters based on race and that race-based districting should be subject to scrutiny. The plan was therefore subject to scrutiny under Shaw v. Justice Kennedy said that the Court’s initial decision in Shaw v. the odd district shape was circumstantial evidence. Abrams v. Reno did not limit challenges to plans that created irregularly shaped districts. Decision & Reasoning/Significance: As stated previously. However. Constitutional Question: The constitutional question at hand was whether redistricting by race in Georgia was subject to scrutiny. The Louisiana case was dismissed by the Court. Georgia’s governor. and race had been the dominating factor. Case Title/Date: Miller v. Refer to the “How to…” handout distributed in class to know how to write this up. as did a number of black and white voters affected by the ruling. 15. Kennedy also criticized the Justice Department’s reading of the Voting Rights Act. Georgia adopted a redistricting plan that called for two of the state’s eleven districts to have majority black populations. 13. Zell Miller. By 1992. a third plan was agreed upon creating three majority black districts. Johnson Facts of the Case: In 1991. the lower court had correctly concluded that race drove the Georgia plan. and the department refused to approve it. Reno did not limit challenges to plans that created irregularly . under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

and race had been the dominating factor.APGP shaped districts. the odd district shape was circumstantial evidence. therefore. The plan was therefore subject to scrutiny under Shaw v. leaving lawmakers with no assurance that plans conscious of race would be upheld. the lower court had correctly concluded that race drove the Georgia plan. The dissenting justices. Reno. .” The Court’s ruling would also invite searching review of racial redistricting. Justice O’Connor also said that the decision did not cast doubts on the majority of congressional districts in the country even if race was considered in the redistricting process. however – Stevens and Ginsburg – stated that the ruling threw the whole redistricting process into turmoil. In that case. States would be required to consider race by “statutory mandates and political realities. Kennedy also criticized the Justice Department’s reading of the Voting Rights Act.