On its face, the constitutional doctrine of “one person one vote” seems about as clear as they come: no one’s vote should count more than anyone else’s. In practice this means all state legislative districts must contain roughly equal numbers of people. The court has never defined who counts as a “person,” but most states count all people living in the district, not only those eligible to vote. This issue was before the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a dangerous lawsuit from Texas that could upend the widely accepted method of drawing district lines that is based on the number of people, not voters. Through a series of Supreme Court rulings in the 1960s, the justices developed the one-person-one-vote doctrine in response to persistent abuses of the line-drawing process by white legislators, who diluted the political power of cities that have large populations of African-Americans and other minorities.
Texas has a long and odious history of discriminatory voting practices, including poll taxes and discriminatory voter-registration schemes. The current case, Evenwel v. Abbott, is only the latest effort to enshrine a new discriminatory practice.
This time, the plaintiffs want to force the state to count only eligible voters in drawing districts. Such a method would diminish the political power of Texas’s urban areas, where more minorities tend to live — particularly Latinos, who are disproportionately not citizens — and favor rural areas, which lean Republican.
Full Article: The Court Takes Up One Person, One Vote – The New York Times.