Carr was one of the most wrenching in the Court's history. The cases involving Negro disfranchisement are no exception to the principle of avoiding federal judicial intervention into matters of state government in the absence of an explicit and clear constitutional imperative. Oregon, , in which the Court dismissed for want of jurisdiction a writ of error attacking a state license tax statute enacted by the initiative, on the claim that this mode of legislation was inconsistent with a Republican Form of Government and violated the Equal Protection Clause and other federal guarantees. The discrimination here does not fit any pattern -- as I have said, it is but a crazy quilt. We were soothingly told at the bar of this Court that we need not worry about the kind of remedy a court could effectively fashion once the abstract constitutional right to have courts pass on a statewide system of electoral districting is recognized as a matter of judicial rhetoric, because legislatures would heed the Court's admonition.
It is my view that the majority opinion has failed to point to any recognizable constitutional claim alleged in this complaint. For in order to warrant holding a state electoral apportionment invalid under the Equal Protection Clause, a court, in line with well established constitutional doctrine, must find that none of the permissible policies and none of the possible formulas on which it might have been based could rationally justify particular inequalities. His cause, therefore, became distinctly a party issue. On the basis of 1910 census figures, this apportionment yielded, for example, a senatorial ratio differential of more than four to one between Mohave and Cochise or between Mohave and Maricopa Counties. A State's choice to distribute electoral strength among geographical units, rather than according to a census of population, is certainly no less a rational decision of policy than would be its choice to levy a tax on property, rather than a tax on income. Written in plain English, not in legalese.
Decision: The Warren Court reached a 6-2 verdict in favor of Baker. However, the motion to affirm also rested on the ground of failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. When a district is composed of two or more counties, they shall be adjoining, and no county shall be divided in forming a district. For instance, had elected one state senator from each county. The States at the time of ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and those later admitted. For a court could not determine the equal protection issue without, in fact, first determining the Republican Form issue, simply because what is reasonable for equal protection purposes will depend upon what frame of government, basically, is allowed. Carr A law in Tennessee says that all the towns are required to provide population statistics to the state every 10 years.
The courts had said that districting issues could only be decided by legislatures, and Tennessee appealed to this precedent when facing Baker's argument in court. Northampton Election Board, , -51. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. A federal court cannot provide the authority requisite to make a legislature the proper governing body of the State of Tennessee. Carr, in which the court ruled that the drawing of election districts was… and talked about the 1962 Supreme Court case Baker v. They did not, however, expressly pray such relief. But surely one need not search far to find rationality in the Legislature's continued refusal to recognize the growth of the urban population that has accompanied the development of industry over the past half decade.
Carr case, which was an important Supreme Court case regarding voter representation, or apportionment: how the lines of districts are drawn, and who gets to decide. The adjustment of these questions belongs to the people and their political representatives, either in the State or general government. Their complaint is that the basis of representation of the Tennessee Legislature hurts them. This, of course, is the practical effect of any allocation of power within the institutions of government. The state was required to redistrict every 10 years according to population, and the lack of redistricting diluted the representation of citizens in urban areas. Whether dismissal of this case should have been for want of jurisdiction or, as is suggested in Bell v.
Issue: Charles Baker brought to light apportionment laws being ignored by the state of Tennessee. Albany County, ; Pawhuska v. The exact boundaries of the districts may be modified to conform to changes in House districts, but their numbers of senators and their approximate perimeters are to be preserved. It is only by blinking reality that such an analysis can stand and that the essentially legislative determination can be made the subject of judicial inquiry. New Jersey, ; Risty v. Notwithstanding these provisions, the State Legislature has not reapportioned itself since 1901.
State Board of Elections, 206 Tenn. Considering the gross inequality among legislative electoral units within almost every State, the Court naturally shrinks from asserting that, in districting, at least substantial equality is a constitutional requirement enforceable by courts. Such matters were the province of the legislative branch. Old Settlers, , , and compare Braden, 16 How. The federal court refused to hear the case under the , and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. But this is merely to acknowledge that particular circumstances may differ so greatly in degree as to differ thereby in kind, and that, although within a certain range of cases on a continuum, no standard of distinction can be found to tell between them, other cases will fall above or below the range. The widely heralded case of Colegrove v.
The District Court's dismissal order recited that it was issued in conformity with the court's per curiam opinion. Like Wesberry, the Reapportionment Cases grew out of the Supreme Court's decision in Baker; if anything, they had an even more profound impact on the American electoral landscape, as they rendered nearly every state legislature unconstitutional. The abstention from judicial entry into such areas has been greater even than that which marks the Court's ordinary approach to issues of state power challenged under broad federal guarantees. And certainly it is no part of the judicial functions of any court of the United States to prescribe the qualification of voters in a State, giving the right to those to whom it is denied by the written and established constitution and laws of the State, or taking it away from those to whom it is given; nor has it the right to determine what political privileges the citizens of a State are entitled to, unless there is an established constitution or law to govern its decision. Carr The ideal of one person, one vote motivated the founders of the United States of America to establish a census when they drafted the U. This part of the Constitution states that the Federal Government has the right to control and maintain jurisdiction over state laws. Peters, , and the decisions they spawned, the Court has never thought that protection of voting rights was beyond judicial cognizance.
Justice Brennan wrote the majority opinion of the court, essentially stating that dilution of votes was, in fact, denying the residents of Tennessee equal protection of the Fourteenth Amendment. Even the exemption of agricultural activities from state criminal statutes of otherwise general application has not been deemed offensive to the Equal Protection Clause. To charge courts with the task of accommodating the incommensurable factors of policy that underlie these mathematical puzzles is to attribute, however flatteringly, omnicompetence to judges. Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations. It is addressed to the framework and political character of the government by which the statute levying the tax was passed. Since there was no majority but only a plurality, however, the Court could not grant relief to Baker outright.
A Federal District Court is asked to say that the passage of time has rendered the 1901 apportionment obsolete to the point where its continuance becomes vulnerable under the Fourteenth Amendment. We have no question decided, or to be decided, by a political branch of government coequal with this Court. Board of Supervisors, 339 U. Each is a person allegedly qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly representing his county. Classic, ; or by a refusal to count votes from arbitrarily selected precincts, cf. North Dakota does not, in terms, demand equality in House representation; members are to be assigned among the several senatorial districts, which are of equal population. The charter government denied the validity of the convention, the constitution and its government and, after an insignificant skirmish, routed Dorr and his followers.