WASHINGTON – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN) released the following joint statement applauding the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Evenwel v. Abbott to reaffirm the use of total-population data by states to draw state legislative election districts, clarifying the meaning of the “one-person, one-vote” principle:
|Dean of the U.S. House|
John Conyers, Jr.
“Today the Supreme Court importantly reaffirmed the principle that state legislative districts should contain roughly equal numbers of people based total-population census data. The fundamental principle of ‘one-person, one-vote’ means that states use total-population figures as a basis for drawing legislative districts, even where this may produce a variation in the total number of voters. This principle is designed to protect the legislative interests of all residents, even if they are not eligible to vote.”
“A unanimous Court emphasized that nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates and in receiving constituent services, making equity in reapportionment critical to promoting equitable and effective representation.”
“This unanimous decision should discourage voter suppression efforts that would attempt to manipulate the redistricting process to the disadvantage of emerging minority population with younger than average voting-age and non-citizenship populations.”
The “one-person, one-vote” principle requires that states design legislative districts with roughly equal total-populations. The challengers in Evenwel sought to change historical precedent to allow states to use more restrictive eligible-voter population numbers in drawing legislative districts.
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