Listen to Episode 32 of Slate’s Amicus:
For many decades, state legislatures deliberately kept in place voting districts that privileged rural voters over urban ones. In 1964, the Supreme Court famously declared this practice to be unconstitutional, ruling that states needed to redraw voting maps every 10 years to make sure each district contained roughly the same number of people.
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Evenwel v. Abbott, a case that could upend that principle of “one person, one vote.” The plaintiffs argue that the current system privileges voters from districts with large numbers of ineligible voters. They are calling for a brand new approach to apportionment based not on overall population but rather on the population of eligible voters. Attorney Andrew Grossman filed an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs and joins us on this episode to explain the plaintiffs’ case. Stanford Law Professor Nathaniel Persily filed a brief on the other side of the case and joins us to explain why he thinks the case could have grave implications.
Finally, we listen back to a few highlights from the week’s other big case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, including the remark by Justice Antonin Scalia that “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”
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Podcast production by Tony Field.