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Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962)
 

Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962)

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Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962) Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962) Presentation Transcript

  • Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962)
  • Baker v. Carr was initiated inTennessee in 1959 against Joseph Carr, the Tennessee secretary ofstate, and George McCanless, the attorney general.
  • 11% rural population 50%legislation Urban tax dollars
  • $98 spent on each rural $64 spent on each urban student student
  • The best way to retain state resourceswas to keep things the way they were.
  • Problemsgreatest instates withfastestgrowthStates with thefastest growth:• Florida• Georgia• Illinois
  • 1842 Rhode Island encountered theDorr Rebellion led by Thomas Wilson Dorr.
  • The Industrial Revolution brought manyprosperous transplants and immigrants toRhode Island.
  • Thomas Dorr led an unsuccessful attack against Rhode Island on May 19, 1842. Rhode Island’s Constitution went peacefully into effect in 1843.
  • Tennessee’s own Constitution required apportionment among thestate’s ninety-five counties after each decennial census.
  • Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549 (1946)
  • The Supreme Court restricted its decision to questions of: Standing Jurisdiction Justiciability
  • Standing: Did Baker and the other plaintiffs havestanding (the right) to bring a suit of this kind before the Court?
  • Justiciability: Is it appropriate for the judicialbranch to hear and decide this case or should it be left to the executive or legislative branch?
  • “…it is a responsibility of this Court asultimate interpreter of the Constitution.” -Justice Brennan
  • By the end of the decadethe political landscape of the United States was radically altered.
  • SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WILLIAM DOUGLAS“Voting rights have long had the protection of federal courts.”
  • Considered Tennessee’s original apportionment “a crazy quilt without rational basis.”Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark
  • He emphasized that the Court had todetermineJurisdiction, Justiciability, andStanding.
  • Supreme Court Justice John M Harlan He set out to prove the inadequacy of arithmetic formulas as measures of the “irrational rationality” of Tennessee’s apportionment.
  • Justice Justice Clark’s Harlan’sCounty Population formula FormulaVan Buren 2,039 .63 .23Moore 2,340 2.00 1.23Pickett 2,565 .70 .22Sequatchie 2,909 .63 .33Meigs 3,039 .93 .48Houston 3,084 1.25 .46Trousdale 3,351 1.33 .43Lewis 3,413 1.25 .39Perry 3,711 1.50 .71Bledsoe 4,198 .63 .49Clay 4,528 .70 .40Union 4,600 .76 .37Hancock 4,710 .93 .62
  • 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 0 Carter MauryWashington Madison Grundy ChesterCumberland Crockett Loudon Fayette Population Representation
  • Supreme Court Justice Felix FrankfurterWrote Colegrove v. Green and questioned thecommission or competence of Supreme Court Justices to decide apportionment cases.
  • Many blame bizarrely shaped districts on the Supreme Court
  • The requirement that districtsbe 99% equal in population is mathematically absurd.
  • State and Federal judges try to bring some order to the chaos
  • Self-interested political actors redefineapportionment for their own fortunes