Thursday, May 28, 2015

Supreme Court Case Could Revolutionize Voting Districts

The Supreme Court will soon be deciding (in Evenwel v. Abbott) if representation should reflect eligible voters or total population. Does one person/one vote mean voters are all equal, or that a voter in an area with lots of non-voters should have more sway than a voter in an area with fewer non-voters. An interesting question. It could change political power from cities where there are more non-voters (including areas that have been courting illegal immigrants) to suburbs or rural areas where the eligible voter to non-voter population is more even.

From Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun:
The case — known as Evenwel v. Abbott — is arising from Texas. It’s about whether voting power has to be apportioned equally by general population or by eligible voters. The impact could extend way beyond the Lone Star State, shifting political power away from cities.
Particularly cities with relatively high, non-voting immigrant populations like — oh, say — New York. The case has the potential to require authorities to strip away during the redistricting process population that isn’t eligible to vote — undocumented aliens, felons, children.
Edward Blum is the conservative constitutional sage who heads the Project on Fair Representation, which provided counsel in this case. He tells me the Nine could force redistricting. The court could, he said, “help upstate New York districts dramatically.”
Not just upstate. Mr. Blum reckons the case could lead to changes in city councils, too. He speculates that council districts in such big cities as New York, Houston and Chicago are among the “most mal-apportioned” in the country.
Here's a link to an amicus brief that gives some of the argumentation.


MAX Redline said...

Interesting case, TD. Eligible voters, should, I think, be the deciding criterion. But then, labor unions and other Democratics disagree. And a decision to the contrary of their perspective could have grave implications for Chicago, where leaders are still reeling from an FAA decision to permit expansion of O'Hare airport despite the fact that the new runway passes through an established graveyard, disenfranchising hundreds of reliable Democrat voters.

MAX Redline said...

Are voters ready to let illegal immigrants vote? A sizable number, including most Democrats, are.

T. D. said...

The interesting thing is that it won't be any bigger in impact than the original one person/one vote decision--which made state senators have to be elected on the basis of population (same as representatives) rather than on county.

This will be a fun one to watch.

As for illegal immigrants voting, why not tourists too? Anyone who happens to be in the area at the time. Heh.

T. D. said...

And thanks for the link, Max. Very interesting.

MAX Redline said...

Heck yeah! Anybody who happens to be there ought to be able to vote!

Just ask De Leon. Of course, most of his district is composed of illegal aliens....

T. D. said...

Interesting that the Rasmussen poll you linked to finds that a whopping 66% disagree with De Leon. They think only people eligible to vote should be counted. I didn't expect that level of good sense.