SCOTUS rules in Evenwel v. Abbott “one person, one vote” case

States may, but are not required to, draw legislative districts based on total population

 

Justice Ginsburg: “We hold, based on constitutional history, this Court’s decisions, and longstanding practice, that a State may draw its legislative districts based on total population…

 

“Because history, precedent, and practice suffice to reveal the infirmity of appellants’ claims, we need not and do not resolve whether, as Texas now argues, States may draw districts to equalize voter-eligible population rather than total population.”

 

Justice Thomas: “I agree with the majority that our precedents do not require a State to equalize the total number of voters in each district. States may opt to equalize total population… In my view, the majority has failed to provide a sound basis for the one-person, one-vote principle because no such basis exists. The Constitution does not prescribe any one basis for apportionment within States. It instead leaves States significant leeway in apportioning their own districts to equalize total population, to equalize eligible voters, or to promote any other principle consistent with a republican form of government. The majority should recognize the futility of choosing only one of these options. The Constitution leaves the choice to the people alone—not to this Court.”