The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that legislative malapportionment was not a political question but an issue that could be considered by the courts.
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,
Baker did not actually reapportion any districts, nor did it set forth standards for states to follow. The one person, one vote principle, not enunciated until Gray v. Sanders
The long-term impact of this decision was to correct a situation that apparently could not be corrected by the ordinary political process. As more Americans moved to urban areas, rural areas became underpopulated and overrepresented in state legislatures. In most states, rural domination was so great that the legislature had a majority of rural representatives who blocked any realistic chances of reapportioning their states. Because state legislatures also draw congressional district lines, this malapportionment extended to the national level. Reapportionment had historically been regarded as a political question beyond the reach of the federal courts, but this decision reversed that legal standard.
Colegrove v. Green
Gray v. Sanders
Kirkpatrick v. Preisler
Mahan v. Howell
Representation, fairness of
Reynolds v. Sims
Wesberry v. Sanders