• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court struck down racial gerrymandering in Tuskegee, Alabama, opening the door for a reconsideration of the justiciability of redistricting cases.

Justice Felix FrankfurterFrankfurter, Felix;Gomillion v. Lightfoot[Gomillion v. Lightfoot] wrote the unanimous opinion of the Court overturning the arbitrary redrawing of the city limit lines in Tuskegee, Alabama, in such a way as to eliminate all but four or five AfricanAfrican Americans;gerrymandering[gerrymandering] American voters while eliminating no white voters. In doing so, Frankfurter had to get around his own opinion in Colegrove v. Green[case]Colegrove v. Green[Colegrove v. Green] (1946) in which he had concluded that legislative redistricting was a political question best left to the legislature. ReapportionmentHe did not drop his opposition to general judicial review of legislative districts, using the Fifteenth Amendment’s voting rights principle rather than the Fourteenth Amendment in his reasoning in Gomillion. He defended his Colegrove opinion in his dissent in Baker v. Carr[case]Baker v. Carr[Baker v. Carr] (1962). Justices William O. Douglas and Charles E. Whittaker concurred but said they would have struck down the gerrymandering on Fourteenth Amendment grounds, foreshadowing the overturning of Colegrove by Baker.Gerrymandering;Gomillion v. Lightfoot[Gomillion v. Lightfoot]

Baker v. Carr

Colegrove v. Green

Gerrymandering

Gray v. Sanders

Kirkpatrick v. Preisler

Mahan v. Howell

Race and discrimination

Representation, fairness of

Vote, right to

Wesberry v. Sanders

Categories: History Content