• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court’s decision regarding a Missouri congressional redistricting act established that legislative districts should be as mathematically equal as possible.

The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote, upheld a federal district court’s overturning of a 1967 Missouri congressional redistricting statute. In the opinion for the Court, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,Brennan, William J., Jr.;Kirkpatrick v. Preisler[Kirkpatrick v. Preisler] held that there is no minimum population variance acceptable between districts in redistricting cases involving the House of Representatives. The one person, one vote principle means that all districts must be as precisely equal as possible, thereby ending the last of the arguments in legislative redistricting that a small variation should be acceptable. This case was broadly worded and was thought to apply to state legislative district cases as well, but the Court made it clear in Mahan v. Howell[case]Mahan v. Howell[Mahan v. Howell] (1973) that state legislatures had greater latitude in redistricting themselves. Justices John M. Harlan II, Potter Stewart, and Byron R. White dissented.Reapportionment;Kirkpatrick v. Preisler[Kirkpatrick v. Preisler]Redistricting;Kirkpatrick v. Preisler[Kirkpatrick v. Preisler]

Colegrove v. Green

Gray v. Sanders

Mahan v. Howell

Representation, fairness of

Reynolds v. Sims

Vote, right to

Wesberry v. Sanders

Categories: History Content