Legislative Redistricting

legislative apportionment

legislative apportionment, subdivision of a political body (e.g., a state or province) for the purpose of electing legislative representatives. In the United States, the Constitution requires that Congressional representatives be elected on the basis of population. State legislatures, not bound by the constitutional strictures, were apportioned according to considerations including population, as well as geographic size, special interests, and political divisions such as counties or towns. This often resulted in unrepresentative, minority control of the state legislature. The state legislatures were responsible for drawing up districts for the purpose of electing representatives to Congress. Gerrymandering often resulted (see gerrymander). In some states legislatures did not redistrict, despite population shifts, for as many as sixty years. This was the case until 1962 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Baker v. Carr that a voter could challenge legislative apportionment on the grounds that it violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Within nine months of the decision suits for reapportionment were brought in at least 34 states. In 1964, in Reynolds v. Sims, the Supreme Court ruled that population, i.e., the one-person, one-vote principle, must be the primary consideration in apportionment plans for both houses of state legislatures.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Voting Rights and Redistricting in the United States
Mark E. Rush.
Greenwood Press, 1998
The Politics of Reapportionment
Malcolm E. Jewell.
Atherton, 1962
The Appearance of Equality: Racial Gerrymandering, Redistricting, and the Supreme Court
Christopher M. Burke.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Principled Limitations on Racial and Partisan Redistricting
Pildes, Richard H.
The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 8, June 1997
Race and Redistricting in the 1990s
Bernard Grofman.
Agathon Press, 1998
What's a Federalist to Do? the Impending Clash between Textualism and Federalism in State Congressional Redistricting Suits under Article I, Section 4
Wilson, C. Bryan.
Duke Law Journal, Vol. 53, No. 4, February 2004
Easing the Spring: Strict Scrutiny and Affirmative Action after the Redistricting Cases: 2001 Cutler Lecture
Karlan, Pamela S.
William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 4, March 2002
The Redistricting Cases: Original Mistakes and Current Consequences
McConnell, Michael W.
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 24, No. 1, Fall 2000
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
State and Local Governments
Charles R. Adrian.
McGraw-Hill, 1967 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "Legislative Behavior and Apportionment"
Representation in Crisis: The Constitution, Interest Groups, and Political Parties
David K. Ryden.
State University of New York Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Law of Reapportionment: Party-Poor Theories of Representation"
Demographics: A Casebook for Business and Government
Hallie J. Kintner; Thomas W. Merrick; Peter A. Morrison; Paul R. Voss.
Rand, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Empowered or Disadvantaged? Applications of Demographic Analysis to Political Redistricting" and Chap. 4 "The Use of Intercensal Population Estimates in Political Redistricting"
Handbook of United States Election Laws and Practices: Political Rights
Alexander J. Bott.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Right to Fair and Effective Representation"
The Redistricting Wars: The Republican Drive Represents a Power Grab Unprecedented in Scale and Timing
Abramsky, Sasha.
The Nation, Vol. 277, No. 22, December 29, 2003
The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South
Joseph A. Aistrup.
University Press of Kentucky, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Redistricting Explanation"
Legislators, Law, and Public Policy: Political Change in Mississippi and the South
Mary Delorse Coleman.
Greenwood Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Mississippi Legislature after Redistricting: Structural Continuities and Change" and Chap. 5 "The Mississippi Legislature after Redistricting: Voting Continuities, Ambivalence and Change"
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