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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Legislative Redistricting: Selected full-text books and articles

Captive Constituents: Prison-Based Gerrymandering and the Current Redistricting Cycle By Ho, Dale E Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 22, No. 2, Spring 2011
Election Law - Partisan Gerrymandering - District Court Offers New Standard to Hold Wisconsin Redistricting Scheme Unconstitutional - Whitford V. Gill Harvard Law Review, Vol. 130, No. 7, May 2017
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).
Redistricting Transparency By Green, Rebecca William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 5, April 2018
5 Trends Shaping Redistricting: New Dynamics Are Transforming the Once-a-Decade Exercise of Drawing Political Boundaries By Cullen, Morgan; Davis, Michelle State Legislatures, Vol. 38, No. 9, October-November 2012
Crisis at the Polls: An Electoral Reform Handbook By Robert M. Hardaway Greenwood Press, 2008
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Redistricting"
From Ashcroft to Larios: Recent Redistricting Lessons from Georgia By Gaddie, Ronald Keith; Bullock, Charles S., III Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 3, April 2007
The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South By Joseph A. Aistrup University Press of Kentucky, 1996
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "The Redistricting Explanation"
The Politics of Reapportionment By Malcolm E. Jewell Atherton, 1962
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