About 50 years ago, the Supreme Court held that electoral districts must have roughly equal numbers of people, a principle known as “one person, one vote.” The rule left room for interpretation. Did there have to be the same number of residents, i.e., total population? Or did there have to be equal numbers of just eligible or registered voters? Were the states free to choose? And in any case, how did the rule relate to other considerations such as keeping communities together in the same district, or creating majority-minority districts? These are the questions raised in Evenwel v. Abbott, a challenge to Texas’s electoral districts that was before the Supreme Court for oral argument last week.
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