Joey Herman

Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



Voting Rights Act, Equal Protection, State Districting

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Supreme Court of the United States


The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, promises substantial equality of population within state legislative districts under the “one-person, one-vote” rule. Most frequently, total population is the basis for state reapportionament, but state citizenship and voter registration populations have also been acceptable bases in certain situations. The case of Evenwel v. Abbott, provides the Court with the opportunity to resolve the permissible population basis for reapportionment of state legislative districts. This Commentary argues that a state may rely upon total population as the basis for apportionment because such an approach is consistent with existing precedent and would avoid arbitrary administration based on volatile and uncertain statistical evidence related to voting patterns.