Baker v. Carr

Baker v. Carr

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  • Baker v. Carr 1962
  • Charles Baker, mayor of Millington, challenged Joe Carr, Secretary of State
  • It took place in Tennessee , starting in 1961, with a final decison made in 1962. 
  • The case regarded voter representation, also known as, apportionment.
  • Did the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over questions of legislative apportionment?
  • Charles Baker challenged the law by claiming that districts used to determine representation in the Tennessee state legislature were unfairly drawn. He believed that the Tennessee state legislature had violated the constitution becuase it failed to reapportion representatives every ten years. 
  • Joe Carr, representing the state of Tennessee, responded that redistricting was a polictical issue not an issue for the courts. They said that districitng issues could only be decided by legislatures, and Tennessee appealed to this precedened when facing Baker's argument in court.
  • Initially, the District Court sided with Tennessee, arguing that it was the legislatures job to remedy. The Supreme Court disagreed and ruled that Charles Baker was justified: the state of Tennessee's refusal to reapportion representatives was a direct violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The court sent the case back to the DIstrict Court to be judged. 
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