Reynolds vs. Sims

Reynolds vs. Sims

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  • Reynolds vs. Sims
  • We would like to sue Alabama for violating voters' constitutional rights.
  • What is your statement?
  • Everyone's vote should have equal weight.
  • Because the populations in different electoral districts vary greatly, the weight a single voter contributes can be more than someone else's. 
  • The setting is in Alabama where several voters, including M.O. Sims, David J. Vann, John McConnell went to challenge Reynolds and the apportionment of the state legislature.
  • The Alabama constitution stated that each county was entitled to one representative and there should be as many senators as senatorial districts. However, the populations varied greatly between districts, thus causing a problem. 
  • The apportionment of the district is unconstitutional. It violates the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution.
  • During the time, there was a great population shift from rural to urban environments. The districts' populations weren't re-adjusted, so this made one person's vote in a district have a greater effect someone in another, which was not fair.
  • The electoral district is to be divided equally. Though not entirely possible, it should be done to the best of its ability.
  • The case eventually went to the Supreme Court where the issue began to be looked into.
  • Later at the Supreme Court...
  • The court declared the apportionment of the districts unconstitutional, saying it violated the Equal Protection Clause. The court decided that the districts were to be divided as equally as possible to balance the weight of votes, following the "One man, one vote" rule. 
  • This decision made of Hispanic and African American voters have an advantage because they were most of the population.
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