Baker v. Carr

Baker v. Carr

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  • Argued:  April 19-20th, 1961 Reargued: October 9th, 1961  Decided: March 26th, 1962  Chief Justice: Earl Warren  Amendment Addressed: 14th Amendment 
  • Baker v. Carr Nathan Osberg  
  • Memphis, Tennessee, 1961
  • Charles Baker: Something needs to be done about this unequal representation of legislative districts. They have not changed in over 60 years! 
  • I agree. Some many people have migrated to urban cities in the past few years. It has led to unequal economic growth.
  • Baker and other urban voters then sue Tennessee Secretary of State Joseph Carr.
  • Baker: This is not fair! Two-thirds of our representatives are being elected by only one-third of the population.
  • March 26th, 1962
  • Warren: After rearguing, the court has reached a vote of 6-2 in favor of Baker. 
  • Unequal legislative apportionment is unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and there are no questions to be answered here about it being a justiciable issue.
  • This case set a new precedent that the courts now have the right to review redistricting issues which before were seen as "political questions" and outside the courts' jurisdiction. This case paves the way for the new idea of "one man, one vote" in representation. 
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