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Chapter 4

The 1967 Single-Member District Mandate

 

The Checkered History of Single-Member Congressional Districts
The Judiciary’s Entrance into the "Political Thicket"&
Congress Fights Back
The Need to Guard Against Southern Racial Minority Vote Dilution
Overview of the Debate
Conclusion
Notes

The 1967 single-member district mandate may have had the same effect as its 1842 counterpart, but the context and testimony surrounding this law differed drastically. First, the 1967 debates lacked the intense conflict characteristic of the 1842 Apportionment Act. Although the states had been able to choose their own method of House elections since 1929, this bill was hardly a novel or controversial concept. After all, districting legislation had been passed every decade from 1862 to 1911. Moreover, this law would only affect Hawaii and New Mexico since they were the only two states, entitled to more than one Representative, which utilized at-large elections.

However the main reason these debates were comparatively mild-mannered is that the concerns over federalism, which had caused so much antagonism in 1842, were conspicuously absent in 1967. Not a single member of Congress pointed out that the states had made this decision for themselves at many points in this nation's history, or that this was the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Apparently they had all come to believe it was entirely within the authority of the federal Legislature to enact such a provision.

The political context differed in the sense that at-large elections were actually gaining acceptance in 1967. As the Supreme Court began invalidating malapportioned districting schemes, at-large elections were seen as a viable alternative to the increasingly problematic task of creating equipopulous districts. Another factor that added to the popularity of this electoral system was the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[136] No secret was made of the South's disapproval of racial minority enfranchisement, nor was the dilutionary impact of the general ticket considered confidential.[137] As a result, many Southern states began implementing this system for their own legislative elections in an effort to offset the reestablished black vote.

Still, there was one important similarity between these two mandates: both were premised on the need to preserve minority representation. By 1967, the scope of this objective had broadened to include racial minorities as well. A majority of Congress still believed it imperative to avoid any electoral system that egregiously underrepresented a large number of citizens. It was thought that a single-member district mandate was "the only way effectively in¸that the majority can provide for the protection of the minority voices in the councils of government."[138] Thus much like the 1842 Apportionment Act, the 1967 law signals a continuing progression towards a more inclusive American democracy.

 

The Checkered History of Single-Member Congressional Districts

Up until 1967, federal districting legislation had been inconsistently enacted and seldom enforced. Four states blatantly disobeyed the 1842 Apportionment Act's districting provisions, but were still allowed to seat their at-large elected Representatives. A brief look at the history of district mandates suggests that these four states set an unfortunate precedent, as these laws would continue to be occasionally disregarded.

After the 1842 debacle, Congress waited twenty years to pass another district mandate.[139] But the 1862 law requiring single-member districts elicited comparatively little debate.[140] Surprisingly, there was only one Congressman who openly voiced his misgivings about such a law,[141] despite the overwhelming Constitutional concerns raised in 1842. As a result, the bill passed rather easily through both the House and the Senate.[142]

Subsequent laws not only incorporated the districting requirement, but actually added further stipulations. In 1872, Congress once again mandated districts composed of contiguous territory, but this time declared that they should contain "as nearly as practicable an equal number of inhabitants."[143] The next two apportionment acts, in 1882 and 1891,[144] reiterated these provisions. As the political landscape began to change, due to increased immigration and a steady population shift to the cities, Congress added another requirement in 1901: this time, it stated that districts must also be composed of "compact territory."[145] All of these district demands contiguity, equal number of inhabitants, and compactness were then repeated in the 1911 Apportionment Act.[146]

Despite these good-natured and ambitious intentions, these districting provisions were still ineffective. Many states continued to elect their Representatives at-large,[147] while others clearly disregarded the compactness and equal population requirements.[148] Yet Congress continued to sit by passively and allow these electoral injustices, prompting Rep. Emanuel Celler of New York to write in 1952 that "The history of apportionment in the United States, particularly since 1842 when standards were established for Congressional districts, indicates conclusively that the one single factor that has always been lacking has been that of enforcement."[149] In this respect, it could therefore be argued that the districting legislation from 1842 to 1911 was "null and void" just as Stephen A. Douglas asserted in his report on the 1842 mandate.[150] For exceptions were clearly allowed to swallow the rule, as these federal "laws" served more as informal guides than rigid regulations.

Congress would not pass an apportionment act after the 1920 Census because there were serious concerns about the accuracy of the census figures.[151] The next act wasn't passed until 1929, a law in which Congress failed to enact any district requirements.[152] This lack of action did not stem from a rejection of these provisions, but actually resulted from the prevailing notion that the 1911 requirements were still applicable. The Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1932 in Wood v. Broom .[153] In this case, which dealt with the constitutionality of a Mississippi districting law, the Court ruled that since Congress failed to reaffirm the districting provisions in the 1929 Apportionment Act, they could no longer be considered controlling.

After this decision, Congress did not pass any districting legislation for the next thirty-five years. Several states subsequently opted for at-large elections,[154] while those that did create districts clearly violated traditional principles of compactness, contiguity, and equal population.[155] Broom would prove to be of great historical significance, as the Court indicated it might begin adjudicating political questions about electoral fairness.

 

The Judiciary's Entrance into the "Political Thicket"

Four of the ruling Justices in Broom felt that the Court should not have even heard the case. In their minority opinion, Justices Louis D. Brandeis, Harlan F. Stone, Owen J. Roberts, and Benjamin N. Cardozo stated that they would have dismissed the suit for "want of equity."[156] This phrase "suggested a policy of judicial self-limitation with respect to the entire question of judicial involvement in essentially ╬political' questions."[157] These types of questions normally have broad political ramifications, with "the law" offering little guidance as to how they should be solved. As a result, they had historically been avoided by the independent, non-partisan Supreme Court.

The Court would then wait fourteen years to hear another Congressional districting controversy,[158] this time adjudging Illinois' malapportioned Congressional districts in Colegrove v. Green .[159] Here three voters challenged Illinois' apportionment plan because several of these subdivisions lacked compactness and approximate equality of population. Yet in this case, a slim 4-3 majority decided to dismiss the suit. In the opinion of the Court, Justice Felix Frankfurter expressed agreement with the minority opinion of Broom , reasoning that "It is hostile to a democratic system to involve the judiciary in the politics of the people."[160] To this he added the now famous warning: "Courts ought not to enter this political thicket."[161]

But the Colegrove doctrine drew heightened criticism from law professors, political scientists, and other commentators in the ensuing years.[162] Both state and federal districts continued to have enormous population imbalances, as the smaller regions were drastically overrepresented at the expense of the larger, typically urban districts.[163] The Court could no longer afford to remain inactive, so it decided Baker v. Carr in 1962. This case would signal an unprecedented judicial intervention in the districting controversy, as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tennessee city dwellers who lived in grossly malapportioned state legislative districts.[164]

Baker began a volatile odyssey from which the judicial system currently could not extricate itself even if it tried. One year later, in Gray v. Sanders ,[165] the Court confronted Georgia's system for electing state officials, which intentionally weighted rural votes to give them an advantage in these statewide elections. Declaring that "all who participate in the election are to have an equal vote,"[166] the Court established the prodigious one-person, one-vote principle. This rule held that where districts were created, they must all be approximately equal in population. If not, the plan might violate the Equal Protection clause because one person's vote would be theoretically worth more than that of another person. The Court then applied this rule to Congressional districts in the 1964 case of Wesberry v. Sanders , holding that these areas must also be substantially equal in population.[167] By the end of the 1960s, these important decisions would force 39 of the 45 states with more than one Representative to redraw their Congressional boundaries,[168] making the judiciary an influential player in the redistricting process.

 

Congress Fights Back

Needless to say, these Court decisions led to a great deal of political tumult. Most of the state legislatures had to scramble to redraw their boundaries consistent with the one-person, one vote doctrine. For if they did not, they would almost certainly have been subjected to expensive litigation, with the likely result being a court-imposed redistricting plan. These plans were typically frowned upon because the courts purportedly "did not have the equipment or the expertise to be able properly to divide these districts"[169] but also because they jeopardized incumbents' chances for reelection.

These decisions were additionally quite controversial simply because states were once again having their electoral systems determined by an outside force. Congress had wrested states' capability to choose how they would elect their federal Representatives in 1842, and now the Supreme Court was imposing its ideas about electoral fairness on the state legislatures. While Congress' actions were somewhat justifiable under the Constitution, the Court's intrusion into this political quagmire was dubious. After all, Colegrove had announced judgments about electoral plans to be of a nonjusticiable, political nature. Furthermore, the various judges who would make these decisions were not elected, and therefore not accountable to the general public. Admittedly, there was a glaring need for the judiciary to intervene, especially given the fact that many states were not averse to creating such malapportioned districts. Yet it was difficult to overlook the fact that the Court had indirectly positioned itself as an important participant in the highly politicized electoral process.

Before this judicial revolution even began, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Emanuel Celler had been concerned with the erratic characteristics of Congressional districts. Since 1950, he repeatedly introduced district provisions similar to those of the early 1900s. These efforts were unsuccessful until the districting disorder forced Congress to seriously consider his proposals in 1965.[170] His bill mandated compact districts composed of contiguous territory, just like the 1911 Apportionment Act. But in response to the Wesberry controversy, this measure also set the maximum permissible deviation from a state's average Congressional district population at fifteen percent, thereby prescribing a helpful standard the Court had avoided enunciating. The House actually approved the bill, based on the desire to protect states against even more rigid criteria the courts might have imposed.[171] However, it languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was not reported before the 88th Congress adjourned.[172]

Celler remained persistent though, and in 1967 introduced yet another districting bill. Once again, he sought to enact strict provisions that would have secured in each state non-gerrymandered districts of close to equal population.[173] But while the House and Senate concurred on a maximum ten percent population variation, they simply could not reach an agreement on how soon to apply such a rule.[174]

But Celler's efforts did not go entirely unrewarded. The same day the Senate rejected his bill, Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee tacked on a nongermane amendment a federal ban on at-large elections in all states with more than one Representative to a previously insignificant private bill.[175] This bill would lack the cumbersome contiguity and equal population provisions, aiding its subsequently smooth passage through Congress.

The Congressional testimony behind the 1967 district mandate illustrates the national legislature's increasing wariness of the judiciary's newly established political power, and suggests that this factor was a primary motivation driving passage of this law. An overarching concern among many Congressmen was that courts might begin ordering states to elect their Representatives at-large as a result of problems over current districting schemes. Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolina remarked that if the amendment was not passed, Congress would "create a situation of chaos next fall, because the Supreme Court will require candidates for Congress in states which do not live up to the one-man, one-vote principle on the basis of the 1960 census to run at large."[176] Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana was also quite fearful of such a judicial order.
 

"Why is this [districting amendment] necessary? Well, the reason it is necessary, quite frankly, is the fact that, in some states, a court order has mandated the states to reapportion. There is a great likelihood that, if agreement cannot be reached within a State, the court could well order the entire congress delegation to run at-large. The purpose of this particular bill is to avoid this possibility."[177]

 

At the time, Sen. Bayh's home state of Indiana was under court order to hold at-large elections for all eleven of its Representatives unless the state legislature enacted a constitutional redistricting plan.[178] Although Hawaii was one of the states at which this law was directed since it still elected its two Representatives at-large, Sen. Hiram Fong of Hawaii pointed out the bill's main beneficiaries. "This bill, as I see it, is framed only for States such as Indiana; under court order to elect their Representatives at-large. This bill would relieve these states of this necessity, so that the bill really is drawn to benefit them, and not the state of Hawaii."[179]

Thus, it appears that the chief purpose of the 1967 district mandate was to prevent courts from imposing at-large elections that no doubt would have threatened incumbent Representatives. The judiciary's relatively novel power over the redistricting process finally spurred Congress to reconsider its half-century old indifference to districting legislation. While this was the most explicit motivation, the 1967 districting mandate should also be viewed as a logical extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

 

The Need to Guard Against Southern Racial Minority Vote Dilution

There are usually two reasons cited for the passage of the 1967 district mandate. I have already detailed the first, which was the fear of judicially imposed at-large electoral procedures. The second, which is referred to repeatedly in several pieces of literature,[180] is the need to offset potential Southern efforts to dilute the newly-enfranchised black vote through at-large or multimember district elections. Yet this latter motivation is never explicitly mentioned in the Congressional testimony surrounding the 1967 law; indeed, there is no evidence of a smoking gun.[181] Instead, one must extrapolate this instrumental factor from the political circumstances of the 1960s.

When redrawing their district lines in response to Wesberry , states were loath to the fact that they had a judicial watchdog overseeing every curve and contour. Carving out districts composed of equal population was an arduous task for the state legislatures; as many were unprepared for such a sudden endeavor, not to mention politically unwilling given the risks to incumbents' re-election hopes. Since at-large elections would not require states to redistrict, this electoral procedure constituted an effortless solution to the districting dilemma.

Early on, the Supreme Court noted the potential acceptance of this plan. While dissenting in Colegrove , Justice Black argued that the Court did have the authority to invalidate Illinois' Congressional districting plan. But, he wrote,
 

"it would leave the State free to elect them from the State at-large, which is a manner authorized by the Constitution. It is said that it would be inconvenient for the State to conduct the election in this manner. But it has an element of virtue that the more convenient method does not have namely, it does not discriminate against some groups to favor others, it gives all the people an equally effective voice in electing their Representatives as is essential under a free government, and it is constitutional."[182] [emphasis added]

 

Then there is the dissenting opinion in 44th General Assembly of Colorado v. Lucas , decided the same day as Baker . Here Justice Potter Stewart declared that if "the goal is solely that of equally 'weighted' votes, I do not understand why the Court's constitutional rule does not require the abolition of districts and the holding of all elections at-large."[183] Hence it is clear that the possibility for increased use of at-large elections not only existed, but that states would have actually had some justification for such a move.

This resultant affinity for at-large elections must also be examined alongside widespread Southern efforts to neutralize the voting strength of the few blacks that did have access to a ballot box. One popular tactic was to submerge these voters in dilutionary electoral schemes. Dating back to the Progressive Era of the early 1900s, the proportion of local at-large elections in the nation's cities and states increased markedly, becoming especially common in the South.[184] As black voter registration drives were beginning in 1962, Mississippi's state legislature passed a law requiring a large number of municipalities to elect aldermen on an at-large basis.[185] In addition, most Alabama jurisdictions during the early 1960s combined citywide or countywide elections with a "numbered place" requirement in an effort render the black vote ineffective.[186] Politicians all across the Deep South were thus well aware of the fact that at-large elections and multimember districts could be used to prevent racial minorities from electing Representatives of their choice.

Then came the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), generally regarded as the most successful piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted,[187] and considered by Lyndon B. Johnson to be his greatest accomplishment.[188] This forceful law finally entitled millions of racial minorities to the franchise by invalidating all of the sordid maneuvers that had been used to keep blacks away from the ballot box. Yet as Chief Justice Earl Warren noted in Allen v. State Board of Elections , "The right to vote can be affected by a dilution of voting power as well as by an absolute prohibition on casting a ballot."[189] As mentioned above, Southern states had already used begun using at-large elections in an effort to negate black voting strength. As a result, in order for the VRA to be effective in Congressional elections, there was an overwhelming need to protect Southern blacks from the increased implementation of this dilutionary voting method.

After all, in response to the VRA, many Southern states had recently stepped up their efforts to dilute the revitalized black vote on the local level. In Georgia, thirteen of the counties with the most significant black populations switched to at-large elections after passage of the VRA.[190] In 1966, North Carolina's general assembly held a special session to authorize nearly half the state's counties governing bodies to adopt at-large elections, as well as to mandate the use of this electoral procedure in every school district.[191] Louisiana,[192] Mississippi,[193] and South Carolina[194] all soon experienced similarly massive shifts towards at-large elections for their own respective county or city governments.

Another crucial ingredient to this political context was the Kerner Commission report. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders was established to investigate the causes of the 1967 riots, and subsequently noted the deleterious impact of these at-large systems. The report reasoned that throughout many of America's cities, black "ghetto residents" did not feel fairly or adequately represented.[195] It went on to make the following recommendation:
 

To meet this problem, city government and the majority community should revitalize the political system to encourage fuller participation by all segments of the community. Whether this requires adoption of any one system of representation, we are not prepared to say. But it is clear that at-large representation, currently the practice in many American cities, does not five members of the minority community a feeling of involvement or stake in city government. Further, this form of representation dilutes the normal political impact of pressures generated by a particular neighborhood or district.[196]

 

In retrospect, this particular passage seems quite significant, as a government agency was openly criticizing the use of at-large elections because of their dilutionary impact on racial minorities' voting strength. It would be presumptuous to assume that this report alone compelled Congress to forbid this condemned voting scheme. Yet the point could certainly be made that the political awareness of this dilutionary electoral system was on the rise, with an acute need to preempt its inexorable implementation for federal elections.

Southern black vote dilution may have never gained explicit recognition in the 1967 testimony, but this trend was cited by Congressional Quarterly as a primary motivation behind the rejection of an amendment proposed to Celler's districting bill in 1965.[197] That year, Rep. Charles Mathias Jr. of Maryland suggested an amendment which would have permitted a state to elect its Representatives at-large if it could not comply with the stiff redistricting provisions of Celler's bill.[198] But several Congressmen suspiciously viewed Mathias' proposal as an "open invitation to State legislatures to require members to run at-large,"[199] and it was consequently rejected 147-255.

Finally, the comments of Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker indicate that the interests of racial minorities were considered vis-a-vis at-large electoral systems. While attempting to justify passage of this law, he argued
 

"the requirement for single-member districts is in the origins and the beginnings of the Constitution and predicated on the idea that within one State there may be widely divergent interests such as different ethnic groups, different heritage, different religious groups, and the like, and that these minority interests can be adequately represented and heard in the councils only if single-member districts are provided for the representation of the smallest available area within a State."[200]

 

Sen. Baker went on to stress that since "an ethnic group concentrated in one area may have no voice at all if the election is on an at-large basis," single-member districts were therefore a "vital, essential, and integral part of the concept of equality of representation and responsiveness of government in the Federal House of Representatives."[201]

Rep. Claude Pepper of Florida remarked that "were the Senate amendments not adopted and not to become law, we do not know how many States in the Union would, either by action of their courts or their legislatures, have to have elections of House members at-large."[202] This excerpt from the Congressional testimony, although admittedly rather vague, concisely expresses the two-fold impetus behind the 1967 ban on at-large elections. The need to preempt court-ordered general ticket elections was a driving force, but one cannot overlook the role Southern vote dilution played in this bill's passage. Most of these states had already experienced massive shifts to at-large elections on the local level, so there was reason to believe they might do it on a federal level as well. But this law acted in tandem with the 1965 VRA to firmly secure the voting rights of racial minorities in elections for Congressional Representatives.

 

Overview of the Debate

Quite unlike the 1842 Apportionment Act, the history behind the 1967 district mandate is much more illuminating than the actual debates themselves. After all, the 1967 testimony lacks the heated discussions of federalism, as Congressmen this time were much more willing to allow federal intrusion on a decision the state legislatures had made for over forty years. Furthermore, general ticket elections once again suffered from resounding disapproval. Then-Rep. Gerald Ford stated "I happen to feel that at-large elections are completely the wrong way for the election of Members of this body."[203] Rep. Andrew Jacobs of Indiana also argued that "I doubt very seriously that there is very much disagreement with the need for a law to prohibit at-large elections, generally, in the United States."[204] Indeed, no one openly voiced their preference for at-large elections, as the legitimacy of single-member districts once again appeared to be axiomatic.

The only serious point of conflict was whether or not Hawaii and New Mexico should be exempted from the districting legislation for the next Congress, since they had elected their Representatives at-large from the time they were admitted to the Union. The district requirement would have entailed great difficulties for these two states. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii offered the defense that "It should be noted that because of geographical reasons, it is not very simple to district the State of Hawaii With the adoption of the amendment, an orderly transition will be possible for our State."[205] Sen. Clinton Anderson of New Mexico argued that his state "has not been redistricted and it would cause a lot of trouble at this late hour to redistrict."[206]

There were a number of Congressmen opposed to this exemption. Sen. Roman Hruska of Nebraska argued that "The proposal before us will apply to every State in the Union except two. That is not good legislation. It certainly is not good principle."[207] Others were opposed for selfish reasons, seeing no reason why these two states should be exempted when others were having difficult redrawing districts as well. Sen. Gordon Allott of Colorado declared that "If under a decree of court one State could be required to be redistricted, there is no excuse for one State, two States, or 20 States to be excepted from that which others had to do."[208]

Despite these seemingly valid claims, Congress would pass the first districting mandate in over fifty years complete with one time exemptions for Hawaii and New Mexico. Given that there was such widespread agreement on the need to ban at-large House elections, it should not be surprising that these "debates" elicited such passive acquiescence. While the exemptions were objected to by some, both the House and Senate would end up passing the district mandate by simple voice votes.

 

Conclusion

Whereas the 1842 Apportionment Act pitted the federal government against those of the states, the 1967 district mandate was Congress' defense to the judiciary's increased involvement in electoral system politics. While the players may have changed over these 125 years, the foundational objective remained constant: to protect minority interests. Much like 1842, Congressmen once again found themselves advocating heightened representativeness in the halls of our nation's federal Legislature. Sen. Baker summed it up best when he said
 

"I think it is high time that we look to the principles and requirements that maximum protection of the rights of all people and maximum responsiveness to their needs will be attained in the House of Representatives only by guaranteeing the principle of single-member districts."[209]

 

Yet by 1967, the definition of "minorities" had broadened to include blacks and other racial groups that were not even allowed to vote in 1842. Congress had just recently passed the VRA, and the 1967 district mandate would prevent Southern states from circumventing its goals by adopting at-large Congressional elections. Federal voting legislation had finally protected the interests and rights of racial minorities, as American democracy continued its progression towards the representative ideals upon which it rests.

 


Notes

[136] Supra note 2.

[137] Robert E. Lane, Political Life: Why People Get Involved in Politics 270 (Free Press of Glencoe, 1959), taken from Davidson and Grofman, in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 7.

[138] Congressional Record, 90th Congress, First Session, Volume 113, Part 25, p. 34365 (US Government Printing Office, 1967) [hereinafter 1967 Congressional Record].

[139] Chapter 170, 12 Statute 572 (1862).

[140] See Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, Second Session, Part IV, pp. 2910-2912, 3117-18 (1862).

[141] Representative Charles Wickliffe of Kentucky stated that "It does strike me that it is better to leave this Congressional district question to the State power. Gentlemen, let us not lose sight altogether of the fact that this Union is composed of States, and that the people of these States have certain rights." Ibid, 2911.

[142] Ibid, 2912, 3280.

[143] Chapter 11, Section 2, 17 Statute 28 (1872).

[144] Chapter 20, Section 3, 22 Statute 5 (1882) and Chapter 116, Section 3, 26 Statute 735 (1891), respectively.

[145] Chapter 93, Section 3, 31 Statute 733 (1901).

[146] Chapter 5, Section 3, 37 Statute 13 (1911).

[147] See generally, Congressional Quarterly's Guide to US Elections. These states included: Florida (1872); Kansas (1872); Maine (1882); South Dakota (1890-1910); Washington (1892-1906); North Dakota (1902-1910); Idaho (1912-1916); Montana (1912-1916); Utah (1912).

[148] Justice Felix Frankfurter once stated that "Throughout our history, whatever may have been the controlling Apportionment Act, the most glaring disparities have prevailed as to the contours and the population of districts." Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549, 555 (1946).

[149] Celler 274-275.

[150] Paschal 285.

[151] Celler 271.

[152] 46 Statute 21.

[153] Wood v. Broom, 287 U.S. 1 (1932).

[154] Congressional Quarterly's Guide to US Elections, pp. 1170-72. The following states elected their entire delegations using the at-large method in 1932: Missouri (13 seats); Kentucky (9); Virginia (9); Minnesota (9); and North Dakota (2). North Dakota would continue electing its representatives at-large until 1960. Arizona used this system from 1942-46. New Mexico and Hawaii, the only two states affected by the 1967 mandate, began electing their Representatives at-large in 1942 and 1962, respectively. A final noteworthy case was Alabama, which elected all eight of its Representatives at-large in 1962. Ibid, 1244.

[155] See generally, appendices in Colegrove, supra note 148, at 557-63.

[156] Broom, supra note 153, at 9.

[157] Goldinger 19.

[158] In this interim period, however, the Court would begin protecting blacks from exclusionary electoral systems. In Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944), the Court invalidated the white Democratic primary. Although blacks were still able to vote in the general election, the Court held that in the dominant party South, the Democratic nomination was tantamount to election. As a result, this electoral rule prohibited blacks from exercising the influence on the electoral process that had been granted to them by the Fifteenth Amendment. See J. Morgan Kousser, Colorblind Injustice 53 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). After Colegrove, the Court would continue invalidating these types of exclusionary schemes. See, for example, Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461 (1953).

[159] The population of these districts ranged from 112,116 to 914,053█a disparity purportedly so unjust that the districting plan was thought to violate the Equal Protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment. Colegrove, supra note 148.

[160] Ibid, at 554.

[161] Ibid, at 556.

[162] Goldinger 21.

[163] By 1960, every state legislative body had at least a 2-to-1 population disparity between the most and the least heavily populated districts. Congressional districts weren't as bad, but several states█Texas, Maryland, Arizona, and Ohio█were over a 3-to-1 ration. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to US Elections 934.

[164] Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).

[165] Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368 (1963).

[166] Ibid, at 379.

[167] "While it may not be possible to draw Congressional districts with mathematical precision, that is no excuse for ignoring our Constitution's plain objective of making equal representation for equal numbers of people the fundamental goal for the House of Representatives." Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 18 (1964).

[168] Congressional Quarterly's Guide to US Elections 937.

[169] Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 89th Congress, 1st Session, 1965, Volume XXI (Congressional Quarterly, 1966) 603, 605 [hereinafter, 1965 Congressional Quarterly Almanac].

[170] Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 90th Congress, 1st Session, 1967, Volume XXIII (Congressional Quarterly, 1968) 550 [hereinafter, 1967 Congressional Quarterly Almanac].

[171] 1965 Congressional Quarterly Almanac 604.

[172] Ibid, 603.

[173] 1967 Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 550.

[174] For detailed summary of action on this bill, see ibid at 550-56.

[175] For the Relief of Dr. Ricardo Vallejo Samala, 90th Congress, 1st Session, HR 2275.

[176] 1967 Congressional Record 34368.

[177] Ibid, 34366.

[178] 1967 Congressional Quarterly Almanac 556.

[179] 1967 Congressional Record 34367.

[180] Pildes and Donoghue 251, n43 [Interestingly, a primary motivation for the 1967 legislation reinstituting the requirement of single-member districts was the VRA of 1965: Congress feared Southern states might resort to multimember Congressional districts to dilute minority (that is, black) voting power.] ; Tory Mast, "History of Single Member Districts for Congress," http://www.igc.org/cvd/cvd_reports/1995/chp2/mast.html [This law was passed largely because of two factors. The first concern was that, in the wake of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, southern states might resort to winner-take-all at-large elections to dilute the voting strength of newly-enfranchised blacks in the South.]; Cynthia McKinney, "A Democracy Voters Can Be Proud Of," The Progressive Populist (Vol. 2, No. 4, April 1996) [This law was intended to prevent the use of at-large districts, which were routinely employed in the South to dilute black voting strength.]

[181] Pamela Karlan. Personal interview, March 29, 1999.

[182] Colegrove, supra note 148, at 574.

[183] Lucas v. Forty-forth General Assembly of Colorado, 377 U.S. 713, 750 (1964).

[184] Davidson and Grofman, in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 7.

[185] Chandler Davidson, "The Recent Evolution of Voting Rights Law Affecting Racial and Language Minorities," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 26.

[186] Peyton McCrary, Jerome A. Gray, Edward Still, and Huey L. Perry, "Alabama," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 38, 39.

[187] Drew S. Days III, "Section 5 and the Role of the Justice Department," in Grofman and Davidson, Controversies 52.

[188] Chandler Davidson, "The Voting Rights Act: A Brief History," in Grofman and Davidson, Controversies 7.

[189] Allen v. Board of Elections, 393 U.S. 544, 569 (1969).

[190] Laughlin McDonald, Michael B. Binford, and Ken Johnson, "Georgia," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 67, 82.

[191] Davidson, in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 25.

[192] Richard L. Engstrom, Stanley A. Halpin, Jr., Jean A. Hill, and Victoria M. Caridas-Butterworth, "Louisiana," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 103, 110.

[193] Twenty-two of the twenty-six largest cities in Mississippi had at-large city council elections in 1965. Frank R. Parker, David C. Colby, and Minion K. C. Morrison, "Mississippi," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 136, 138.

[194] Nineteen counties elected at least some members of their local government by single member districts in 1965. But eight years later, eleven of these counties had switched entirely to at-large elections. Orville Vernon Burton, Terence R. Finnegan, Peyton McCrary, and James W. Loewen, "South Carolina," in Davidson and Grofman, Quiet Revolution 191, 201.

[195] Andrew Kull, The Color-Blind Constitution 211 (Harvard University Press, 1992).

[196] Ibid.

[197] "One reason cited for opposition to the amendment was that Southern states might use at-large elections to dilute the strength of the Negro vote." 1965 Congressional Quarterly Almanac 604.

[198] Congressional Record, 89th Congress, First Session, Volume 111, Part 4, p. 5080 (1965).

[199] Ibid, pp. 5081, 5100.

[200] 1967 Congressional Record 34365.

[201] Ibid, 34369.

[202] Ibid, 34037.

[203] Ibid, 34037.

[204] Ibid.

[205] Ibid, 34364.

[206] Ibid, 34365.

[207] Ibid, 34366

[208] Ibid.

[209] Ibid.