The Supreme court has unanimously rejected a conservative challenge to voting rights – ruling that states could count the total population (not just eligible voters) in drawing legislative districts.
The case resulted when conservative activists in Texas challenged the legal principle of “one person, one vote”, which has long established that election districts should be drawn to be equal in population. The two plaintiffs argued the principle diluted the influence of those living in districts where a larger number of individuals were ineligible to vote.
But changing the method would most certainly lend greater power to states with wealthier populations with mostly white voters, and away from urban and more racially diverse areas. The lawsuit was opposed by the Obama administration and civil rights groups across America.
Not a single member of the court sided with the challengers. Ruth Bader Ginsburg authored the opinion for the court, in which the liberal justice wrote that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate a rationale upon which the court should overturn the longstanding use of total population in drawing districts.
The nation’s founders, she added, intended that “representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote”.