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Supreme Court Upholds “One Person, One Vote” Standard

As reported in The New York Times and other media outlets, invoking the principle of "One Person, One Vote", the Supreme Court of the United States issued an 8-0 decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, upholding the right of the states to apportion state legislative seats on the basis of total population, rather than eligible voters. Appellants in the case had urged the Court to invalidate Texas's apportionment plan and rule that states must apportion on the basis of eligible-voter population, a move that was widely viewed as a ploy to decrease the representation of minorities and the poor by skewing representative power away from large urban areas and toward less populous rural districts.

Paul, Weiss client The Brennan Center filed an amicus curiae brief analyzing apportionment throughout the nation's history and arguing that apportionment on the basis of total population is rooted deeply in the Constitution's vision of representative democracy and guarantee of equal protection to all persons.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's opinion for the unanimous Court adopted the main arguments of The Brennan Center's brief, holding that the text and history of the Constitution, the debates surrounding the Fourteenth Amendment, the settled practice of the states, and the Court's apportionment jurisprudence all confirm that apportionment on the basis of total population serves the Constitutional principle of equality in representation.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner Robert Atkins, of counsel Sidney Rosdeitcher and associates Ned Babbitt, Oleg Shik and Pietro Signoracci.

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