By Richard Hasen
Within the first complete examine of election legislations because the very best courtroom made up our minds Bush v. Gore, Richard L. Hasen rethinks the Court’s position in regulating elections. Drawing at the case documents of the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist courts, Hasen roots the Court’s intervention in political approach instances to the landmark 1962 case, Baker v. Carr. The case opened the courts to numerous election legislation disputes, to the purpose that the courts now keep an eye on and direct significant elements of the yankee electoral process.The splendid courtroom does have a vital function to play in retaining a socially built “core” of political equality rules, contends Hasen, however it should still go away contested questions of political equality to the political strategy itself. lower than this usual, a number of the Court’s most crucial election legislations circumstances from Baker to Bush were wrongly determined.
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Extra info for The Supreme Court and Election Law: Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore
20 | The Supreme Court of Political Equality Formal Equality I begin by describing the Court’s important formal equality cases since Baker v. Carr. By “formal equality,” I mean the cases in which the Court considered questions about who gets to vote and the means by which jurisdictions aggregate votes, excluding cases (discussed in later sections of this chapter) in which the formal equality question is related directly to race, wealth, or party afﬁliation. Most formal equality cases concern the issues of voter qualiﬁcations and the weighting of votes.
92 Following Fortson, the Court ﬂirted with holding multimember districts unconstitutional as violating the rights of members of minority groups in two cases,93 and ﬁnally reached that result in 1973 in White v. 94 Regester involved challenges to two multimember districts in Texas. The Court focused on various factors, including the existence of other election rules that appeared to work against minority interests and the “historic and present” condition of minorities in the challenged districts.
It does mean, however, that a State may not frustrate or burden the exercise of the basic and precious right to vote by imposing substantial obstacles upon that exercise by a class of citizens not justiﬁed by any legitimate state interest. In particular it means that with respect to the fundamental right to vote, a reverse means test cannot be applied. A classiﬁcation based upon ﬁnancial means embodied in a voting statute is inherently not “reasonable in light of . . ” Justice Goldberg further rejected the long American history of tolerance for property qualiﬁcations and poll taxes as irrelevant for contemporary application of constitutional principles.
The Supreme Court and Election Law: Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore by Richard Hasen