Wesberry v. Sanders 376 U.S. 1 (1964)

views updated

WESBERRY v. SANDERS 376 U.S. 1 (1964)

After baker v. carr (1962) held that legislative districting presented a justiciable controversy, the Supreme Court held in Wesberry, 8–1, that a state's congressional districts are required by Article I, section 2, of the Constitution to be as equal in population as is practicable. That section provides that representatives are to be chosen "by the People of the several States." Justice john marshall harlan dissented on both textual and historical grounds.

Later decisions make clear that no justifications can excuse substantial deviation from population equality in congressional districting.

Kenneth L. Karst