US Supreme Court Decision Could Reduce Guaranteed Representation
Alaska Dispatch News
December 6, 2015
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Evenwel v. Abbot. This is more than a Texas redistricting case. It is a fundamental challenge to our democracy. The outcome could force states to leave out large segments of their populations when drawing legislative districts every 10 years simply because they cannot currently vote. As a result, anyone who isn’t a voter, including every child and minor under 18, would be invisible for purposes of representation. Everyone should be counted in our democracy, which is why the U.S. Constitution requires it when drawing congressional districts. State legislative districts should also count everyone.
It comes as no surprise that the purpose of this case is to undercount young people and minorities simply because of their political leanings. The plaintiff, Sue Evenwel, who brought the case to court is a Texas Republican Party leader working with a group that has aggressively attacked affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act in recent years. Evenwel’s position and the case are so extreme, not only are they opposed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, he is the defendant in the lawsuit.