Immigration and Citizenship

Justices in Evenwel Skeptical Of Disrupting Equal Representation For All Persons

Washington, DC – Constitutional Accountability Center attorneys were in the U.S. Supreme Court this morning during argument in Evenwel v. Abbott, a major voting rights case, and had the following reaction:


CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “Our Constitution promises equal representation for all persons, and that point was emphasized powerfully today. Evenwel argues that representation should be based on the number of voters in a district, not persons, but as Justice Ginsburg emphasized, that was explicitly rejected in the debates over the Fourteenth Amendment. It is written into the Constitution that the whole population be represented—not just eligible voters, but every person, including children, legal non-citizen residents, and others who are unable to cast a ballot. There seemed to be little appetite from the Justices this morning to upend this quintessentially American system of equal representation.”


CAC Civil Rights Director David Gans continued, “No court in history has ever accepted Evenwel’s radical claim, which would wreak havoc with the redistricting process and require a new kind of U.S. census. Justices from the right and left seemed to recognize that Evenwel’s claim has no basis in the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the laws to ‘any person,’ not merely voters – as pointed out explicitly by Justice Kagan. Evenwel’s plea to rewrite the Constitution’s guarantee of equality for all seemed to fall flat today.”






CAC’s “friend of the court” brief in Evenwel v. Abbott: 


“Up Next at the Supreme Court: A Challenge to Equality for All Americans,” David Gans, The New Republic, December 7, 2015: 




Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.