Voting Rights and Democracy

Victory For The Constitution’s Text And History In Major Voting Rights Case

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ability of states to use total population in drawing state legislative district boundaries, quoting Reconstruction-era Senator Jacob Howard to call the challengers’ argument “inconsistent with the ‘theory of the Constitution’” – Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:


“Today, conservative and liberal Justices joined together to recognize that apportioning state legislative districts by total population honors the Constitution’s text and history, and rejected this ideologically-driven challenge to one of America’s most revered practices. Drawing upon historical material presented in CAC’s amicus brief, Justice Ginsburg told the story of our Constitution’s Framers, both at the founding and after the Civil War, and how they settled on total population as the constitutional rule. Although the Court didn’t reach the question of whether states may draw districts based on voter-eligible population, the Court’s opinion made clear that total population – as the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment recognized – is ‘the theory of the Constitution’ when it comes to representation.


“The Justices properly looked to our nation’s Second Founding to resolve this case, shining a light on a period that was deeply formative in the history of the Constitution – too often overlooked but incredibly powerful, as we saw today.”






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


“Justices in Evenwel Skeptical Of Disrupting Equal Representation For All Persons,” Tuesday, December 8, 2015: 


“At the Supreme Court, Equal Representation Is in Danger,” David H. Gans, December 8, 2015:


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


“Evenwel and Minority Representation,” David H. Gans, November 24, 2015: 


Celebration of America’s Second Founding: 




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.