Welcome to the fifth part of the 15-part mini series where we examine College Board's list of the supposed 15 most important SCOTUS cases in US History!
Our SCOTUS case for this week is... Baker V. Carr!!!
Background: Charles W. Baker and other Tennessee residents argued that Tennessee's district maps were inaccurate and unfair to population proportions in certain urban areas as compared to rurals ones. Tennessee had not redistricted in decades, so Baker decided to sue. Baker's suit was an effort to make Tennessee's district maps more accurate to the current economic and population growth in the state.
Basic Overview of the Case: The case was originally dismissed in a lower court because it was argued that the topic of the case was a political question and because of this, non-justiciable. The Supreme Court did not agree with this ruling and decided to pick up the case because they agreed that redistricting maps could be related to the Equal Protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 6-2 decision, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the issue of electoral maps to be a justiciable issue.
How has this Case Impacted U.S. History?:
This case set the precedent for the idea of one person, one vote, and aided the decisions for other impactful cases in U.S. History. This case was crucial for detailing issues to be addressed when creating redistricting maps and electoral maps, and for allowing federal courts to make decisions on cases concerning these ideas.
Does this Case Deserve to be on the List?: I think that this case is definitely a very important case in the course of history, but in this specific situation no action was even taken after the decision was made. It was crucial that after this case ended the Supreme Court now had jurisdiction to rule on seemingly political questions, and the idea of one person, one vote came into play.