Voting Rights

Packing Districts?: Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Mark F. Hearne December 18, 2015

Last term, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s independent redistricting commission. State legislators had challenged the creation of such a commission, arguing that transferring their redistricting authority violated the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Now, in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the Court will consider a challenge to state legislative districts drawn up by the commission. A group of voters argue that the commission overpopulated Republican-dominated districts by packing in non-minority voters while placing minority voters in smaller, Democrat-dominated districts. The result, they argue, is the dilution of votes in GOP districts, which violates the “one person, one vote” guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Mark “Thor” Hearne, counsel for Harris in the case, discussed his impressions of oral arguments and made predictions about how the Court might rule in this important case.


  • Mark F. Hearne, II, Partner, Arent Fox LLP

“One Person, One Vote”: Evenwel v. Abbott Oral Argument Preview - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Bradley A. Benbrook, C. Dean McGrath December 18, 2015

Our Teleforum previewed the oral argument in the Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott. What is meant, precisely, by the term “one person, one vote”? What are its implications for apportioning legislative districts? Does the Equal Protection Clause allow States to use total population, or does it require States to use voter population, when apportioning its legislative districts? What are the best arguments to be made by each side? These and other questions were addressed as we previewed one of the most talked-about cases of the Term.


  • Bradley A. Benbrook, Founding Partner, Benbrook Law Group
  • C. Dean McGrath Jr., Founder, McGrath & Associates

“One Person, One Vote”: Arguments Heard in Evenwel v. Abbott - Podcast

Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Andrew Grossman December 08, 2015

At issue in Evenwel v. Abbott, argued on December 8, is whether the three-judge district court correctly held that the “one person, one vote” principle under the Equal Protection Clause allows States to use total population, and does not require States to use voter population, when apportioning state legislative districts. Must each voter’s vote count equally and, if so, how is that to be accomplished? Does the scheme under consideration dilute the votes of certain people and, if so, how are their interests to be balanced against the goal of attaining majority-minority districts? What level of judicial scrutiny will be applied in this case? How does this case differ from Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission? Andrew Grossman attended the oral arguments and offered his impressions and predictions on a Courthouse Steps Teleforum conference call. His piece "Evenwel v. Abbott: What Does One Person, One Vote Really Mean?" is valuable background reading on this critical case.


  • Andrew Grossman, Associate, Baker & Hostetler, and Adjunct Scholar, The Cato Institute