Supreme Court justices divided on ‘one person, one vote’

by Richard Wolf  |  published on December 9, 2015

A majority of Supreme Court justices agreed Tuesday that the standard by which election districts are drawn is imperfect. They just couldn’t come up with a better way.

Debating a Texas case that could upend the political balance in the nation from New York to California, the more conservative justices indicated they were open to changing the way state and municipal voting districts are drawn to equalize population. Because non-citizens are included, that system boosts the number of heavily Hispanic districts, helping Democrats.

The more liberal justices opposed a switch to using only the number of eligible voters, which would render non-citizens invisible when drawing districts — along with children, prisoners, some ex-felons and some people with intellectual disabilities. That boosts the number of rural, mostly white districts, helping Republicans.

  • Jack

    “NON CITIZENS”??What a bunch OF “BS”Those five(5),of the SCOTUS,?

  • mountie

    This should not even be under discussion. The 14th Amendment spells it out very clearly. “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be REDUCED IN THE PROPORTION which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” But then why would the justices bother to follow the law?

    • marshmil

      mountie Amendment XIX adds females to the list (1920). The issue concerns the right for US CITIZENS to vote, NOT non-citizens. Persons deceased are NOT CITIZENS nor are individuals who illegally enter United States territory. And babies born of non-Citizens are NOT Citizens of the US. The foolishness of non-Citizen women entering the US to “lay their eggs” then claim Citizenship to care for the “American baby” and cast votes as well as live off the US Treasure should be addressed immediately by the US Congress for the purpose of ending theft of benefits.

      • mountie

        marshmill The article is on redistricting. What I was
        trying to point out, was that the Constitution says that individuals not eligible to vote should not be considered when redistricting. Amendment XIX allowed women to vote but did
        not change the way the allocation of representatives among the states were to be determined. If Amendment XiX changed this process it would have changed Amendment XIV which it did not do. Distribution of representatives should still
        be allocated only counting eligible male voters over the age of 18 per Amendment XXVI.

        • marshmil

          mountie the Amendment XXVI says “citizens,” not “males.” Do you want voting rights restricted to MALES ONLY?

          • mountie

            marshmil What is it with you? Amendment XXVI has nothing to do with the original post which is about redistricting or didn’t you bother to read my complete comment. I never claimed that women should not be able to vote. Get an annotated copy of the Constitution which will show that Amendment XXVI modified Amendment XIV but not XIX. Better yet I will show you.

            from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html

            AMENDMENT XIV
            Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

            Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

            Section 1.
            All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

            Section 2.
            Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.


            Section 5.
            The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

            *Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

            AMENDMENT XIX

            Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

            The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

            Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

            AMENDMENT XXVI

            Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

            Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

            Section 1.
            The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

            Section 2.
            The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

            Now to summarize: Amend XIV only male citizens over the age of 21 shall be counted in order to apportion the representative among the several states. Amend XIX allows women to vote does not modify Amend XIX. Apportionment still based on male citizens over the age of 21. Amend XXVI changes Amend XIX which leaves apportionment based upon male citizens over the age of 18.

            I know this can get confusing. It helps to be able to read code and statutes which can be interpreted in a somewhat strange manner.

            This is not too bad. Try the tax code sometime.

  • VirgoVince

    NON-citizens and NON-Americans should NOT be counted for ANY reason, except for the number of busses, trucks or planes to haul them OUT of OUR country! They don’t belong here and should NOT influence OUR country in ANY way, shape, or form! NO exceptions, they should ALL be barred/banned from OUR election process while they are here!
    AMERICANS ONLY SHOULD have voter’s rights, WITH proper ID!!

    • Bob2002

      I agree. However, Democrats want an advantage when it comes to voting, and the only way this can happen is for them to count non citizens when redistricting. RINOs always let them get away with crap like this and that is why all Democrats and RINOs need to be voted out of office.

      • I Seigel

        How ironic. You’re talking about Democrats wanting an advantage. Why do you think Texas has been on a roll recently trying to everything they can do lock in Republican advantages across the state? Redistricting – most likely illegally – to cut out Hispanics, challenges to Affirmative Action to lessen the ability of Blacks to get educated at state universities, and changes to voter registration laws that they challenged in the Supreme Court. Many other legal changes, too.

        And this current challenge isn’t only about “non-citizens”. The dispute is about counting ONLY voters – so no kids, no ex-felons, no older voters that haven’t voted in a long time – only registered, current voters.

        And whatever DID happen with Jade Helm 15? Did those Texas Wackos get their guns confiscated? To hell with them. Secede already!!!

        • Bob2002

          I Seigel, Texas has the right to want only US citizens to vote in their elections and that is what they are trying to do. However, it is people like you who try to obfuscate the issue by bringing up incidents that never happened.

          Every state has Redistricting and it is past time to stop giving minorities special privileges. There is no one alive today that lived under slavery.

          All voter registration rolls must be updated from time to time to get the dead people, and the people no longer living within the state off the rolls. This is necessary in order to made every vote count equally. When one illegal person votes, it makes one legal vote not count.

          Jade Helm 15 was an exercise by the military in several states (initiated by Obama) to prepare for civil unrest. Has nothing to do with this issue of non citizens voting in our elections.

          • I Seigel

            Interesting Bob. You have the Jade Helm thing completely wrong, but it’s not surprising if you only use websites like these for your news sources.
            According to the Pentagon, Jade Helm was held in 8 states, NOT to prepare for civil unrest in this country, but to train military and special ops in wide open spaces, small towns and landscape that would approximate what they would encounter in the middle East and Afghanistan. Jade Helm and NOTHING to do with domestic activities. And Obama had NOTHING to do with the planning or execution of Jade Helm.

          • Bob2002

            The government is the one who is at fault for this misunderstanding because they never told the citizens of these states why the military were conducting these exercises. Perhaps, they need better PR. The information we received was that the military would be conducting military exercises where they needed wide open spaces. How about the exercises in Miami? I still have not seen the explanation that these exercises were for training our military for encounters in the Middle East and Afghanistan. An oversight? Perhaps. All to often our government is the cause of misunderstandings. I was in the military for over 27 years and know very well how our government works because I had a very high security clearance. Many times, documents are classified where they should not be and now that we have a president who has violated the constitution so often many do not trust him. That naturally causes suspicion when exercises of this scale occur.

          • I Seigel

            I agree with you – the military does need better PR. The circumstances around Jade Helm were left too mysterious and were open to all sorts of conspiracy theories and unnecessary fears. The right wing media fed those fears.

        • marshmil

          I Seigel you liberals do all you can to deflect issues under discussion. Anything to derail discussion. Suggestion: you move to Cuba.

          • I Seigel

            What am I deflecting? I’m responding directly to your comment.

          • marshmil

            That’s right! deflect again. Move to Cuba and take Barry Soetoro and his staff with you. You and your buddies just secede from the USA. You’ll love Castro and his government. It’s right up your alley.

          • I Seigel

            You’re making no sense Marshmallow. “Deflect again”? “Responded to Bob2002”? Huh? Never mind. Apparently you’re not capable of a discussion. Go back to playing in your sandbox.
            And why did you introduce Castro into this discussion? Another mystery…..

          • marshmil

            You responded to Bob2002.

    • marshmil

      And with mandatory ID as proof of residency. Funny how the ID complainers readily show identification to cash checks, get refunds, buy airline tickets, open bank accounts and a myriad of other activities but throw a fit when asked to show identification to register to vote or to vote. It’s their criminal minds at work.

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