Whether the Constitution prohibits states from doing what it mandates for Congress – creating legislative districts on the basis of total population.
Under the Constitution, congressional districts are redrawn every ten years to ensure equal representation based on total population as determined by a decennial census. Plaintiffs in this case nonetheless claim that states are constitutionally barred from using total population as a basis for drawing state legislative lines. Rather, they contend, state legislative lines must be tied to the number of eligible voters. Rejecting that position, the ACLU argues in its amicus brief that the use of total population for state redistricting purposes is fully consistent with the Framer’s understanding of a republican form of government.