Document Type

Article

Publication Title

California Law Review

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

This article proposes that recent work in philosophy on the issue of interpersonal utility comparisons may be used to help resolve a significant problem in minority representation. The creation of majority-minority districts has had the unintended consequence of forcing minority voting rights advocates to choose between increasing the number of minority officeholders and increasing the number of Democrats. This dilemma is, in part, due to the strict application of the one person, one vote standard. But work on the issue of interpersonal utility comparisons tells us that the one person, one vote standard is not the objective standard it purports to be; instead, it involves fairly straightforward normative judgments. The article, therefore, argues for relaxing the strict application of the one person, one vote standard in the context of minority vote dilution claims, which would allow us to numerically concentrate minority voting power through the creation of smaller majority-minority districts.

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