Document Type

Book Review

Publication Title

Election Law Journal

Publication Date

3-2009

Abstract

“One person one vote” is one of the most appealing political slogans of all time, capturing egalitarian sentiment in something approaching an aphorism. The phrase is embodied in the modern constitutional requirement that most political districts must be drawn to contain the same number of people, thus equalizing the numerical power of individual votes. While the requirement is now widely accepted as a natural feature of democratic distracting, this was not always the case. Just a half century ago, there were tremendous variations in district populations, concentrating and diluting the voting power of people living in those districts. Then, beginning in the 1960s, the Supreme Court boldly stepped into the “political thicket” and imposed the one person, one vote standard on almost every political district in the country. This new volume, The End of Inequity, is a triumphantly (and, at times, breathlessly) told story of the reapportionment revolution and its aftermath. True to its title, the book’s central claim is that the one person, one vote standard ultimately equalized not just votes, but political power. But the book, like the standard it champions, does not quite live up to its promise.

Comments

Review of The End of Inequality: One Person, One Vote and the Transformation of American Politics by Stephen Ansolabehere and James M. Snyder. Jr.

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