National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
  National Constitution Center Home  
   
  Constitutional
Timeline Home
 
 


Era Overviews

 
  1765-1786  
  1787-1790  
  1791-1824  
  1825-1849  
  1850-1865  
  1866-1885  
  1886-1906  
  1907-1930  
  1931-1946  
  1947-1954  
  1955-1969 >  
  1970-1987  
  1987-  
   
  Help  
   
  Credits  
   
   
     




< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >

You are viewing the low-bandwidth version of the Constitutional Timeline. View the broadband version.

1955-1969: We demand liberty and justice for all

July 15, 1964
“One Person, one vote” redraws the map of America’s political landscape

Elderly African American woman exiting voting booth

Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.”
–Chief Justice Earl Warren
Reynolds v. Sims

Think we all have an equal voice in choosing our state representatives? Think again. The truth is, some people’s votes count more than others. In states across the nation, from Vermont to California, powerful rural districts have more state legislators than their sparse populations justify.

Two years ago, one Alabama representative’s district contained more than 600,000 people, while another’s held just 15,417.

After last month's Supreme Court decisions, Alabama and every other state, must ensure that each legislator represents roughly the same number of people. That, says the Court, is what the 14th Amendment–which guarantees "equal protection" to all citizens–requires.

Complying will cause massive upheaval. Most, if not all, states must redraw their voting districts. But once the dust settles, we’ll be a lot closer to the kind of democracy many people thought we already had.

Read about it in the New York times

< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >


You are viewing the low-bandwidth version. View the broadband version (Flash plug-in and broadband connection required)

 

Home | Feedback | Site Map
525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106 ph.215.409.6600
Content Copyright 2006, National Constitution Center. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy