California Tri-Caucus Leaders Respond to Supreme Court Case Reconsidering “One-person, One-Vote”

May 29, 2015

SACRAMENTO – In response to the upcoming United States Supreme Court consideration to redefine the “one-person, one-vote” principle, brought on by conservative activists in Texas, the respective Caucuses of the California State Legislature have issued the following statements:

“ ‘One Person, One Vote’ is an important legal ruling in the United States that has guaranteed the voting rights for all; if the Supreme Court does not uphold it, it would be equivalent to removing the Equal Protection Clause in our Constitution, and set us back one hundred years. It is baffling that this is even being considered since 2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of the ‘March on Selma’ and the ‘Voting Rights Act’,” said Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., Chair, CA Legislative Black Caucus.

“The long held constitutional principle of “one-person, one-vote” should be upheld by our nation's High Court, thus ensuring all people are counted equally. Otherwise, it would reduce a huge portion of our communities to second class status and would effectively hold that they are not people and do not matter,” said Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo, Chair, CA Latino Legislative Caucus.

“Excluding the population as a whole is a disservice to the people those elected officials represent. It’s my sincere hope the Supreme Court ensures the voices of all Californians are heard. To do otherwise would further diminish the political power of poor communities,” said Assemblymember Das Williams, Chair, Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.

Over 50 years ago, the United States Supreme Court upheld the “one-person, one-vote” principle. Chief Justice Earl Warren set this precedent as a result of a Supreme Court decision that established the standard of equality. The Court’s decision resulted in drawing state legislative districts based on total population. The Texas case seeks to alter this standard by shifting political representation solely to registered adult voters. Doing away with the “one-person, one-vote” principle would unilaterally disenfranchise all communities and disproportionally impact California.

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Emmott v. Abbots beginning in October.

CONTACT:

California Legislative Black Caucus: Alana Troutt (916) 319-2059

California Latino Legislative Caucus: Michelle Reyes (916) 319-2030

Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus: Lourdes Jimenez (916) 319-2037