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The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

DesegregationSchool PrayerFourth Amendment5th AmendmentVoting RightsCommunismMexican American Civil Rights

Baker v. Carr (1962)

Voting Rights - Baker v. Carr, 1962

Congressional District Map

Selected Case Files

Docket Sheet

Bench Memorandum

Memorandum from Justice Frankfurter to the Court regarding issues in the case

Draft dissent from Justice Frankfurter with Justice Clark's handwritten notes

Note from Justice Clark to Justice Frankfurter explaining why he cannot join dissent

Draft of Justice Clark's opinion concurring and dissenting in part with majority opinion

Draft of Justice Brennan's opinion

Draft of Justice Clark's concurring opinion

Note from Justice Clark to Justice Frankfurter regarding dissenting opinion


Legislative reapportionment involves the issue of when and how a state legislature re-draws congressional districts to reflect changes in the state's population. The Baker case originated in Tennessee, where Charles Baker filed a lawsuit claiming that the state's failure to re-apportion legislative districts for over 60 years amounted to a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Baker argued that since the state population had changed dramatically since the last reapportionment, citizens in urban areas with growing populations were suffering from diluted voting power by not having additional representatives appointed. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, departing from the traditional rule that the federal courts should not get involved with "political questions." The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Baker and the federal courts have been involved in reapportionment disputes since then.




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