Evenwel v. Abbott
August 5, 2015
The Supreme Court has an opportunity to determine whether only citizens get a political voice in America.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 5, 2015) — In a brief submitted today at the U.S. Supreme Court, the ACRU contends that a Texas policy that includes non-citizens in apportioning districts gives areas with large numbers of non-citizens undue political power.
“The practical result… is that the votes of the residents of districts with larger non-citizen populations count roughly one and a half as much as the votes of the residents of other districts,” states ACRU’s brief in Evenwel v. Abbott.
“The doctrine of one-person, one-vote logically grows directly out of the right to vote itself,” states the ACRU brief. “The equal right of all to vote logically gives rise to the right of all to an equal vote….
“The precedents of this Court make clear that the doctrine protects the right of every voter to an equal vote…. As [the Court in Reynolds v. Sims (1964)] explained, the Equal Protection Clause protects ‘the right of all qualified citizens to vote. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.’”
The ACRU’s brief cites numerous cases in which the U.S. Justice Department has used citizenship data to determine whether voters are being treated equally, and further notes that, “the fact that the DOJ looks to citizenship data not only enhances the propriety of the use of such data but it also exemplifies that such data is reliable and available.”
“This case will go far in determining the future of the American ideal of fair elections,” said ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson. “The right of citizens’ votes to be counted fairly is fundamental to protecting all their other rights.”