Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dionisopoulos, P. Allan

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Apportionment (Election law)--United States--States


Between 1962 and 1964 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down several important apportionment decisions by rendering a new and broader interpretation of the equal protection class of the Fourteenth Amendment. An understanding of the recent cases defining the equal protection clause demands an examination of those factors which were present in these cases. First, the historical setting of the framing of the equal protection clause has been evaluated. The purpose of this part of the study was to see what, if any, impact the framers have had on the present interpretation of the equal protection clause. Second, the nature and history of the apportionment controversy has been studied. From the apportionment controversy it was apparent that any uniform resolution would have to come from the federal judiciary. Both state courts and legislatures had failed to remedy alleged mal-apportionments, but for the federal courts to intervene in these disputes it was necessary to establish that federal courts could hear and adjudicate these matters. Previous equal protection cases, protection of voting rights, and interference in the composition of the composition of state political subdivisions established the elements of jurisdiction, justiciability, and standing that provided that basis for the Court's decision to adjudicate apportionment controversies. Once it was determined that federal courts could hear apportionment controversies and equal protection remedies were available, the crucial issue was to define the clause's meaning for apportionment matters. The Court's definition of "one man, one vote" as the equal protection standard resulted from a determination of the nature of representative government, not from any previous understanding of equal protection. To establish the clause's meaning the Court relied upon two major arguments: (1) its earlier investigation of the Constitutional Convention's creation of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and (2) the majority's understanding of what constitutes a representative government. However, this study indicates that the Court's evaluation of the Convention is misleading and that Chief Justice Warren, in stating the majority's position, has presented an unrealistic view of how representative government operates in the United States.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [91]-99)


99 pages




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