2018 the court observed that there might be instances

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2018 The Court observed that there might be instances “in which a State elects certain functionaries whose duties are so far removed from normal governmental activities and so disproportionately affect different groups that a popular election in compliance with Reynolds , supra , might not be required . . . . ” 397 U.S. at 56. For cases involving such units, see Salyer Land Co. v. Tulare Water Storage Dist., 410 U.S. 719 (1973); Associated Enterprises v. Toltec Watershed Imp. Dist., 410 U.S. 743 (1973); Ball v. James, 451 U.S. 355 (1981). Judicial districts need not comply with Reynolds . Wells v. Edwards, 347 F. Supp. 453 (M.D. La. 1972) (three-judge court), aff’d, per curiam , 409 U.S. 1095 (1973). 2019 385 U.S. 440, 443–44 (1967). See also Kilgarlin v. Hill, 386 U.S. 120 (1967). 2020 Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 385 U.S. 450 (1967); Duddleston v. Grills, 385 U.S. 455 (1967). 2208 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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cation of “each variance, no matter how small,” 2021 it did not apply this strict standard to state legislative redistricting. 2022 And, in Abate v. Mundt , 2023 the Court approved a plan for apportioning a county governing body that permitted a substantial population disparity, explaining that in the absence of a built-in bias tending to favor any particular area or interest, a plan could take account of local- ized factors in justifying deviations from equality that might in other circumstances invalidate a plan. 2024 The total population deviation allowed in Abate was 11.9%; the Court refused, however, to extend Abate to approve a total deviation of 78% resulting from an appor- tionment plan providing for representation of each of New York City’s five boroughs on the New York City Board of Estimate. 2025 Nine years after Reynolds v. Sims , the Court reexamined the population equality requirement of the apportionment cases. Rely- ing upon language in prior decisions that distinguished state legis- 2021 Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526, 530–31 (1969); Wells v. Rockefeller, 394 U.S. 542 (1969). The Court has continued to adhere to this strict standard for congressional districting, voiding a plan in which the maximum deviation between largest and smallest district was 0.7%, or 3,674 persons. Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725 (1983) (rejecting assertion that deviations less than estimated census error are necessarily permissible). 2022 The Court relied on Swann in disapproving of only slightly smaller devia- tions (roughly 28% and 25%) in Whitcomb v. Chavis, 403 U.S. 124, 161–63 (1971). In Connor v. Williams, 404 U.S. 549, 550 (1972), the Court said of plaintiffs’ reliance on Preisler and Wells that “these decisions do not squarely control the instant ap- peal since they do not concern state legislative apportionment, but they do raise substantial questions concerning the constitutionality of the District Court’s plan as a design for permanent apportionment.” 2023 403 U.S. 182 (1971). 2024 In Evenwel v. Abbott , a case involving representation in the state legisla- ture, the Court rejected the argument that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits states from using total population in determining voting districts and instead re- quires the use of the voting population. 578 U.S. ___, No. 14–940, slip op. (2016).
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