The Warren Court (1953–69)

Racial Discrimination

Where does the principle “one person, one vote” come from in Supreme Court decisions?

Justice William O. Douglas used this phrase in his opinion for the Court in Gray v. Sanders (1963). He wrote: “The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing—one person, one vote.” The phrase arose in a series of cases in the early 1960s that dealt with the imbalance of voting power between rural and urban areas of various states.


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