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A Quote to Ponder

Doing a little research and came across this:

“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”–Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority in Gray v. Sanders (1963).

This was, interestingly enough, in the context of a system in the state of Georgia that allocated more electoral power to rural counties at the expense of urban counties–i.e., a situation in which certain voters had more electoral power than others.  I am not noting this because it is legally significant to the ongoing debate electoral college, but it is certainly philosophically relevant.

Also, for trivia reasons, this is the case wherein “one person, one vote” originates, and not Baker v. Carr (1962).

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    We’ll get rid of the Electoral College right after a Republican loses the EC despite winning the popular vote, and not before.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Alameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    We’ll get rid of the Electoral College right after a Republican loses the EC despite winning the popular vote, and not before.

    So cynical, so dead on right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. bill says:

    does that “person” need to be a citizen? also, seeing as the maturity of the avg American is seemingly being postponed by the fed gov’t.(drinking laws at 21, staying on parents health ins until 26) what age should a “person” attain before being afforded the right/responsibility to vote?! don’t fall all over yourselves…..

    @gVOR08: i assume this is a slight towards trump for understanding and using the ec to his advantage….
    if he needed more votes from other states he would have campaigned there and got them.
    sore losers are still losers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  4. Hal_10000 says:

    @gVOR08:

    No, that’s when the Democrats will switch from “archaic anti-Democratic institution” to “sacred protector of our Republic”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  5. @bill:

    This is all pretty simple:

    1) Only citizens can vote

    2) The US Constitution sets the voting age at 18.

    But, of course, neither of those issues has anything directly to do with “one person, one vote.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @bill:

    i assume this is a slight towards trump for understanding and using the ec to his advantage….

    No. It’s a slam on Republicans for being unprincipled and ruthless. And a slam on Democrats for not standing up and matching them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    No. It’s a slam on Republicans for being unprincipled and ruthless. And a slam on Democrats for not standing up and matching them.

    Don’t waste your breath. Bill doesn’t understand motives that aren’t petty. It’s that whole “banality of evil” thing; he’s quite representative that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    @bill: “if he needed more votes from other states he would have campaigned there and got them.”

    Oh, yes. The only reason Trump didn’t win California and New York was because he didn’t campaign there.

    My contempt for you is so total I almost believe you believe this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. MBunge says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    They have as much to do with “one person, one vote” as the Electoral College does.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. @MBunge: Actually, those two themes have a lot in common in terms of philosophical discussion about representation. Indeed, the reason we had cases like the one cited here, as well as Baker v. Carr is because of disjunctures between rural and urban voters and the fact that those who benefited under malapportionment sought to maintain such systems.

    You may not like it, but the issues are very much linked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0