by Brett Blank, January 8, 2008
Cross-posted from TomPaine.com.
There once was a time when in the state of New Hampshire, wealth bought votes. It wasn’t illicit or even unusual. In fact it was the law of the state. The amount of power each Senate district had was directly proportional to its taxes paid. This method of redistricting was struck down in Reynolds v. Sims less than 45 years ago.
New Hampshire was not alone. Other states had fundamentally unfair apportionment schemes. For example, Alabama gave every county the same number of state senators. As a result, sparsely populated Lowndes County had the same number of state senators as densely populated Jefferson County. This too was struck down by Reynolds v. Sims.
Continue reading →