On democracy's doorstep : the inside story of how the Supreme Court brought "one person, one vote" to the United States / J. Douglas Smith.
New York : Hill and Wang, 2014.
370 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Formatted Contents Note
Rotten Boroughs California, 1948 The Shame of the States It Has Lots to Do with the Price of Eggs : The Making of Baker v. Carr Into the Political Thicket One Person, One Vote The Making of Reynolds v. Sims Converging on Washington, D.C. Amicus Curiae November 1963 Legislators Represent People, Not Trees or Acres The Little Filibuster Scared Stiff Let the People Decide Epilogue.
"The inside story of the Supreme Court decisions that brought true democracy to the United States Today, Earl Warren is recalled as the chief justice of a Supreme Court that introduced school desegregation and other dramatic changes to American society. In retirement, however, Warren argued that his court's greatest accomplishment was establishing the principle of "one person, one vote" in state legislative and congressional redistricting. Malapportionment, Warren recognized, subverted the will of the majority, privileging rural voters, and often business interests and whites, over others. In declaring nearly all state legislatures unconstitutional, the court oversaw a revolution that transformed the exercise of political power in the United States. On Democracy's Doorstep tells the story of this crucial--and neglected--episode. J. Douglas Smith follows lawyers, activists, and Justice Department officials as they approach the court. We see Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy pushing for radical change and idealistic lawyers in Alabama bravely defying their peers. We then watch as the justices edge toward their momentous decision. The Washington Post called the result a step "toward establishing democracy in the United States." But not everyone agreed; Smith shows that business lobbies and their political allies attempted to overturn the court by calling the first Constitutional Convention since the 1780s. Thirty-three states ratified their petition--just one short of the two-thirds required"-- Provided by publisher. "The inside story of the Supreme Court decisions that brought true democracy to the United States"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
KF4905 .S65 2014
9780809074235 hardback 0809074230 hardback 9780374712082 (ebook)