Supreme Court case endangers equal representation for Latinos and other minorities
The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear arguments on Evenwel v. Abbott, a case that is challenging the ‘one person one vote’ principle.
Two plaintiffs from Texas are arguing that the state should draw legislative district lines not based on the total population, as it is currently done, but based on some other measure of the voter eligible population, for example CVAP (Citizen Voting Age Population), voter registration or voter turnout.
Cristóbal J. Alex, president of Latino Victory Project published “Evenwel stands to wipe out decades of Latino civil rights progress,” a column in which he explains the “disastrous” consequences for representation in the democratic process — ”especially for Latinos.”
As Alex points out “in effect, Latino-heavy districts and other districts with lots of children and more diverse populations would be allocated fewer representatives (...) the voter population rule could ultimately apply to districts in all levels of government, leading to a nation where millions are subject to laws that are written and upheld by those who no longer represent them or their interests.”
Although the Latino electorate is increasing (Latinos over the age of 18 will comprise 16 percent of the U.S. adult population in 2016), the legislative process based only on voter eligible population would absolutely disenfranchise children, residents who are not citizens and undocumented immigrants among others.
“At a time when the Latino community is still facing xenophobic rhetoric spewed by certain candidates on the presidential campaign trail, denying us fair representation in government will take us backwards and significantly erode Latino political power,” Alex wrote.
The New York Times reported that the court’s decision on the case is expected by June.