Evenwel v. Abbott is a U.S. Supreme Court case on redistricting that threatened every person’s right to fair representation. The plaintiffs challenged the long-standing practice in the United States of counting every person when drawing state legislative districts and sought to require states to count only eligible voters. The Court rejected this radical constitutional change and ruled 8-0 that states are allowed to continue counting total population.
Today, almost all state and local jurisdictions already draw electoral districts based on total population. Indeed, the U.S. Constitution requires that total population be used when allocating congressional districts to the fifty states. That way, elected leaders represent equal numbers of people in each district. The Supreme Court has recognized that the right to equal representation demands that redistricting, whether at the state or congressional levels, be based on “We the People,” not some subset of the population.