The Populist and Elitist Theories of Democracy in View of the United States Supreme Court's Apportionment Decisions
Kluge, John Arnold
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The United States Supreme Court has rendered many decisions throughout its history that have had a variety of unanticipated effects. The Court's decisions in the cases' of Baker vs. Carr(1962) and Wesberry vs. Sanders(1964) are examples of such rulings. Those decisions required that the voting districts in the states of Tennessee and Georgia be equally reapportioned, that is, redrawn in such a way so as to encompass equal populations. The explicit intention of reapportioning the voting districts was to make votes count equally. Before readjustment of the voting districts, the votes of persons living in each state's more populous districts were worth less than the votes of persons living in the less populous ones. The Supreme Court's decisions in the cases of Baker vs. Carr and Wesberry vs. Sanders also provide an unexpected test of the abilities of the populist (as expressed by John Stuart Mill) and elitist theories of democracy to protect democracy. The Supreme Court's decisions in these cases are interpreted as inconsisent with the' populist theory, but supportive of that of democratic elitism.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to this SIP.