Baker vs Carr 1962
The case of Baker vs Carr in 1962 was a milestone United States Supreme Court Case, the Court gained power to rule on apportionment law and bicameral states became equally apportioned. The case had made the Supreme Court retreat from the political question doctrine. The political question doctrine is whether or not the Supreme Court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case, the doctrine is also closely linked to the concept of justiciability. The case decided that redistricting, attempts to change the way voting districts are outlined, issues present justiciable questions which would have allowed the federal court to intervene and decide the redistricting cases. The defendants unsuccessfully argued that redistricting of legislative districts is a political question which made the case go to the Supreme Court.
The beginning of this landmark case began in 1962 when Charles Baker, a Republican who lived in Shelby County, Tennessee. The Tennessee State Constitution required that legislative districts be redrawn every ten years according to federal census to provide districts of substantially equal population. Baker’s complaint was that the state of Tennessee had not redistricted since 1901, in answer to the 1900 census. In 1962 when Baker announced his lawsuit the population had shifted such that his district in Shelby County had about ten times as many students as some of the rural districts. Representationally, the votes of rural citizens were worth more than the votes of urban citizens. Baker’s arguments was that this difference was causing him to fail to receive the equal protection of the laws that came from and are required by the fourteenth amendment.
The Defendant Joe Carr who was the Secretary of State for Tennessee was sued. Carr was not the person who set up the district lines the state legislature had done that but was sued “ex officio” as the...