TheSupreme Court of the United StatesBaker v.
CarrCitation:Bakerv. Carr : 369 U.S. 186, 82 S.
Ct. 691 7 L. Ed. 2d 663 (1962) Case Syllabus: Appellants – Charles Baker, Republicanresident from Tennessee; Mayor of Millington, Tennessee v. Joe Carr; Secretary of State forTennessee. Argued – April 18-19, 1961Reargued – Oct 9, 1961Decided – March 26, 1962 Facts: This case was presented in a FederalDistrict court in Tennessee on behalf of Mayor Charles Baker and citizens ofTennessee, filing a complaint stating that their Fourteenth Amendment rightswere being violated. Charles Baker andother residents from Tennessee state that Tennessee had not been redistrictedsince 1901.
The Tennessee Constitution required revising districts to redrawseats for the state’s General Assembly every ten years to redress any changesin population, and had been ignored since then. Baker argued that votes of otherrural citizens were overrepresented compared to demographically shift that hadoccurred in his district within the years. Baker complained that due to failureto reapportioning the seats in the General Assembly, apart from the disparity ofpopulation of his district and substantial growth, they lacked “debasementof their votes” and caused him to lack equal protection under theFourteenth Amendment. Charles Baker filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State,Joe Carr due to carrying out elections and district maps.
Statesets district lines Tennessee dismissedcase because they alleged that courts could not resolved this matter due tobeing a “political issue.” Court HoldingQuestionThedebate of this case was if the Supreme Court has jurisdiction of legislative apportionmentHeld:1.The District court did have official power to rule over such case declared inthe complaint. PpU.S. 198-2042.
Appellants had sufficient proof to support their allegations.Pp. 369 U.S, 204 -208.
3. Baker’s allegation of a rejection of equal protection was a justifiable constitutionalmatter, therefore was entitled to a trail and decision. Pp. 369 U.
S. 208-37.179 F.Supp. 824, case was reversed and remanded Opinions: The decision of this case was six totwo, and was finalized March 1962 by a plurality of votes because no majoritycame forward from either side. JusticeCharles Evans Witttakers even withdrew from case for the sake of his healthconditions.
There were two concurrencesby Justices William Douglas and Potter Stewart. Justice William Brennan didagree that this was a justiciable issue rather than a political, but sincethere was no majority, Court remanded the case to the lower courts. Justice Felix Frankfurter however, stated the Court did go further beyond theirjudicial roles and should have permitted the political process handle thesituation. Frankfurter states that legal intervention was pointless in anessentially political conflict . Practice had been cast aside and Court hadviolated the separation of powers between the Courts and legislative.
Headdresses how the Court should detach from any political entanglement. Nojudicial remedy had been established under the Constitution and not everypolitical mischief should have a remedy through the Court. Justice Harlan who joined dissenting withJustice FrankFurter, argued that nowhere in the Equal Protection Clause or inthe Federal Constitution particularly supported that state legislature must be so structuredand fairly accurate in regards to the equality voice of every voter. He expressedthat Baker should had seek alleviation from the legislative and how other casessimilar had been rejected. While Justice Harlem and JusticeFrankfurter oppose to this suit, Justice William Brennan stated that Courts didhave the power to consider and decide the case after properly addressing thecase to determine what amounts to a political question. The majority opinion did cameto a conclusion that even with constrains, judiciary can rule overapportionment decisions, however, the court couldn’t decide to any liberationgranted to Baker therefore the Court sent case back to lower courts to rehearthe case. Constitutional Doctrineand Theory Apportionment cases had been basedunder the Guaranty Clause of Article IV, Section: 4 of the United States Constitutionwhich states that each State is guaranteed a republican form of government andthat such matter that presents a political question shall not be addressed bythe courts.
In this case, the Guaranty Clause was rejected due to the fact thatthe Appellants argued the apportionment of legislatures under the Equalprotection section. Asan outcome of this case, the Supreme Court established the power that theSupreme court can review any legislative and redistricting matters. The decision in this case and thecourt’s explanation of the political question doctrine has strongly affectedconstitutional law and voting rights over the past decades.
Although this case took nearly ayear to finalized because appellant requested political rights, did not meanhowever it a “political” issue. This case argued that anyapportionment case, should have not involve any federal court. The”political question” doctrine came into consideration concerning if the judicial systems is the bestsuitable system to perceive over suchcase. This doctrine deals with anymeasures and powers that have been committed to another branch of government. As many cases similar to Baker v.
Carr,this case gave power to the court to protect voting rights under the 14thamendment. It also demanded that every state shall undergo a redistricting toprotect the right of each voter. Because of this case, Supreme court made ascertainedthat these types of cases of reapportionment are in fact a case that should bereviewed by the court.