Georgia Law Review, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Summer 1967), pp. 596-645


On June 15, 1964, the Supreme Court of the United States, in the context of its decisions in Reynolds v. Sims and companion cases, put the finishing touches upon its evolving principle that state legislatures must be apportioned on an equal population basis; i.e., the "one-man-one-vote" standard. This principle drew its commandment, held the Court, from the equal protection provision of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. On May 22, 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered decisions in three cases which had confronted it for the first time with questions on the relationship of the Reynolds principle to local governments throughout the country. And although the Court left much yet to be decided here, what it did undertake to establish is of the utmost significance in pointing a possible way for the future. Perhaps even more important, certainly of equal interest, is the almost three-year period of lower court activity transpiring between the Supreme Court's pronouncements. For both the state courts and the lower federal courts across the nation had witnessed a vast amount of litigation seeking to apply Reynolds to local governments. A view of illustrative attempts by the courts to handle this litigation unfolds a judicial development of genuine intrigue.