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33 UCLA L. Rev. 185 (1985-1986)
Relationship between Votes and Seats: The Ultimate Question in Poltical Gerrymandering

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                    Richard G. Niemi*

     In Karcher v. Daggett, I one of the first redistricting cases
to arise in the aftermath of the 1980 Census, the United
States Supreme Court went well out of its way to call atten-
tion to the question of political gerrymandering. In three
separate opinions, five justices were in strong agreement
that gerrymandering is a justiciable matter.2 Since the
Court's decision in Karcher, a three-judge district court in In-
diana has concluded that the Republican-controlled legisla-
ture and Republican governor created an unconstitutional
gerrymander in drawing state legislative districts.3 That
case, which the Supreme Court will review as Davis v.

    * Professor of Political Science and Distinguished Professor of Graduate
Teaching, University of Rochester. B.A., Lawrence College, 1962; Ph.D., Univer-
sity of Michigan, 1967. I am grateful to the University of Iowa for its hospitality
during the time I wrote the initial draft of this Article and to the National Science
Foundation (Grant SES-8421050) for support during the time I completed it.
    1. 462 U.S. 725 (1983).
    2. Id. at 744 (Stevens, J., concurring); id. at 765 (White, J., joined by Burger,
C.J., Powell and Rehnquist, JJ., dissenting); id. at 784 (Powell, J., dissenting). At
least it seemed as if they were in strong agreement. Subsequently, Justice White
concurred in an opinion written by Justice Brennan saying that gerrymandering
by itself is not unconstitutional. Karcher v. Daggett, 104 S. Ct. 1691, 1696-97
(1984) (mem.) (Brennan, J., joined by Marshall and White, JJ., dissenting) (appli-
cation for stay denied). At a minimum, Justice White seems to feel that gerryman-
dering is a bad thing. In the main Karcher opinion he repeated his earlier
statement in Wells v. Rockefeller, 394 U.S. 542 (1968), that gerrymandering is a
far greater threat to equality of representation than is exact numerical equality.
Id. at 555 (White, J., dissenting) (dissent equally applicable to Kirkpatrick v.
Priesler, 394 U.S. 526 (1968)).
    3. Bandemer v. Davis, 603 F. Supp. 1479 (S.D. Ind. 1984), prob. juris. noted,
 105 S. Ct. 1840 (1985).

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