Essay on The Case Of Reynolds V. Sims, Chief Justice Earl Warren

Essay on The Case Of Reynolds V. Sims, Chief Justice Earl Warren

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In the case of Reynolds V. Sims, Chief Justice Earl Warren displays the importance of right to vote and equality of votes. He argues that because “the right of suffrage is a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society,” every citizen’s vote should be weighted equally and should be guaranteed by the judicial power (164). Since a State can manage its own manner of votes counting, some citizens who live in unpopular areas may not have effective right of voting as citizens who live in popular or, in other word, well developing areas do, so Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment which gives the citizens equal protection of the laws provides judicial protection of the basic civil right of people as well as right to vote. Chief Justice Earl Warren says that “legislators represent people, not trees or acres; legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests,” which by him, means that legislative department is closely linked with people (164). People vote for their representatives, and every person in this country should have same right to vote and equal weights of the votes. In addition, Warren express citizen’s right to “participate in the political processes of his State’s legislative bodies” is an inalienable right, and state legislatures “retained a most important place in our Nation’s governmental structure,” and the court should use its power to draw districts for state while people are trying to participate in politics (165).
Justice John Harlan holds dissenting opinion; according to Harlan, court, or judicial power should not intervene the political questions such as issues of districting and apportionment, and if the court do so, the court would become a political party instead of a pe...


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... makes the legislative department continuously accumulate its power because there is no second or third department can resist it, and this changes is not easily perceived by the people. Eventually, as stated above, “accumulation of all power” in a single department will lead to despotism and tyranny. Madison thinks the ways to remedy the danger are various; Virginia’s constitution has declared that three departments should be “separate and distinct” which limits number of powers that each person should exercise so that “the judiciary and the executive members were left dependent on the legislative for their subsistence in office”, and it makes every one of three need to “render them obligatory on the other branches” (207). Madison also mentions that Pennsylvania through the Council of Censors to inquire whether the constitution is violated by legislative department.

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