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"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
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Whitcomb, Governor of Indiana

v.

Chavis
State Representation

Justice Harlan Separate Opinion
June 7, 1971
Seal Of The Supreme Court
Excerpt:

That line of cases can best be understood, I think, as reflections of deep personal commitments by some members of the Court to the principles of pure majoritarian democracy. This majoritarian strain and its nonconstitutional sources are most clearly revealed in Gray v. Sanders, where my Brother Douglas, speaking for the Court, said: "The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing — one person, one vote."

If this philosophy of majoritarianism had been given its head, it would have led to different results in each of the cases decided today, for it is the very nature of the principle that it regards majority rule as an imperative of social organization, not subject to compromise in furtherance of merely political ends. It is a philosophy which ignores or overcomes the fact that the scheme of the Constitution is one not of majoritarian democracy, but of federal republics, with equality of representation a value subordinate to many others, as both the body of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment itself show on their face.

... The probability of any individual's casting a tie-breaking vote is reduced by a factor on the rough order of 120,000,000,000,000,000,000. Obviously in comparison with the astronomical differences in voting power which can result from such minor variation in political characteristics, the effects of the 12 percent and 28 percent population variations considered in Abate v. Mundt and in this case are de minimis, and even the extreme deviations from the norm presented in Baker v. Carr, (1962), and Avery v. Midland County, (1968), pale into insignificance. (5)

Footnote 5:
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." Mark Twain, LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI



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