Two residents of Texas urged the court to rule that in drawing legislative boundaries to create districts with roughly equal populations, states should count the voting population, not the total population.source
Using the total population figures, the challengers said, dilutes the voting power of residents in districts with large numbers of people who are not eligible to vote, violating the one-person, one-vote requirement.
But not a single justice ruled for the challengers.
“Adopting voter-eligible apportionment as constitutional command would upset a well-functioning approach to districting that all 50 states and countless local jurisdictions have followed for decades, even centuries,” wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the court.”
Ginsburg’s opinion was joined by Justices John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito each wrote separate concurring opinions.
Relying instead on voting population could result in fewer districts in areas that elect Hispanic representatives. Opponents of the idea said it would shift political power away from urban areas with large minority populations, which tend to vote for Democrats, and toward rural areas, where Republicans do better at the polls.