Baker v. Carr

From wikilawschool.net. Wiki Law School does not provide legal advice. For educational purposes only.
Jump to navigationJump to search
Baker v. Carr
Court U.S. Supreme Court
Citation 369 U.S. 186 (1962)
Date decided 1962

Issues

Whether an equal protection challenge to malapportionment of state legislatures is a non-justiciable political question.


Holding/Decision

Apportionment cases can involve no federal constitutional right except one resting on the guaranty of a republican form of government, and complaints based on that clause have been held to present political questions which are non-justiciable.


Rules

Issues involving political questions

  • a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department
  • a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it
  • the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly nonjudicial discretion
  • the impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government
  • an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made
  • the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question

Dissent

The present case involves all the elements which have made the Guarantee Clause cases non-justiciable.