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Baker v. Carr

Election Law

Journal

1982

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Constitutional And Statutory Challenges To Local At-Large Elections, Timothy G. O'Rourke Jan 1982

Constitutional And Statutory Challenges To Local At-Large Elections, Timothy G. O'Rourke

University of Richmond Law Review

On April 22, 1980, in City of Mobile v. Bolden the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of at-large elections for the three-member city commission in Mobile, Alabama. In so doing, the Court reversed the judgment of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Mobile's at-large plan impermissibly diluted the electoral influence of black voters in violation of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution. The Supreme Court's decision in Bolden [I] emerged from a sharply divided court. A six-person majority in the case consisted of four justices-Stewart, Burger, Powell, and Rehnquist-who joined in a plurality opinion; Justice …