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REPRESENTATION AND REYNOLDS v. SIMS (1964)

The Court agreed with the contention that the distribution of representatives in the state legislature should match changing population trends. In an 8-1 decision, the Court held that malapportioned legislative districts unconstitutionally diluted an individual's vote. Reynolds rendered unconstitutional at least one house of most state legislatures. Within just a few years, every state legislature had reapportioned itself on the basis of population.

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Law Databases

FindLaw

FindLaw's Cases and Codes section contains provisions of state and federal law. It also contains a record of state and federal case law for trial and appellate courts. The site looks at the arguments made in Reynolds v. Sims. It includes the full text of the court's opinion and a dissent along with a record of various filings and motions leading to the outcome of the case.

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Oyez

Oyez.com provides a variety of resources on Reynolds v. Sims, including links to case text, audio recordings, and references. It also provides a high-level overview of the central issue addressed by the case and the court's holding along along with a visual depiction of how the justices sided both by seniority and ideology.

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Online Reference Resources

Center for the Study of Federalism

The Encyclopedia of Federalism's entry on the case explores the role of the federal government on state redistricting efforts and contextualizes the case in previous and ongoing Supreme Court jurisprudence on redistricting.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Well-researched with helpful bibliographies, each Encyclopedia of Alabama entry is an effective jumping-off point for getting the facts of the case. Entries range from landmark court cases to influential jurists and legislators. The Encyclopedia aids in contextualizing Reynolds v. Sims as part of Alabama history and provides implications of the decision for the state's future.

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Exploring Constitutional Conflicts

This site explores issues and controversies that surround the Constitution of the United States. Each entry includes a list of relevant SCOTUS cases as well as open-ended discussion questions.

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Rose Institute

Claremont McKenna College's Rose Institute includes Reynolds v. Sims in a collection of cases discussing redistricting in the US.

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US Conlawpedia

Georgia State's resource breaks the case down into the background, main issue, and significance of the holding while also situating the decision in the light of other redistricting cases.

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Archival Resources

Library of Congress

A hard copy of the opinion can be found in U.S. Reports Volume 377. The Library of Congress has a PDF from one of these reporters.

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Thirteen.org

Thirteen.org, the website for a PBS station in New York, highlights Reynolds v. Sims as it explores court cases that have advanced civil rights in United States.

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Visit an Alabama Museum!

Alabama Department of Archives and History

www.archives.state.al.us

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

www.bcri.org

Vulcan Park and Museum

visitvulcan.com/education