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In considering whether the distribution of representatives in the state legislature should match changing population trends, 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 of this decision, every state legislature had reapportioned itself on the basis of population.

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Law Databases


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 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

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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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, 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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