From our private database of 30,900+ case briefs...
Avery v. Midland County
United States Supreme Court
390 U.S. 474 (1968)
Midland County, Texas (defendant) was governed by a Commissioners Court, a body tasked with appointing county officials, administering welfare services, building and maintaining bridges and roads, adopting county budgets, and setting the county tax rate, among other things. The Commissioners Court was made up of five members. One member was the county judge, who was elected by the entire county. The other four members were commissioners, elected by their respective districts. Midland County’s four electoral districts were unequally populated. The district where much of the city of Midland lived had a population of 67,906, and the other three districts each had a population of less than 1,000. Avery (plaintiff) challenged the drawing of electoral districts, arguing that the unequal populations violated the one person, one vote principle read into the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Midland County defended its practices by arguing that the Commissioners Court conducted administrative business rather than legislative business. It also justified its disproportionate number of members from rural districts by pointing out that the city of Midland had its own government to focus on urban residents of the county. The Texas Supreme Court found that the Commissioners Court had only negligible legislative function and that the Commissioners Court had an acceptable rural focus, as many of its urban responsibilities had been transferred to the city government. The court concluded that the county did not need to follow the one person, one vote standard and have equal district populations for the Commissioners Court. Avery appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
Dissent (Fortas, J.)
Dissent (Harlan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 552,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 552,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 30,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.