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Davis v. Bandemer

United States Supreme Court
478 U.S. 109 (1986)



In 1981, the Indiana state legislature, controlled by the Republican Party, adopted a reapportionment plan that provided for state senate and house districts of substantially equal population. Despite the equal population sizes, however, the Indiana Democrats claimed that the plan substantially diluted Democratic voting strength by using a mix of single and multi-member districts, and gerrymandering district lines. In the first elections held under the plan in 1982, the Democrats received 51.9 percent of the total house vote and 53.1 percent of the total senate vote. However, the Democrats won only forty-three of one hundred house seats and only thirteen of twenty-five senate seats in the Indiana legislature. Bandemer (plaintiff) brought suit against Davis (defendant) in federal district court on the ground that the reapportionment plan was unconstitutional. The district court agreed and granted relief, and Davis appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

Dissent (Powell, J.)

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