Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1962

Abstract

The Tennessee reapportionment decision, Baker v. Carr,' has been popularly characterized as one of the "very few judicial decisions which have fundamentally reshaped our constitutional system."'2 Newspaper and magazine commentators generally have predicted that the decision of last March is likely to "change the course of our history" by producing a drastic alteration in the balance of power on the state political scene.3 While this end may be desirable,4 any such estimate of the future impact of the Baker decision, at least insofar as its legal consequence is concerned,5 seems not only premature but somewhat exaggerated. The future significance of this decision will ultimately depend upon the manner in which the Supreme Court extricates itself from what Mr. Justice Frankfurter has so colorfully described as the "mathematical quagmire"6 of determining what constitutes invalid state legislative apportionment. And, as the following discussion hopefully will demonstrate, the path to be charted through that quagmire may be far narrower than most commentators and many lower courts have anticipated.