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FORTSON V. DORSEY, 379 U. S. 433 (1965)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fortson v. Dorsey, 379 U.S. 433 (1965)

Fortson v. Dorsey

No. 178

Argued December 10, 1964

Decided January 18, 1965

379 U.S. 433


Under Georgia's 1962 Senatorial Reapportionment Act the State is divided into senatorial districts that are conceded to be substantially equal in population. Except for the seven most populous counties, from one to eight counties comprise a district and the voters therein, on a district-wide basis, elect the senator for that district. The seven most populous counties are divided into from two to seven districts each, and the voters in each such county, instead of electing only one senator from the district in which they reside, elect, on a county-wide basis, that number of senators that the county has districts. Appellees, registered voters in multidistrict counties of Georgia, brought this action in the Federal District Court against the Secretary of State and local election officials, seeking a decree that the county-wide voting requirement in the seven multi-district counties violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A three-judge District Court granted appellees' motion for summary judgment, holding that the difference between electing senators in districts comprising a county or group of counties and in the multi-district counties constitutes invidious discrimination.

Held: equal protection does not necessarily require formation of all single-member districts in a State's legislative apportionment scheme. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, followed. Pp. 379 U. S. 436-439.

228 F.Supp. 259 reversed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 379 U. S. 434

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