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Evenwel v. Abbott: Recent Developments at SCOTUS and Implications for Redistricting

(320 reviews)

Produced on September 26, 2016

$ 89 Constitutional, Election, Campaign, & Political, Civil Rights, and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Advanced

Course Description

In a closely watched case this Term, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Evenwel v. Texas that states are not constitutionally required to use citizen voting age population as the baseline when conducting state legislative redistricting. The Court, however, left the larger question undecided of whether states are constitutionally permitted to use citizen voting age population as the baseline. As state legislatures and redistricting commissions across the country begin to prepare for the next round of redistricting, they will have to consider what Evenwel means for their legislative plans.  

Evenwel, however, was not the Court’s only recent case about the one-person-one-vote doctrine. The Court also decided Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission this Term, which raised the question of whether states need to justify population deviations among legislative districts when those deviations are less than 10%. And in Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama last Term, the Court decided that the one-person-one-vote doctrine must be considered a background principle against which redistricting is measured and cannot be a state’s predominant motive in redistricting. These decisions further refined and shaped the one-person-one-vote doctrine.

This course examines the historical underpinnings of the one-person-one-vote doctrine and then discuss the Court’s recent decisions and their implications for the upcoming round of redistricting.  Jessica Ring Amunson is the Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Election Law and Redistricting Practice and has unique insight into these issues having represented parties either on the merits or as amicus in Evenwel, Harris, and Alabama Democratic Conference

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the origins of the one-person-one-vote doctrine
  2. Examine the Court’s recent decisions regarding the one-person-one-vote doctrine
  3. Assess the implications of the Court’s recent decisions for the next round of redistricting
  4. Provide practical guidance for the next round of redistricting

Credit Information

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Jessica Ring Amunson

Jenner & Block

Jessica Ring Amunson is a partner in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Election Law and Redistricting Practice. An experienced litigator, Ms. Amunson has briefed and argued matters before numerous federal and state appellate, as well as trial courts. Ms. Amunson regularly represents clients in both merits and amicus briefing before the United States Supreme Court. She has worked on appeals and Supreme Court cases covering a broad range of topics, including First Amendment challenges, insurance coverage disputes, ERISA issues, breach-of-contract cases, and administrative law matters. Ms. Amunson also regularly assists clients with dispositive motions, including in defeating putative class action consumer fraud cases, at the trial court level. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in appellate and constitutional law by Washington DC Super Lawyers.

As Co-Chair of the firm’s Election Law and Redistricting Practice, Ms. Amunson represents clients, including elected officials and interest groups, in matters involving redistricting, voting rights, and campaign finance in the U.S. Supreme Court and in courts around the country. She has litigated election law and redistricting matters in a number of states, including litigation involving disputed elections. Ms. Amunson has been repeatedly recognized for her extensive knowledge of election law and regularly speaks on panels regarding issues in redistricting and voting rights. She serves on the Advisory Committee to the Voting Rights Institute.

Ms. Amunson maintains an active pro bono practice and her work to secure executive clemency for a pro bono client has been featured in the national media. Ms. Amunson has also assisted in overseeing dozens of pro bono appeals handled by the firm’s associates in the federal courts of appeals. She received the Associates Committee’s Mentoring Award in 2013. Ms. Amunson is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Alumni Committee and is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. She is also a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Ms. Amunson participated in the D.C. Bar Associates Fellowship Program at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she worked on the Election Protection Program.


Adrienne L.

Great faculty. Presents complex subjects in an understandable and engaging manner. Highly recommend.

James H.

Fabulous presentation. Very instructive.

Earl H.

Extremely well organized .. clearly presented..


Possibly the best Lawline course I have completed (of an estimated 72 courses).

Robert C.


Donna F.

Great program.

Patrick K.

Excellent, clear explanation of complex issues. I was reminded by the discussion of "virtual representation" of the British response to the "no taxation without representation" of the American colonists.

James M.

Great presenter!

Mary F.

The presenter is knowledge of all applicable laws in this subject-area. As such, the presentation was informative and useful.

Robert G.

an engrossing topic

Robert S.

Lays out laws on gerrymandering in an easy to understand format

Geoffrey K.

Very interesting and useful material. Well presented.

Anthony M.


Daniel N.

Very helpful for understanding current SCOTUS litigation

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