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Colegrove v. Green

Significance

More than a decade of state legislative inaction following Colegrove finally resulted, in 1962, in the landmark Baker v. Carr decision. In Baker v. Carr the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment renders apportionment subject to federal control, thus overruling Colegrove.

The appellants in Colegrove v. Green were three qualified Illinois voters--including Kenneth W. Colegrove, who gave his name to the case. These three brought suit against a number of state officials in an effort to stop a November 1946 election from taking place before their election districts were reevaluated. These districts, they claimed, had not been redrawn since 1901 and now contained disproportionately large populations when compared with other districts in the state. Citing various constitutional provisions, they asked the federal District Court of the Northern District of Illinois to declare invalid the provisions of the Illinois law governing congressional districts. When a three-judge panel dismissed their case, Colegrove and the other appellants asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review this decision.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953Colegrove v. Green - Significance, Court Declares Apportionment A "political Question", Further Readings