Baker v. Carr, case decided in 1962 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Tennessee had failed to reapportion the state legislature for 60 years despite population growth and redistribution. Charles Baker, a voter, brought suit against the state (Joe Carr was a state official in charge of elections) in federal district court, claiming that the dilution of his vote as a result of the state's failure to reapportion violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The court dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it could not decide a political question. Baker appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a case raising a political issue would be heard. This landmark decision opened the way for numerous suits on legislative apportionment.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.