The conventional wisdom is that the SG's amicus briefs had a significant influence on the decision making of the justices in the reapportionment cases from 1960 to 1964.
The Solicitor General as Amicus in the Later Reapportionment and Other Election Law Cases
A fuller appreciation for the SG's role as amicus in the Supreme Court can be gained by examining the filing of such briefs and the Court's apparent use of the briefs, in the reapportionment, VRA, and other election law cases decided since 1964.
The SG filed amicus briefs in several of the post-1964 reapportionment cases that considered various issues on the application of the one-person, one-vote principle.
Those positions were compatible in Baker and the other early reapportionment cases, but there was divergence in later voting rights cases as the composition of the Court changed and new presidents were elected.
The SG did not participate as amicus in all of the reapportionment or other election law cases after 1964.
But at oral argument in the case, Cox soothingly told the Court the United States was participating because it involved the constitutional rights of "a large number of citizens both in Tennessee and elsewhere," the "integrity of the electoral process," and "of course, a difficult and delicate question concerning the proper role of the judiciary" in reviewing reapportionment cases.
105) As noted, Baker and the other early reapportionment cases clearly fell into the broader political agenda category, and to their credit, the officials in the three presidential administrations who filed the briefs made no pretense otherwise.
This Article extends that discussion to the SG's amicus filings in later reapportionment and other election law cases.
OF ELECTIONS, 1998 OFFICIAL ELECTION PAMPHLET, STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REORGANIZE REAPPORTIONMENT BOARD (1998), available at http://www.
See generally, Bruce Adams, A Model State Reapportionment Process: The Continuing Quest for 'Fair and Effective Representation', 14 HARV.
Supreme Court has said that reapportionment planning is a legislative task.