In 1965, California redesigned its legislature as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in Reynolds v Sims (1964). What change was made?
A. Districts for the State Senate is based on county lines.
B. Districts for the Assembly is based on county lines.
C. Districts for each houses have about the same population.
D. Districts for both houses had to be racially diverse.
E. none of the above.
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The correct answer to this question is Option C. After the Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. Sims, the California legislature had to be changed so that the members of each house of the legislature would represent roughly equal numbers of people.
Answers A and B are wrong because those are exactly the kinds of districts that were banned in Reynolds. Before that decision was handed down, there had been many districts in various states that were drawn along county lines. This made for tremendous inequality as all counties, of course, do not necessarily have anywhere near to the same populations. This meant that the votes of people in populous counties, in essence, counted for less than the votes of people in small counties. The Supreme Court found this to be an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Answer D is wrong because Reynolds was not about racial diversity. In addition, it is inaccurate to say that legislative districts must be racially diverse as there are places in the state of California that do not have a great deal of racial diversity. There is no law saying that states cannot draw districts that are overwhelmingly white (for example) when there is an area where whites constitute the great majority of the population.
Answer C is the correct answer because Reynolds was about equalizing the size of legislative districts.
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