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What does equal representation mean?    

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Equal representation can mean different things. When the Constitutional Convention was being held, there was a big debate regarding the structure of the legislative branch. The large states wanted representation in the legislative branch to be based on the population of a state. Therefore, large states would have more representatives...

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Equal representation can mean different things. When the Constitutional Convention was being held, there was a big debate regarding the structure of the legislative branch. The large states wanted representation in the legislative branch to be based on the population of a state. Therefore, large states would have more representatives than small states. The small states objected to this idea. The small states wanted equal representation meaning each state would have the same number of representatives in the legislative branch.

In the 1960s, there was a court case dealing with equal representation. In the Supreme Court case of Reynolds v Sims, the Supreme Court ruled that when the state legislature reapportions their legislative districts because of changes in the state’s population based on data from the latest census, the newly created districts must have approximately the same number of people living in the district. It wasn’t unusual to have a district where one representative had far fewer people living in the district than a representative had for people living in another district. In this case, equal representation means one person represents approximately the same number of people as a representative in another district. This concept is often expressed as “One man, one vote.”

The concept of equal representation has had several meanings throughout history.

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