Claremont Institute

State Governance

Evenwel v. Abbott (2016)

Whether state voting districts based on total populations—rather than total voter populations—violates the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, especially when those districts have significantly disproportionate numbers of eligible voters.

Amodei v. Nevada State Senate (2004)

Whether a state legislature can pass a tax-increasing budget by a simple majority vote, at the direction of the state supreme court, despite the existence of a state constitutional provision that requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.

Hickenlooper v. Kerr (2016)

Whether individual state legislators have standing to challenge a voter-approved initiative that deprives the legislature of their power to raise taxes, placing that power instead directly in the hands of voters. Also, whether claims made under the Republican Guarantee Clause are nonjusticiable “political questions” to be handled outside of the federal judiciary. Second, whether bypassing state legislators to enact laws directly by the people is a violation of the Republican Guarantee Clause, which reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government ...” In short, whether some or all direct democracy, in which the people vote directly on proposed laws, unconstitutionally detracts from the republican form of government, which some contend allows only representative lawmaking.