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Legal Milestone List

  The Great Ferris Fire
  Berrien County Courthouse
  Elloitt-Larsen Civil Rights Act
  Milliken v. Bradley
  Elk, Oil, and the Environment
  Whisper to Rallying Cry
  Poletown & Eminent Domain
  Prentiss M. Brown
  Otis Milton Smith
  Freedom Road
  President Gerald R. Ford
  Mary Coleman
  Committee of One
  Milo Radulovich
  Striking Racial Covenants
  Murphy's Dissent
  Conveying Michigan
  Ending Jim Crow
  Pond's Defense
  Mount Clemens Pottery
  Emelia Schaub
  Rose of Aberlone
  Protecting the Impaired
  Laughing Whitefish
  The Uninvited Ear
  The King's Grant
  Improving Justice
  One Person—One Vote
  Eva Belles' Vote
  Constitutional Convention
  Ten Hours or No Sawdust
  Access to Public Water
  Augustus Woodward
  Sojourner Truth
  Justice William Fletcher
  Roosevelt-Newett Trial
  Cooley Law Office
  Baseball Reserve Clause
  Ossian Sweet Trial


12. One Person—One Vote

August "Gus" Scholle, then president of the Michigan AFL-CIO, was troubled by the fact that his Oakland County state senate district in 1958 held more than 12 times the number of persons of an outstate district—yet each district elected one senator, meaning his vote was worth less, proportionately, than that of a voter in the outstate district. Other district disparities were almost as great, giving rural areas disproportional influence in the legislature.

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Complete Text on Milestone Marker

One Person—One Vote

August "Gus" Scholle, then president of the Michigan AFL-CIO, was troubled by the fact that his Oakland County state senate district in 1958 held more than 12 times the number of persons of an outstate district—yet each district elected one senator, meaning his vote was worth less, proportionately, than that of a voter in the outstate district. Other district disparities were almost as great, giving rural areas disproportional influence in the legislature.

In 1959, Scholle filed a novel and historic lawsuit contending that such disparities violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause, which he believed affirms the right of each citizen to substantially equal voting power. Although the Michigan Supreme Court denied relief in 1960, the Court later ruled favorable to Scholle's position in 1962 and again in 1964 after U.S. Supreme Court remands following that Court's decisions in cases arising in Tennessee and Alabama.

The Scholle case played a leading role in creating the legal principle that state legislative districts must be apportioned on a "one person-one vote" basis.

Placed by the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County Bar Association, 1990.
   
 

 

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