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Case Basics
Docket No. 
(By special leave of Court, argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, urging affirmance)
(Argued the cause for the appellees)
(Argued the cause for the appellants)
Facts of the Case 

Following the Supreme Court's decision in Baker v. Carr (369 U.S. 186) Richard Sincock and several other New Castle County residents, taxpayers, and qualified voters, challenged the constitutionality of Delaware's apportionment scheme. The suit alleged that under Delaware's 1897 state constitution, no provisions existed for reapportionment that would reflect the changing demographic face of New Castle County and the City of Wilmington. On a appeal from a three-judge district court ruling against the state of Delaware, the Supreme Court granted Mabel Roman, Delaware's elections clerk, certiorari.


Did Delaware's apportionment scheme violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, by disregarding population as a basis for determining congressional districts?

Decision: 8 votes for Sincock, 1 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

Yes. In an 8-to-1 decision the Court held that Delaware's apportionment practices, as codified in its state constitution both before and after a 1963 amendment, violated the Due Process Clause. Delaware's system of having one upper house apportioned on a geographical basis and one lower house apportioned on population basis was unconstitutional since population is the only permissible guide to apportionment.

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ROMAN v. SINCOCK. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
ROMAN v. SINCOCK, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"ROMAN v. SINCOCK," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,