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

Acting on behalf of residents, taxpayers, and qualified voters in Arlington and Fairfax County, Virginia, Harrison Mann challenged Virginia's 1962 amended statutory apportionment scheme as unrepresentative. Harrison called for a redistribution of legislative representation among the counties and independent cities of the state "substantially in proportion to their respective populations." When Levin Davis appealed an adverse three-judge district court ruling on behalf of Virginia's Secretary and State Board of Elections, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.


Did Virginia's apportionment scheme violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause?

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

Yes. In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court noted that under the Fourteenth Amendment all bicameral state legislatures must substantially apportion both seats of their houses on a population basis. In Virginia's case, neither of its legislative houses was apportioned on a population basis. Virginia's claim that the underrepresented counties were composed primarily of military personnel and their families, who often only resided in the state for relatively short periods of time, did not constitute a defense to its actions. Instead, this amounted to discrimination against a class of individuals merely because of the nature of their employment.

Cite this Page
DAVIS v. MANN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1963/1963_69>.
DAVIS v. MANN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1963/1963_69 (last visited August 26, 2015).
"DAVIS v. MANN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1963/1963_69.