State Senate tells U.S. Supreme Court not to mess with 'one person, one vote'

State Senate tells U.S. Supreme Court not to mess with 'one person, one vote'
Senate President Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), right, andSenate Republican leader Bob Huff of San Dimas on the Senate floor last week. Both senators supported a resolution Monday asking the Supreme Court not to alter the legal principal of 'one person, one vote.' (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

The state Senate on Monday sent a strong message to the U.S. Supreme Court to not mess with the principle of “one person, one vote.’’

The resolution, which passed 36-0, comes just weeks after the Supreme Court announced it would consider a Texas case challenging the way electoral districts are drawn.

At issue is whether voting districts should continue to be drawn by using census population data, which include noncitizen immigrants as well as children. Conservative challengers want the system changed to count only citizens who are eligible to vote.

Senate President Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of the resolution, said he was "deeply concerned by the inexplicable decision" by the Supreme Court to hear the case. Since the Supreme Court established the principle of  "one person, one vote" in 1964, it has ensured that all people in the country have received fair representation, the senator said.

"This challenge now is nothing more than a cynical and transparent effort to turn back the clock on decades of legal precedent and return an unjust and unequal system of redistricting, one that greatly disadvantages diverse and urban communities,'' De León said.

Switching to electoral districts based on eligible voters would have a major effect on California and other states with large noncitizen populations, and especially cities such as Los Angeles. De León's Senate district, which includes portions of downtown L.A. and the city's Eastside, could be reconfigured and combined with parts of the city.

Republican Senate leader Bob Huff of San Dimas also expressed concern about the high court accepting the Texas case, saying all Californians deserve to have representation.