Abate v. Mundt,
403 U.S. 182 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Abate v. Mundt, 403 U.S. 182 (1971)

Abate v. Mundt

No. 71

Argued November 19, 1970

Decided June 7, 1971

403 U.S. 182


For more than a century, the Rockland County board of supervisors consisted of the supervisors of the county's five towns, resulting in extensive functional interrelationships and intergovernmental coordination between county and towns. Severe malapportionment due to population growth led to court-ordered reapportionment. The proposed plan, challenged by petitioners, provides for a county legislature of 18 members chosen from five districts, corresponding with the towns, each district being assigned legislators in the proportion of its population to that of the smallest town. The plan produces a total deviation from equality of 11.9%. The Court of Appeals of New York upheld the plan.

Held: In light of the long tradition of overlapping functions and dual personnel in the Rockland County government and the fact that the plan does not contain any built-in bias favoring particular political interests or geographic areas, the plan is not violative of the Equal Protection Clause. Pp. 403 U. S. 185-187.

25 N.Y.2d 309, 253 N.E.2d 189, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACK, WHITE, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. HARLAN, J., filed a statement concurring in the result. STEWART, J., concurred in the judgment. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS, J., joined, post, p. 403 U. S. 187.

Page 403 U. S. 183

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