The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a conservative-backed challenge voting district population counting. The court unanimously held that states may count all residents, not just voting-eligible residents, in drawing legislative election districts under the “one person, one vote” legal standard.

The justices rejected a claim by a group of Texas voters, backed by the conservative legal nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, that counting all residents—including non-citizens, children, convicted felons and others who cannot cast ballots—violated the rights of eligible voters in those districts by diluting their power.

“It would have been quite dramatic if the court had adopted a rule that said apportionment had to be done by eligible voters,” said Joseph A. Kanefield, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s former general counsel, who now heads the political and election law practice at Ballard Spahr’s Phoenix office.

“That would have dramatically changed representation in Congress in most states and local jurisdictions,” Kanefield said.

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