Branch v. Smith
December 10, 2002 (01-1437)
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Case Summary
According to the 2000 census, Mississippi's population did not keep pace with the rest of the country. As a result, the state's five congressional seats were reduced to four and state legislators were given the responsibility of redrawing the districts. The legislators could not, however, agree on a re-districting plan. In October, 2001, Branch filed suit in state court on behalf of Democratic activists and asked the court to draw new district boundaries if the state legislators failed to reach agreement by December 3, 2001. A special session of the legislature failed to reach consensus on a redistricting plan and after a trial, the state court approved a plan proposed by Democrats. The plan was then sent to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval. Meanwhile, the Republicans filed suit in federal court and a three-judge panel agreed to review the case. The federal district court eventually implemented a different redistricting plan and held that pursuant to Art. I, 4, cl.1, redistricting may only be done by legislative process and, thus, the state court lacked jurisdiction. The opinion of the district court is found at 189 F. Supp.2d 548.

PREDICTED OUTCOME ACTUAL
OUTCOME
Forecasting
Model
Expert
One
Expert
Two
Expert
Three
5-4 to Reverse 9-0 to Reverse 9-0 to Reverse n/a 7-2 to Affirm
VOTING TO REVERSE
Rehnquist
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Thomas
Ginsburg
Breyer

(With all voting to Reverse in Part, with Split Opinions)
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Thomas
Ginsburg
Breyer
O'Connor
Thomas
VOTING TO AFFIRM
Stevens
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Rehnquist
Stevens
Scalia
Kennedy
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer

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