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The Supreme Court's decision in Baker v. Carr promises to be one of the
most important of the century. Like the segregation decisions, it brings constitutional
principles and judicial institutions to the solution of one of the fundamental
problems of American society. Unlike the decisions in the Smith
and McCarran Act cases, which have no future in the democratic process, it
moves broadly in the direction of developing and supporting procedures necessary
for the effective operation of a modern democratic system. The decision
is of interest and significance on various levels. The major ones are (1) its
importance in terms of legal doctrine; (2) its bearing on the actual solution of
the malapportionment problem; and (3) its broader implications concerning
the role of law and legal institutions in the democratic process.

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