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United States Supreme Court

403 U.S. 182

Abate  v.  Mundt

 Argued: Nov. 19, 1970. --- Decided: June 7, 1971


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 courtordered 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. 185-187.

25 N.Y.2d 309, 305 N.Y.S.2d 465, 253 N.E.2d 189, affirmed.

Frank P. Barone, Suffern, N.Y., for petitioner Samuel J. Abate.

Doris F. Ulman, Spring Valley, N.Y., for petitioners June Molof and others.

Paul H. Rivet, New City, N.Y., for petitioners Cornelius T. O'Sullivan and others.

J. Martin Cornell, New City, N.Y., for respondents.

Mr. Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).