Abstract

The writers present a new paradigm, which they call minimum responsiveness, for understanding the Supreme Court's view of the constitutional and democratic requirements for representative government. The writers add weight to their proposed paradigm with a case study of the minimum responsiveness standard and its applicability to the poor. They contend that the shortcomings in the political process are give rise to nonresponsiveness to the interests of politically marginalized groups, and they illustrate be describing the Democratic Party's divergence in responsiveness to southern blacks and the poor and the Republicans's lack of responsiveness to the two groups over the past 40 years. The writers tracee the Court's development of a minimum responsiveness standard and argue for the standard's applicability to politically excluded groups, such as the poor, in part by demonstrating that it is appropriately located within the Court's law-of-democracy jurisprudence.

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