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Board of Estimate of The City of New York v. Morris

Full Name: Bd. of Estimate of the City of New York v. Morris, 489 U.S. 688 (1989)

Founding partner, Richard Emery, won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court of the United States that changed the structure of New York City’s government.

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously invalidated New York City’s “Board of Estimate,” on grounds that the legislative body violated the Constitution’s protection for “one person, one vote,” in a decision that radically altered the balance of power in New York City government.

The court reasoned that the city’s most populous borough (Brooklyn) had no greater effective representation on the board than the city’s least populous borough (Staten Island), in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the Court’s 1964 “one man, one vote” decision (Reynolds v. Sims). The Board was disestablished.