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This room focuses on an important United States Supreme Court case, Swan v. Adams and its effect on apportionment in Florida. This landmark case established the principle of "One Person, One Vote" as the standard for apportioning voting districts, and today legislative districts each contain about the same number of citizens. However, in the 1960s, Florida was known as the most malaportioned State in the United States. About 13 percent of Florida voters could elect 50 percent of the Senate and the five largest counties, with 50 percent of the population, elected only 14 percent of the Senators. The group of mostly rural Florida Senators that controlled the Senate were known as "Pork Choppers." In the 1967 Swann v. Adams decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered new elections for the state legislature with new districts based on the "One Person, One Vote" standard. With new districts, political power shifted in the Florida Legislature, allowing for the passage of civil rights legislation and the integration of Florida schools.
In 1902, this room was an office for one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Florida. One of those Justices was Robert Fenwick Taylor who served on the Supreme Court from 1891 to 1925, a total of thirty-four years. Originally from South Carolina, Justice Taylor moved to Florida in 1852, was admitted to the bar in 1870, practiced law in Gainesville and was part of the 1885 Florida Constitutional Convention. Governor Francis Fleming appointed Robert Taylor to the Supreme Court in 1891. Taylor was re-elected to the Court six times and served three terms as Chief Justice. He wrote more than 500 opinions and was involved in more than 7,000 cases.