Avery v. Midland County

In Avery v. Midland County, 390 U. S. 474 (1968), the Court acknowledged that "the states' varied, pragmatic approach in establishing governments" has produced "a staggering number" of local governmental units. The Court noted that, "while special-purpose organizations abound . . . , virtually every American lives within what he and his neighbors regard as a unit of local government with general responsibility and power for local affairs." The Midland County Commissioners Court, the body whose composition was challenged in Avery, was found to possess a broad range of powers that made it "representative of most of the general governing bodies of American cities, counties, towns, and villages," and the Court was at pains to limit its holding to such general bodies. 390 U. S., at 482-485.