6th court finds July upper house election constitutional

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Hiroshima District Court

HIROSHIMA (Jiji Press) — The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday became the sixth court to find the House of Councillors election in July constitutional in terms of vote-value disparities.

The ruling was the 12th decision on a total of 16 lawsuits that have been filed with high courts and high court branches across the country by two groups of lawyers who claim that the election with the maximum vote-value gap of 3.03 times was unconstitutional.

The Hiroshima court rejected the plaintiffs’ demand to nullify the results of the election for the upper chamber of the Diet.

With Wednesday’s ruling, one court has found the poll unconstitutional, five have said that the election was held in a state of unconstitutionality and six have ruled the poll to be constitutional.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the upper house polls in 2010 and 2013, whose maximum vote-value disparity stood at 5.00 times and 4.77 times, respectively, were held in a state of unconstitutionality.

The vote-value disparity shrank to 3.08 times and 3.00 times in the 2016 and 2019 upper house elections, respectively, following the 2015 revision to the Public Offices Election Law, under which some rural neighboring constituencies were merged. The top court has found the two elections to be constitutional.