Monday, May 17, 2010

Challenging the constitutionality of the number of House Reps

I received this via e-mail and thought it was an interesting item to pass along:

Unique Three-Judge Panel Grants Plaintiffs Oral Argument in Historic Lawsuit Challenging Size of Congress

OXFORD, Miss., May 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plaintiffs learned late last week that their request for oral argument was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Legal counsel for the plaintiffs, Michael Farris, also submitted the final brief in the case last week. The lawsuit, Clemons v. Department of Commerce, challenges the constitutionality of the law passed in 1929 that permanently freezes the number of representatives in the U.S. House at 435 members due to the fact that such a small number inevitably produces an apportionment which violates the Constitution's "one-person, one-vote" requirement to an extraordinary degree.
"We applaud the Court's decision to hold oral argument for this issue which is so vital to our representative form of government," said Scott Scharpen, founder and president of Apportionment.US, the non-profit organization coordinating the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Speaking about the defendants in the case, Scharpen adds, "The government takes a truly radical and anti-constitutional position in this lawsuit, asserting that inequality of voting strength between congressional districts is not important. Furthermore, despite filing over 70 pages of brief material, the government never once affirms the right of voters to equal representation--a right that the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized as fundamental."
This is the same federal government, however, that forces states to achieve precise equality of congressional districts within a small fraction of 1%, yet at the national level, the federal government permits inequality between the smallest and largest districts to exceed 80%. This disparity is projected to become even more inequitable as a result of the 2010 apportionment.
Oral argument will be heard in Oxford, Mississippi on May 28, 2010 at 10:30 am before the three-judge panel consisting of Circuit Judge Leslie H. Southwick, Chief District Judge Michael P. Mills, and District Judge W. Allen Pepper.
For a copy of the Plaintiffs' final brief, visit
Apportionment.US ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving equal and appropriate representation in the U.S. House of Representatives for current and future generations of Americans. The organization also educates the public about the Constitution and House apportionment, as well as promotes the benefits of smaller congressional districts resulting from an increase in House membership.

1 comment:

Lawrence Moore said...

Now this will be a VERY interesting case to watch. I'd never even realized the problem was there. Kudos to those who made that catch!