Reapportionment Struggle

September 30, 1964

Report Outline
Furor Over ‘One Man, One Vote’ Rule
Apportionment of State Legislatures
Disagreement on Fair Apportionment
Special Focus

Furor Over ‘One Man, One Vote’ Rule

A Recent Decision by the Supreme Court on representation in state legislatures foreshadows revolutionary changes in American political life. By decreeing that “the seats in both houses of a bicameral state legislature must be apportioned on a population basis,” the Court appears to have sounded the death knell of rural control of state governments, which has persisted despite a growing concentration of population in urban areas.

Unless application of the “one man, one vote” standard in election of members of state legislatures is limited through adoption of an amendment to the Constitution, it will transfer control of many of those bodies to the cities and suburbs. Long-term results flowing from, such a transfer may include a realignment of political power on both national and state levels, a strengthening of state governments, and a reshaping of federal-state relationships.

Efforts to Defer or Block Reapportionment

Numerous states have been moving, either voluntarily or under the prodding of federal district courts, to redraw their legislative districts; others have been dragging their feet in hope of action by Congress to put off or block full application of the new apportionment standard. The House on Aug. 19 passed, by a vote of 218–175, a bill introduced by Rep. William M. Tuck (D Va.) that would strip the Supreme Court and lower federal courts of power to consider state reapportionment cases. The Senate rejected the Tuck bill, 56–21, when an attempt was made on Sept. 15 to substitute it for an amendment to the foreign aid authorization bill sponsored jointly by the Senate's minority and majority leaders, Everett McKinley Dirksen (R 111.) and Mike Mansfield (D Mont,).

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Reapportionment, Redistricting, and Representation
Aug. 25, 2017  Redistricting Showdown
Feb. 25, 2011  Redistricting Debates
Apr. 11, 2008  D.C. Voting Rights
Feb. 16, 2001  Redistricting
Aug. 12, 1994  Electing Minorities
Feb. 15, 1991  Redistricting: Drawing Power with a Map
Feb. 05, 1982  Reapportionment: Year of Decision
Sep. 30, 1964  Reapportionment Struggle
May 03, 1961  Reapportionment in the Courts
Oct. 29, 1958  Unequal Representation
Oct. 10, 1950  Representation in the United Nations
Jan. 03, 1950  Legislative Apportionment
Nov. 08, 1938  Proportional Representation
May 13, 1929  The Census and Reapportionment
Dec. 06, 1927  Apportionment of Representatives in Congress
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Reapportionment and Redistricting
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Supreme Court History and Decisions