U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Tosses Suit Claiming US House Isn’t Big Enough
Posted Dec 13, 2010 10:13 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered dismissal of a lawsuit that claims the U.S. House of Representatives should be larger.
A special three-judge panel had upheld the current system in a decision (PDF) last July, USA Today reported in a profile of the case. But the U.S. Supreme Court found that the case should not have been decided on the merits.
The House has had 435 seats for the last 100 years. Each state gets at least one representative, and the rest of the seats are apportioned based on population.
The suit had contended the House size should be increased to account for more than a three-fold increase in U.S. population over the last century. When census numbers are used to apportion seats to states, fast-growing states gain seats at the expense of slower-growing states, USA Today explains.
The suit had claimed growing disparities between the largest and smallest congressional districts violated the principle of one-man, one vote. Montana is the most underrepresented state, with one district of about 905,000 persons, and Wyoming is the most overrepresented, with one district of about 495,000 persons.
The suit is Clemons v. U.S. Department of Commerce.