Americans live by a number of basic principles of government which are perceived to help guarantee the freedom of the individual within the context of the security of the community. Certain of these principles are commonly verbalized: "equality before the law"; the "first amendment freedoms" guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, worship, assembly, and petition; and "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" upholding the citizen's right and duty to take part in the government of his society. This article is concerned with one of the most basic of these principles of democratic self-government, the principle that every man should have an equal voice in the basic group decision-making process underlying our government system—the process of choosing the officials who make and administer laws at the local, state, and national level. Specifically, this study discusses the problem of how each voter's equality of influence in electing members of state legislatures may be measured and achieved. The article does not address itself to the problem of devising a method of arranging legislative districts, as this is the function of legislatures or of special commissions that have been established in a few states. There are fifty different systems of apportionment being used in the fifty states, thus making it impractical to suggest a mandatory plan for each. Any of the present apportionment methods would be allowable so long as it does not produce undue distortion of representation. This article's attention is accordingly directed toward devising a method of measuring the degree to which an apportionment fairly and equitably reflects population distribution.
Alan L. Clem,
Problems of Measuring and Achieving Equality of Representation in State Legislatures,
42 Neb. L. Rev. 622
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol42/iss3/3