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Constitutional Revision Study Documents of the Constitutional Convention Commission, 1968
Volume 138, Page 152   View pdf image (33K)
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Furthermore, since these legislatures will
be apportioned on a "one man, one vote"
basis, they will not be hostile to calling a

convention when overall revision is neces-


Representation in the Senate was
fixed by the Constitution of 1867 on a
more or less geographical basis, and rep-
resentation in the House of Delegates
was to be determined according to an
apportionment formula, with the gover-
nor charged with the duty of reshuffling
delegates after each national census. This
system remained intact, except for some
changes in the formula, until 19503 In
1950 a constitutional amendment was
adopted freezing the House of Delegates
in size and apportionment as established
under the 1940 Census.4
In Maryland Committee v. Tawes, the
Supreme Court of the United States held
that neither house of the Maryland legis-
lature was apportioned sufficiently on a
population basis to be constitutionally
sustainable.5 The Court gave the legis-
lature until the 1966 election to reappor-
tion according to constitutional stand-
Although the General Assembly subse-
quently passed legislation creating a new
system of apportionment that apparently
meets constitutional standards, a prob-
lem remains. After each national census
the problem of apportionment and legis-
lative districting will come up again.
Legislators will be politically ill-equipped
to make constitutionally required deci-
sions because of the subjective interest
they will have in them.
See Michener, History of Legislative Ap-
portionment in Maryland
25 md. L. rev.
15-19 (1965). See p. 131 supra.
4 Md. Laws of 1949, ch. 226, ratified Nov.
7, 1950, md. const, art. III, 5.
5 377 U.S. at 674 (holding unconstitutional
art. III, 2, 5 of md. const.).

It is therefore suggested that the ap-
portionment function should be removed
from the legislature. Several non-legisla-
tive offices or bodies could be given the
power the governor, an independent
nonpartisan board, or the State's highest
court. The model state constitution
proposes a system which makes use of all
three :
"Section 4.04. Legislative Districts.
"(a) For the purpose of electing
members of the legislature, the state
shall be divided into as many districts
as there shall be members of the legis-
lature. Each district shall consist of
compact and contiguous territory. All
districts shall be so nearly equal in
population that the population of the
largest district shall not exceed that of
the smallest district by more than _
per cent. In determining the popula-
tion of each district, inmates of such
public or private institutions as prisons
or other places of correction, hospitals
for the insane or other institutions
housing persons who are disqualified
from voting by law shall not be
"(b) Immediately following each
decennial census, the governor shall
appoint a board of _ qualified voters
to make recommendations within
ninety days of their appointment con-
cerning the redistricting of the state.
The governor shall publish the rec-
ommendations of the board when re-
ceived. The governor shall promul-
gate a redistricting plan within ninety
to one hundred and twenty days after
the appointment of the board, whether
or not it has made its recommenda-


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Constitutional Revision Study Documents of the Constitutional Convention Commission, 1968
Volume 138, Page 152   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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