Apportionment Act of 1911
|Long title||An Act For the apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States under the Thirteenth Census.|
|Nickname(s)||Apportionment Act of 1911,
Public Law 62-5
|Enacted by the||62nd United States Congress|
|Effective||March 4, 1913|
|Stat.||37 Stat. 13|
|Act(s) amended||Apportionment Act of 1901|
|U.S.C. section(s) amended||2 USC §2a|
|Reapportionment Act of 1929|
|United States Supreme Court cases|
|Wood v. Broom (1932)
Connor v. Johnson (1966)
United States Dept. of Commerce v. Montana (1992)
The Apportionment Act of 1911, also known as Public Law 62-5, was passed by the United States Congress on August 8, 1911. The law set the number of members of the United States House of Representatives at 435, effective with the 63rd Congress on March 3, 1913. This number included a provision for the addition of one seat each for Arizona and New Mexico when they became states.
The requirement for allocating United States Representatives is found in Article One, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. Following each ten-year census, Congress is required to create a law that establishes the process of apportionment for the next ten years. After the first census, Congress began to pass legislation to dictate the method of allotting U.S. Representatives to the states based on population (see Apportionment Act of 1792). The Jefferson method of apportionment had been in use after the first census of 1790 through the 1830 census, and required fractional remainders to be discarded when calculating each state's total number of U.S. Representatives. Daniel Webster proposed the Webster method, which was adopted for the 1840 census and allocated one representative to states with a fractional remainder greater than 0.5. Prior to the Apportionment Act of 1911, the Hamilton/Vinton (largest remainder) method had been used for this purpose since 1850. In addition to setting the number of U.S. Representatives at 435, the Apportionment Act of 1911 returned to the Webster method of apportionment of U.S. Representatives. Adopted in 1868, Section Two of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had already removed the three-fifths method of counting slaves, and instead required "counting the whole number of all persons in each State."
|“||Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. That after the third day of March, nineteen hundred and thirteen, the House of Representatives shall be composed of four hundred and thirty-three Members, to be apportioned among the several States as follows:
Section 2. That if the Territories of Arizona and New Mexico shall become States in the Union before the apportionment of Representatives under the next decennial census they shall have one Representative each, and if one of such Territories shall so become a State, such State shall have one Representative, which Representative or Representatives shall be in addition to the number four hundred and thirty-three, as provided in section one of this Act, and all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this section are to that extent hereby repealed.
Section 3. That in each State entitled under this apportionment to more than one Representative, the Representatives to the Sixty-third and each subsequent Congress shall be elected by districts composed of a contiguous and compact territory, and containing as nearly as practicable an equal number of inhabitants. The said districts shall be equal to the number of Representatives to which such State may be entitled in Congress, no district electing more than one Representative.
Section 4. That in case of an increase in the number of Representatives in any State under this apportionment such additional Representative or Representatives shall be elected by the State at large and the other Representatives by the districts now prescribed by law until such State shall be redistricted in the manner provided by the laws thereof and in accordance with the rules enumerated in section three of this Act; and if there be no change in the number of Representatives from a State, the Representatives thereof shall be elected from the districts now prescribed by law until such State shall be redistricted as herein prescribed.
Section 5. That candidates for Representative or Representatives to be elected at large in any State shall be nominated in the same manner as candidates for governor, unless otherwise provided by the laws of such State.
For the first and only time, Congress failed to pass an apportionment act after the 1920 census. This left the allocations of the Act of 1911 in place until the 1930 census. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 established a method for reallocating seats among the states, given population shifts and the maximum of 435 representatives. The Apportionment Act of 1941 made the apportionment process self-executing after each decennial census. This lifted Congress's responsibility to pass an apportionment act for each census, and ensured that the events surrounding the 1920 census would not happen again. The number of U.S. Representatives increased temporarily to 437 when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states during the 86th Congress (seating one member from each of those states without changing the apportionment of the other seats). After the 1960 census and the 1962 election, that number went back to 435.
- Pub.L. 62–5, 37 Stat. 13
- 3 Annals of Cong. 539 (1792)
- Act of Jan. 14, 1802, 2 Stat. 128
- Act of Dec. 21, 1811, 2 Stat. 669
- Act of Mar. 7, 1822, 3 Stat. 651
- Act of May 22, 1832, 4 Stat. 516
- Act of 1842, 5 Stat. 491
- Act of May 23, 1850, 9 Stat. 432-433
- Act of 1862, 12 Stat. 572
- Act of 1872, 17 Stat. 28
- Act of 1882, 22 Stat. 5
- Act of 1891
- Act of 1901, 31 Stat. 733
- Act of June 18, 1929, 46 Stat. 21
- Act of Nov. 15, 1941, 55 Stat. 761-762
- 72 Stat. 345
- 73 Stat. 8
- Member FAQ, "What is the size of the House of Representatives and how is it determined?" - Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives