The House Is Too Small.

Sad times for advocates of a larger House:

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal that calls for greatly increasing the House of Representatives to reduce discrepancies in the population of congressional districts from one state to another.

The justices on Monday ordered a lower federal court to dismiss a lawsuit from Mississippi. The suit said House districts vary widely in population, in violation of the principle of "one-man, one-vote."

Doubling or even quadrupling the size of the House from its current 435 representatives would make it easier to draw more evenly populated districts, the lawsuit said.

The current arrangement might not be unconstitutional, but it's definitely unfair to residents of densely populated areas, who effectively have fewer votes than their rural counterparts, thanks to the wildly divergent size of House districts. If we wanted fair representation in the House, we'd have to increase its size by at least 200, which sounds huge but isn't much by international standards. Of course, if we really wanted to follow a principle of one-man/one-vote, we'd abolish the anachronistic Senate, whose malapportionment is increasingly ridiculous.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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