In the House of Representatives, each state is accorded one seat. But some states are far more populous than others. In The New York Times, Peter Baker examines a new lawsuit that claims says some citizens are disenfranchised by the current size of the House. A vote in Utah, Baker explains, "counts about two-thirds as much as it would in Iowa."
523,000 in Wyoming get the same voting power, as do the 527,000 in one of Rhode Island's two districts and the 531,000 in the other. That 400,000-person disparity between top and bottom has generated a federal court challenge that is set to be filed Thursday in Mississippi, charging that the system effectively disenfranchises people in certain states. The lawsuit asks the courts to order the House to fix the problem by increasing its size from 435 seats to at least 932, or perhaps as many as 1,761. That way, the plaintiffs argue, every state can have districts that are close to parity.Should the House be expanded?