December 13, 2010
It is with great disappointment that I announce the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed our case this morning. Below is the exact order as issued on the Supreme Court website this morning:
APPEAL -- SUMMARY DISPOSITION
10-291 - CLEMONS, JOHN T., ET AL. V. DEPT. OF COMMERCE, ET AL
The judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction.
The “lack of jurisdiction” reference is the Court saying that it doesn’t have the authority to get involved. While we strongly disagree, the Court gets to make the call. More to come... - Scott
December 10, 2010
The United States Supreme Court meets today to decide whether to grant review in the apportionment case. The decision is expected to be announced on Monday morning December 13th. - Scott
November 22, 2010
Today, the Plaintiffs filed the Reply Brief in Opposition to the Government's Motion to Dismiss or Affirm. With this submission to the United States Supreme Court, it completes all filings between the parties until the Court meets to determine whether they will grant review and hear the case. Obviously, we feel our position on this issue is correct, and today's 14-page Reply Brief outlines the reasons why:
1) The Supreme Court has clear jurisdiction over this issue and should be the judicial body with the last word on something so vitally important to our nation.
2) The Government continues to assert that "one-person, one-vote" doesn't apply to Congress, but equality of voting strength does apply to every other level of government in the USA. This position is neither logical nor fair.
3) The Government's rationale ignores nearly 50 years of Supreme Court judicial history, which is central to a correct understanding of this issue of Congressional apportionment.
4) No evidence has been presented to either the District Court or the U.S. Supreme Court that a larger House of Representatives is impracticable. Outdated quotes from previous eras about the House being "unwieldy" are not evidence, let alone compelling evidence.
It is our understanding that the Supreme Court clerk will distribute the documents in connection with the case tomorrow, and the Court will be making their decision sometime in December. - Scott
November 17, 2010
The Solicitor General filed their reply to our jurisdictional statement today. As expected, the government is requesting dismissal or simply an affirmation of the District Court's opinion. What continues to both amaze and disappoint us is the consistent disregard for the rights of American voters to an equal voice in the United States House of Representatives, and this 25-page reply is silent on voting rights and the need for equality. The government maintains that "one person, one vote" does not apply to the House chamber, even though it must be strictly adhered to by all levels of government throughout the country.
It is our intention to submit a reply to their Motion to Dismiss or Affirm by Monday November 21, and will make it available on this blog and on our home page. - Scott
October 26, 2010
We learned today that the Solicitor General again asked for an extension of time to file their response to the Jurisdictional Statement. The revised (and final) due date is now November 17th. The U.S. Supreme Court will then decide whether to hear the case. - Scott
September 23, 2010
We learned today that the Office of the Solicitor General was granted an extension of time to file their response to the Jurisdictional Statement (docketed with the U.S. Supreme Court on August 30th - No. 10-291). The original September 29th deadline is now extended to October 29th. - Scott
September 17, 2010
Today is Constitution Day! Exactly 1 year ago, we filed the lawsuit with the aim of achieving more equal and appropriate representation in our United States House of Representatives. It's exciting that the lawsuit now sits in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, as they decide whether to hear our case. We expect to hear something next month. Stay tuned... - Scott
August 26, 2010
The Plaintiffs filed their Jurisdictional Statement today with the U. S. Supreme Court. This is in follow-up to the Notice of Appeal which was filed back on July 9th. The 40-page brief begins as follows:
The interstate apportionment of Congress after the Census of 2000 resulted in a disparity of 410,012 persons comparing the largest district to the smallest. Because the House is frozen by statute at 435 seats, this disparity will exceed 450,000 after the Census of 2010 and will exceed 600,000 after the Census of 2030.
- Does the Constitution’s requirement of one-person, one-vote apply to the interstate apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives?
- Does the current level of inequality violate this standard?
- Does Congress need to increase the size of the House to remediate this inequality?
The government now has 30 days to file their reply, which will bring us to the end of September. The Supreme Court returns from their summer recess in early October, at which point they will decide whether to take this historic case.
July 8, 2010
We received the ruling from the District Court. I’m disappointed to report that the Court did not give us the victory we were hoping for. Unfortunately, they upheld Congress’ discretion to set the size of the U.S. House. That said, we do have some positive news from the ruling, which the press release outlines. It's very encouraging that the District Court took the case so seriously, evidenced by the scholarly, well-written and lengthy 36-page opinion. Next step: appeal to the Supreme Court. - Scott
June 24, 2010
Apportionment.US created a series of You Tube videos to further educate those interested in learning more about the apportionment lawsuit and representation in our federal government. Below is the first of 19 videos, and you can see the rest by visiting our You Tube channel at apportionmentus. I hope you find them helpful! - Scott
May 28, 2010
Oral argument took place today in this historic case demanding voter equality throughout the nation. The plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Farris, did a great job advancing the key points, and effectively answered a series of questions from the three judges. Having heard the government present their defense in court, we are still convinced of the strength of our case and continue to be optimistic about the eventual outcome.
Pictured outside the U.S. District Court, from left to right, are: Plaintiff Jacob Clemons, Attorney Michael Farris, Plaintiff Tyler Clemons and Scott Scharpen. - Scott
May 13, 2010
We received word today that the three-judge panel granted our request for oral argument - exciting news indeed! Oral argument is scheduled for Friday, May 28th in Oxford, Mississippi. We also filed our final brief in the case today, a day earlier than the deadline. Both the Plaintiffs and the government are now done with brief filings. - Scott
May 5, 2010
We are in the process of finalizing the Plaintiffs' reply brief to the government's brief (filed on April 23rd). We were very pleased to learn that the government dropped their jurisdictional and timing arguments based on our Amended Complaint and February briefs. This was certainly a victory. We are now exclusively debating the merits of the case.
The substance of the government's argument has not changed from their original brief filed back in December 2009. The government believes that the only limitations the Constitution places on Congress when choosing a size of the U.S. House is a minimum and maximum size, which equates to choosing a number between 50 (one per state) and approximately 10,000 (no district smaller than 30,000 people). Therefore, according to the government, equality between districts (i.e., one-person, one-vote) is not relevant and does not apply to Congress. The Plaintiffs, on the other hand, fiercely embrace the position that the overriding principle is "representatives be apportioned among the states according to their respective numbers" (Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution). The requirements of at least one per state and no district smaller than 30,000 are subordinate to the primary text of "...according to their respective numbers." Equality does matter!
Our final brief is due by May 14th, and this will end the brief cycle between the parties. - Scott
April 23, 2010
While it's been a quiet couple of months, the government's response to our February briefs is due today. They will be filing a single consolidated brief in lieu of two separate briefs. We will have until May 14th to respond to today's government brief. - Scott
February 19, 2010
We filed our two briefs in the case today. The first brief is our Reply to the Government's Motion to Dismiss. The second brief is our Memo in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment. We also issued a press release this morning. - Scott
January 24, 2010
An article posted today on RedState, entitled "Take the Cap Off Entering the House". Check it out... - Scott
January 18, 2010
Does America want smaller government or larger government? The winner? SMALLER government!
A large majority of Americans say they want a smaller government that provides them with fewer services, according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News.
The poll asked: “Generally speaking, would you say you favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with more services?” 58% said they favor a smaller government with fewer services, and only 38% said they favor a larger government with more services. The poll surveyed a random sample of 1,083 American adults from Jan. 12-15, 2010.
There is a mounting body of evidence that smaller congressional districts yield smaller government--less spending, less regulation, and more freedom. - Scott
January 5, 2010
I just completed an article - "The Root Cause of Ills in the U.S. House" - which explains the fundamental reason why Congress is so ineffective. The root cause? Enormous district sizes, which have created massive voter inequity and also cemented in place a structure that drives House member behavior in the direction of self-interest rather than the public interest.
Smaller and more equal district sizes, which can be created by increasing the size of the U.S. House of Representatives, will lead to better government and less government. - Scott
December 22, 2009
As we fully expected, the U.S. government filed a motion to dismiss on the December 21st due date at 11:33 pm EST. In addition, the government also filed a motion for summary judgment. The accompanying Memorandum in Support is our first opportunity to hear their perspective on the lawsuit and the apportionment of representatives in the U.S. House.
Over the next few weeks, we will prepare our response, which will be vigorous and thorough. We believe our reply will appropriately address all of the government's points.
What we found the most fascinating part of the brief is the government's assertion that equality of representation is not a factor when determining the size of the House. From our perspective, the question isn't whether equality is relevant. The central question is, "How equal is equal?" - Scott
November 30, 2009
We received notice from the IRS that our application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status has been approved. While we fully expected to received the tax-exempt designation in light of our mission, obtaining the official notification is an important milestone. To those of you who have donated, we are grateful for your support. If you would like to make a contribution to Apportionment.US, please visit our Donate page. - Scott
November 13, 2009
The executive branch of government has asked for additional time to file an answer to the Complaint, and the plaintiffs granted the extention. Therefore, the defendants have until December 21st to respond. To view a copy of the extension, click the following link:
The attorney for the legislative branch is working toward the same December 21st deadline. - Scott
October 30, 2009
October has been an expectedly quiet month, but I wanted to provide an important update regarding the case. Both the Executive branch and Legislative branch have appointed their respective attorneys to serve as primary counsel for the government. Representing the executive branch (on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Gary Locke and Robert Groves) is Wendy M. Ertmer. Representing the legislative branch (on behalf of Lorraine Miller - clerk of the U.S. House) is Ariel B. Waldman. - Scott
September 21, 2009
We received word from local counsel in Mississippi this morning that the motion to convene a three-judge panel is granted! Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Edith H. Jones, approved this request on Friday September 18th (one day after filing the case). To view a copy of the order, click the following link:
Order Constituting Three-Judge Court
Convening a three-judge court is rare, and only occurs in cases of apportionment. The implications are significant. If the plaintiffs prevail in District Court with this three-judge panel, the case will move to the Supreme Court of the United States. - Scott
September 17, 2009
On behalf of the five plaintiffs, Michael Farris and I filed the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in Oxford, Mississippi this morning.
It feels great to begin this next phase of the process. - Scott