Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.



April 9, 1964

Ira Walton DREW et al., Plaintiffs, and Marshall J. Seidman, Intervening Plaintiff,
William W. SCRANTON et al., Defendants. Michael JOHNSON et al., Plaintiffs, v. George I. BLOOM, Defendant

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARIS

Ira Walton Drew of Philadelphia, J. Claude Bowen of Bucks County, John B. McCrea of Montgomery County, Irving Kaufman of Delaware County, and Jean McCoskey of Luzerne County, taxpayers and voters of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1963 brought civil action No. 8293 against the Governor, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Attorney General, the President of the Senate, the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth to restrain the defendants from conducting any primary or general election for members of the General Assembly in accordance with the apportionment required by the alleged unconstitutional provisions of Article II, Sections 16, 17 and 18, of the State constitution, P.S., or any statute enacted pursuant thereto, to enjoin the enactment and enforcement of legislation being considered by a special session of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth for the reapportionment of the membership of the Senate and House of Representatives, and to require the defendants and the members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly to enact legislation which would apportion the senatorial and representative districts in such manner as would not deprive the plaintiffs and others similarly situated of the equal protection of the laws. Thereafter, Marshall J. Seidman of Montgomery County, a taxpayer and voter of the Commonwealth, intervened as a plaintiff and Donald C. Rubel and Anne D. McKinley of Philadelphia, taxpayers and voters, intervened as defendants. Subsequently the intervening defendants were on their motion permitted to withdraw from the action.

This court of three judges was constituted under 28 U.S.C. ยง 2281, 2284, and on December 4, 1963 heard plaintiffs' application for a temporary injunction to restrain the enactment of the reapportionment legislation then pending in the General Assembly. On December 9, 1963 the application was denied as premature, without prejudice to the plaintiffs' right to seek relief on final hearing with respect to the apportionment statutes which might then be in effect. D.C., 229 F.Supp. 308. Thereafter, the General Assembly passed and the Governor approved two reapportionment bills, the Act of January 9, 1964, No. 1, which fixed the number of representatives at 209 and apportioned the state into representative districts, and the Act of January 9, 1964, No. 2, which apportioned the state into 50 senatorial districts.

 On January 15, 1964 Michael Johnson of Montgomery County, Harry Block of Philadelphia, Henry P. Groton of Delaware County, Eugene Joseph Considine of Luzerne County and Frederick Blair Hughes of Clearfield County, voters and taxpayers of the Commonwealth, filed civil action No. 8338 against the Secretary of the Commonwealth to declare the two Acts of January 9, 1964 unconstitutional and invalid and to enjoin the defendant from performing the duties imposed upon him by the Pennsylvania Election Code in connection with the holding of primary and general elections pursuant to those acts. The complaint asked the court to retain jurisdiction of the cause until such time as the General Assembly is apportioned in such manner as not to deprive plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws. On motion of the plaintiffs in No. 8338 that action was consolidated with civil action No. 8293.

 A final hearing of the consolidated actions on their merits was held on January 16 and 17, 1964, the evidence taken at the hearing on December 4, 1963 being incorporated into the record of the final hearing. Oral testimony was taken and much documentary evidence was received. The cases are now ready for decision, the court having carefully considered the evidence, the requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law and the able and exhaustive briefs which counsel have filed.

 The plaintiffs contend that the two reapportionment Acts of January 9, 1964 deny them the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal constitution. They assert that in allotting representation in the Senate and the House of Representatives the acts discriminate against the more populous counties in favor of the less populous ones. This is unconstitutionally invidious, they say, because it amounts to discrimination against one class of voters, the large city and suburban dwellers who are mostly found in the more populous counties, and in favor of another, the rural voters who mostly reside in the less populous counties. It is clear that we have jurisdiction to entertain these suits and to determine the questions thus raised. Baker v. Carr, 1962, 369 U.S. 186, 82 S. Ct. 691, 7 L. Ed. 2d 663.

 We consider first the senatorial reapportionment act. Section 16 of Article II of the Pennsylvania constitution, which relates to senatorial districts, provides:

 'The State shall be divided into fifty senatorial districts of compact and contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as may be, and each district shall be entitled to elect one Senator. Each county containing one or more ratios of population shall be entitled to one Senator for each ratio, and to an additional Senator for a surplus of population exceeding three-fifths of a ratio, but no county shall form a separate district unless it shall contain four-fifths of a ratio, except where the adjoining counties are each entitled to one or more Senators, when such county may be assigned a Senator on less than four-fifths and exceeding one-half of a ratio; and no county shall be divided unless entitled to two or more Senators. No city or county shall be entitled to separate representation exceeding one-sixth of the whole number of Senators. No ward, borough or township shall be divided in the formation of a district. The senatorial ratio shall be ascertained by dividing the whole population of the State by the number fifty.' The 1960 census determined the population of Pennsylvania to be 11,319,366. Dividing this figure by 50 gives a senatorial ratio of 226,387. One-half of a ratio is 113,193 and three-fifths is 135,832. Admittedly, following the directions of the Pennsylvania constitution and applying the senatorial ratio of 226,387, Act No. 2 of January 9, 1964 apportions the State into senatorial districts as follows: District No County 1960 No. of Population Senators County with population of more than 8 3/5 ratios 1 Philadelphia (part) 260,767 1 2 Philadelphia (part) 255,869 1 3 Philadelphia (part) 251,415 1 4 Philadelphia (part) 241,032 1 5 Philadelphia (part) 236,148 1 6 Philadelphia (part) 242,667 1 7 Philadelphia (part) 266,242 1 8 Philadelphia (part) 248,372 1 /-- /-- 2,002,512 8 --- /-- County with population of more than 7 but less than 7 1/2 ratios 37 Allegheny (part) 235,125 1 38 Allegheny (part) 233,003 1 40 Allegheny (part) 241,633 1 42 Allegheny (part) 226,269 1 43 Allegheny (part) 237,367 1 44 Allegheny (part) 233,086 1 45 Allegheny (part) 222,104 1 /-- /-- 1,628,587 7 --- /-- Counties with population of more than 2 but less than 2 1/2 ratios 9 Delaware (part) 255,888 1 26 Delaware (part) 297,266 1 12 Montgomery (part) 262,794 1 17 Montgomery (part) 253,888 1 /-- /-- 1,069,836 4 --- /-- Counties with population of more than 1 1/2 but less than 1 3/5 ratios 39 Westmoreland 352,629 1 20 Luzerne 346,972 1 /-- /-- 699,601 2 /-- /-- Counties with population of more than 1 but less than 1 1/2 ratios 10 Bucks 308,567 1 13 Lancaster 278,359 1 11 Berks 275,414 1 49 Erie 250,682 1 28 York 238,336 1 22 Lackawanna 234,531 1 16 Lehigh 227,536 1 /-- /-- 1,813,425 7 /-- /-- Counties with population of more than 4/5 but less than 1 ratio 15 Dauphin 220,255 1 46 Washington 217,271 1 19 Chester 210,608 1 47 Beaver 206,948 1 35 Cambria 203,283 1 18 Northampton 201,412 1 /-- /-- 1,259,777 6 /-- /-- Districts comprised of counties with population of less than 4/5 ratio 29 Schuylkill, Lebanon 263,880 1 21 Butler, Lawrence 227,604 1 31 Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Cumberland 211,620 1 32 Fayette, Greene 208,764 1 50 Mercer, Crawford 205,475 1 41 Jefferson, Armstrong, Indiana 201,682 1 24 Columbia, Lycoming, Montour 179,586 1 30 Blair, Huntingdon 176,727 1 25 Potter, McKean, Warren, Clinton, Cameron 161,787 1 34 Centre, Clearfield 160,114 1 27 Northumberland, Snyder, Union 155,706 1 23 Bradford, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming, Sullivan 147,740 1 48 Elk, Forest, Clarion, Venango 144,516 1 33 Franklin, Adams 140,078 1 36 Bedford, Fulton, Somerset 130,498 1 14 Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne 129,851 1 /-- /-- 2,845,628 16 --- /-- Grand Total 11,319,366 50 /-- /--


© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.