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Congressional Apportionment Amendment
The Congressional Apportionment Amendment to the United States Constitution was the first of twelve amendments proposed in 1789. By 1791, a sufficient number of states had ratified the last ten of those amendments—these became the Bill of Rights—but not the first two. The second of the amendments, which concerned Congressional compensation, was finally ratified in 1992 and became the Twenty-seventh Amendment. The Congressional Apportionment Amendment (the first of the proposed amendments) never received a sufficient number of ratifications, and is theoretically still pending before the states. To date, only twelve states have ratified the amendment, and it is unlikely that the amendment will ever be approved. The most recent state to do so was Kentucky in June of 1792 (Kentucky's initial month of statehood). The amendment deals with setting the size of the House of Representatives and reads as follows:
Article I. After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
The amendment seeks to make certain that seats in the House are apportioned according to population, but given the current population of the United States, the algorithm it sets forth would now place very few restrictions on the size of the House. Were this amendment to be ratified today, it would allow anywhere between two hundred and nearly six thousand Representatives. Presently, there are 435 members of the House of Representatives and a handful of non-voting Delegates from places that do not possess statehood status.
- List of unsuccessful attempts to amend the U.S. Constitution
- First Amendment to the United States Constitution
- Congressional Research Service. (1992). Proposed amendments not ratified by the states. In The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. (Senate Document No. 103–6). (Johnny H. Killian and George A. Costello, Eds.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
- The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation is available at:
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