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Legislative Malapportionment & Rural Domination
Lesson
A Meaning For Utah's Postwar Experience
Cold War, Korean War, & Utah's Defense Establishment
Salt Lake's Post War Calamities
Carbon County's Post War Attempts at Progression
War and Protest
Cold War Prosperity
German Heroes Immigrate to Utah
"Hurricane Sam" Gave Pilots a Safety Edge
Chemical Weapons Created Controversy at Dugway
Uranium Mining in Utah
Utah's Uranium Boom
Utah's Black Gold: The Petroleum Industry
Radiation Death and Deception
Nuclear Testing and the Downwinders
"Police Action" in Korea
From the Atomic Age to War Games
Aneth Oil Field
The MX Missile Project
Education Expansion
High Birthrates and Education
Legislative Malapportionment & Rural Domination
Political Pandemonium
Senator Joseph McCarthy's 1950 Visit to SLC
McCarthyism, Granger, and Stringfellow
The Civil Rights Movement in Utah
Native Americans in Post War Utah
A Black Mormon Family in Postwar Utah
The Rise of Utah's Latino Population
Equal Rights Amendment
Religious Diversity in Utah's Dixie
Utah and Vietnam Conflict
Utah's New Commonwealth Economy
Central Utah Project
Rise and Fall of the Turkey Empire
She Promoted SLC's Convention Business
Floods
Utah's First State Park
Daredevil Georgie White Ran Utah's Great Rivers
Adventures of an Early Hot Rodder
Ballet West
Theater in Utah
Salt Lake Theatre
Utah Jazz
City Planning in Ogden
After Boom & Bust Cycles Moab Just Keeps Pedaling
Glen Canyon Dam Controversy
Lake Powell
The Burgeoning Tourism Industry
Interstate 70
Suburbia and the Freeway
The Canyonlands National Park Controversy
Some Meanings of Utah History
Brutal Murders and Executions
Hostage Taking and Explosives in Salt Lake
Utah Children Won Recognition For Philo T. Farnsworth
Colorful and Controversial Joseph Bracken Lee
Dr. Willem Kolff's Artificial Heart

Thomas G. Alexander
Utah, The Right Place

African Americans and Native Americans were not the only ones to suffer discrimination.  Urbanites of all colors endured abuse as well at the hands of a conservative, rural-dominated minority. Between 1931 and 1950, the legislature had refused to reapportion itself in spite of the Utah Constitution's mandate. By the 1960's, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah shamed themselves with the most malapportioned state houses of representatives in the West.  Daggett County, for instance, had one representative for 362 people while Weber County, the least represented, had one for every 16,586 people. Nevertheless, most rural legislators agreed with Orval Hafen of St. George, who became a major defender of rural overrepresentation after his election in 1952.

In popular votes, the people of the state testified that they detested such malapportionment. In 1954, for instance, the voters soundly defeated a constitutional amendment proposed by the rural-dominated legislature and supported by a whispering campaign throughout LDS congregations that would have assured continued rural domination by guaranteeing each county one senator regardless of population. Responding to the public mood, the legislature reapportioned itself in 1955 after the constitutional amendment failed. Still, after the decennial census of 1960, an effort by the Democratically controlled legislature to reapportion itself fell victim to Governor George Clyde's veto in 1961.

The 1962 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on the rural-dominated Tennessee legislature in Baker v. Carr led Utah's legislature to reconsider reapportionments in 1963. Clyde reluctantly signed the bill that the legislature passed, but since the act did not provide for equal representation based on population--partly because the Utah Constitution guaranteed a seat in the state house of representatives to every county - three Salt Lake County residents filed a suit in federal district court challenging the reapportionment. The decision of the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. Sims (1964) sustained their views by requiring states to give equal weight to the votes of all people; in 1965, under the supervision of a panel of three federal judges, the legislature realigned the state's house, senate, and federal congressional districts. 

 

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From War to War
Utah Today