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Article XIII, Mississippi Constitution

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Article 13 of the Mississippi Constitution is entitled Apportionment. It has three sections, two of which have been repealed.

Section 254

Text of Section 254:

Senatorial and Representative Districts

The legislature shall at its regular session in the second year following the 1980 decennial census and every ten (10) years thereafter, and may, at any other time, by joint resolution, by majority vote of all members of each house, apportion the state in accordance with the constitution of the state and of the United States into consecutively numbered senatorial and representative districts of contiguous territory. The senate shall consist of not more than fifty-two (52) senators, and the house of representatives shall consist of not more than one hundred twenty-two (122) representatives, the number of members of each house to be determined by the legislature. Should the legislature adjourn, without apportioning itself as required hereby, the governor by proclamation shall reconvene the legislature within thirty (30) days in special apportionment session which shall not exceed thirty (30) consecutive days, during which no other business shall be transacted, and it shall be the mandatory duty of the legislature to adopt a joint resolution of apportionment. Should a special apportionment session not adopt a joint resolution of apportionment as required hereby, a five-member commission consisting of the chief justice of the supreme court as chairman, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate shall immediately convene and within one hundred eighty (180) days of the adjournment of such special apportionment session apportion the legislature, which apportionment shall be final upon filing with the office of the secretary of state. Each apportionment shall be effective for the next regularly scheduled elections of members of the legislature.

NOTE: Laws of 1962, ch. 18, 1st Extraordinary Session, which proposed the repeal of this section, was not approved by the electorate.

The 1962 amendment to Section 254 was proposed by Laws 1962, ch. 57, 2nd Extraordinary Session, and upon ratification by the electorate on February 5, 1963, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on February 13, 1963.

Laws 1962, ch. 57, 2nd Extraordinary Session, also provides as follows: “Be it further resolved, that it is the intenet of this resolution to provide by constitutional amendment for the apportionment of Senators and Representatives to be elected in 1963 to take office the first Tuesday after the first Monday of January, 1964, and thereafter, and nothing contained herein shall serve to or be construed to shorten or otherwise affect the term of office of any Senator or Representative presently serving in that capacity. The constitutional amendments submitted herewith shall, if approved, be self-executing for the purpose of providing for senatorial and legislative representation to be elected in 1963 in the event implementing legislation is not enacted and approved.”

In a 1966 decision of a three-judge federal court, Connor v Johnson, 256 F supp 962, supp op 265 F Supp 492, the provisions of this section, as amended, were declared to be unconstitutional and invalid for all future elections of members of the House of Representatives.

The 1977 amendment to Section 254 was proposed by Laws 1977, ch. 27, 2nd Extraordinary Session, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 507, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 6, 1979, was inserted by the Secretary of State on November 30, 1979.

Section 255

Text of Section 255:

Repealed

NOTE: Former Section 255, as amended effective February 13, 1963, provided that there were 52 senators, enumerated and described the senatorial districts, and provided for further reapportionment following the Federal Census of 1970.

Laws of 1962, ch. 18, 1st Extraordinary Session, which also proposed to amend this section, was not approved by the electorate.

The 1962 amendment to Section 255 was proposed by Laws 1962, ch. 57, 2nd Extraordinary Session, and upon ratification by the electorate on February 5, 1963, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on February 13, 1963.

Laws 1962, ch. 57, 2nd Extraordinary Session also provides as follows: “Be it further resolved, that it is the intent of this resolution to provide by constitutional amendment for the apportionment of Senators and Representatives to be elected in 1963 to take office the first Tuesday after the first Monday of January, 1964, and thereafter, and nothing contained herein shall seve to or be construed to shorten or otherwise affect the term of office of any Senator or Representative presently serving in that capacity. The constitutional amendments submitted herewith shall, if approved, be self-executing for the purpose of providing for senatorial and legislative representation to be elected in 1963 in the event implementing legislation is not enacted and approved.”

In a 1966 decision of a three-judge federal court, Connor v Johnson, 256 F Supp 962, supp op 265 F Supp 492, the provisions of this section, as amended, were declared to be unconstitutional and invalid for all future elections of members of the House of Representatives.

The repeal of Section 255 was proposed by Laws 1977, ch. 27, 2nd Extraordinary Session, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 57, and upon ratitication by the electorate on November 6, 1979, was deleted from the Constitution by proclamation of the Secretary of State on November 30, 1979.

Section 256

Text of Section 256:

Repealed

The legislature may, at the first session after the Federal census of 1900, and decennially, thereafter, make a new apportionment of senators and representatives. At each apportionment each county then organized shall have a least one representative. The counties of Tishomingo, Alcorn, Prentiss, Lee, Itawamba, Tippah, Union, Benton, Marshall, Lafayette, Pontotoc, Monroe, Chickasaw, Calhoun, Yalobusha, Grenada, Carroll, Montgomery, Choctaw, Webster, Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha, or the territory now composing them, shall together never have less than forty-four representatives. The counties of Attala, Winston, Noxubee, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Lauderdale, Newton, Scott, Rankin, Clarke, Jasper, Smith, Simpson, Copiah, Franklin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Covington, Jones, Wayne, Greene, Perry, Marion, Pike, Pearl River, Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson, or the territory now composing then, shall together never have less than forty-four representatives; nor shall the remaining counties of the state, or the territory now composing then, ever have less than forty-four representatives. A reduction in the number of senators and representatives may be made by the legislature if the same be uniform in each of the three divisions; but the number of representatives shall not be less than one hundred, nor more than one hundred and thirty-three, nor the number of senators less than thirty, nor more than forty-five, provided that new counties hereafter created shall be given at least one representative until the next succeeding apportionment.”

The repeal of Section 256 proposed by Laws 1962, ch. 57, 2nd Extraordinary Session, became effective upon ratification of the proposal by the electorate on February 5, 1963, and the certification thereof by a proclamation of the Secretary of State on February 13, 1963.

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