Kruidenier v. McCulloch, No. 52012

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLeGRAND
Citation261 Iowa 1309,158 N.W.2d 170
PartiesElizabeth KRUIDENIER et al., Appellants, v. W. E. McCULLOCH, Auditor of Polk County, Harold Hughes, Governor, et al., Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 52012
Decision Date09 April 1968

Page 170

158 N.W.2d 170
261 Iowa 1309
Elizabeth KRUIDENIER et al., Appellants,
v.
W. E. McCULLOCH, Auditor of Polk County, Harold Hughes, Governor, et al., Appellees.
No. 52012.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
April 9, 1968.

[261 Iowa 1310]

Page 171

David Belin, Des Moines, appears for plaintiffs-appellants.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., for applicants.

LeGRAND, Justice.

This opinion is supplemental to that filed in this cause on April 15, 1966, and published in 258 Iowa 1121, 142 N.W.2d 355. There we held the 1965 temporary reapportionment plan was unconstitutional under both the state and federal constitutions as contravening the requirement for substantially equal legislative representation for all citizens of the state--the one-man, one-vote principle. We also held this temporary plan should nevertheless be used until the Sixty-second General Assembly met in 1967 and had a reasonable opportunity to adopt a constitutionally acceptable plan.

In our original opinion we specifically retained jurisdiction to effect a constitutional apportionment plan if the legislature failed to do so.

The Sixty-second General Assembly enacted an apportionment law designated as House File 736, now chapter 105, Laws of the Sixty-second General Assembly. The attorney general, whose predecessor in office was one of the parties to this action originally, has filed his application asking us to pass upon the constitutionality of this law as it affects two subdistricts for the election of representatives from Johnson County. We consider [261 Iowa 1311] his application under the retention of jurisdiction above mentioned.

At the outset we point out our original opinion dealt only with representation in Polk County, but we held the result reached there should apply to all multimember districts in the state. One of these is Johnson County and our expressions in that opinion apply to the situation now before us.

The Sixty-second General Assembly, after exhaustive study, adopted a plan of redistricting which appeared to meet the requirements of the one-man, one-vote principle. The basic concept of such rule is that all citizens of the state shall have substantially equal legislative representation. We have recognized, as has the Supreme Court of the United States, that mathematical equality is neither possible nor required, but substantial equality is.

I. We find the Sixty-second General Assembly made a diligent and good-faith effort to adopt a constitutionally acceptable plan. Under chapter 469, Laws of the Sixty-second

Page 172

General Assembly, a commission was established to conduct a study of legislative subdistricting and to make recommendations to the legislature. The commission made its report and its recommendations were adopted by the legislature in every instance except with reference to Johnson County. The commission recommended that Johnson County be subdivided into two districts, each of which should elect one representative to the general assembly. As proposed by the commission District 1 had a population of 26,320. District 2 had a population of 27,343. District 1 represented 48.89 percent of the total county population and District 2 represented 50.96 percent of that population. The deviation in population between these districts, which is obtained by dividing the population of the larger district by that of the smaller, was 1.0389. This substantially conformed to the deviation in all other multimember districts under the commission report. Instead of adopting the commission report, as it had done in every other instance, the legislature subdivided Johnson County into two districts, one of which has a population of 20,390 and the other 33,273. The smaller district comprises approximately 38 percent of the total county population and the [261 Iowa 1312] larger approximately 62 percent. The deviation under this subdistricting is 1.6317.

We are told that this unfortunate result occurred by reason of a clerical error. The attorney general asks us to transpose in two places the directional courses in the description of the subdistricts which, he asserts, were erroneously stated, and as a result of which the bill as passed does not reflect the intention of the legislature. From the exhibits submitted to us and from the evidence introduced by the attorney general with our permission, it overwhelmingly appears that such a mistake occurred.

Ordinarily legislative mistakes, omissions and errors may be left to the legislature itself for correction. Not only is this desirable but in all except rare cases it is required by our traditional separation of powers. This is probably so well established that it needs no citation of authority. However, see 16 C.J.S. Constitutional Law § 104, p. 483; 16 Am.Jur.2d, Constitutional Law, section 210, page 449; Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company v. Ft. Dodge, 248 Iowa 1201, 1216, 85 N.W.2d 28, 37. It is inimical to our system that one independent department of government should intermeddle with the affairs of another. Strangely enough the complaint usually made in this area is that courts are too ready to undertake such a task. Here, however, we are being importuned to do so.

Much of what we say here is based on the holding of the United States Supreme Court in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 12 L.Ed.2d 506, and cases there cited, and on our own pronouncements in the original opinion in this cause. It is unnecessary to review again the authorities set out and discussed there. However, we call attention to several statements, both from the Sims case and from our opinion of April 15, 1966, as being particularly important to our conclusion. All references to the Sims case are from 377 U.S. 533, 84 S.Ct. 1362, 12 L.Ed.2d and those from our original Kruidenier opinion are from the Iowa Reports.

In the Sims case, 377 U.S. at page 562, 84 S.Ct. at page 1382, 12 L.Ed.2d at page 527 the Supreme Court said, '* * * If a State should provide that the votes of citizens in one part of the State should be given two times, or five times, or 10 times the weight of a votes of citizens in another part of the State, it could hardly be contended...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 practice notes
  • Terrazas v. Ramirez, No. D-1817
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • December 17, 1991
    ...86 S.Ct. 1284, 16 L.Ed.2d 332 (1966), pursuant to jurisdiction retained in 32 Ill.2d 212, 205 N.E.2d 33 (1965); Kruidenier v. McCulloch, 261 Iowa 1309, 158 N.W.2d 170 (1968), pursuant to jurisdiction retained in 258 Iowa 1121, 142 N.W.2d 355, cert. denied, 385 U.S. 851, 87 S.Ct. 79, 17 L.Ed......
  • Iowa Natural Resources Council v. Van Zee, No. 52931
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 9, 1968
    ...injunction of a post-statutory structure placed in a floodway or flood plain where the statutorily required application for permission[261 Iowa 1309] to so place such structure has not been filed, as a consequence of which no permit has ever I am satisfied the council not only has that auth......
  • State v. Blyth, Nos. 55974
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 19, 1975
    ...v. McCulloch, 258 Iowa 1121, 1140--1142, 142 N.W.2d 355, 366--367, cert. den., 385 U.S. 851, 87 S.Ct. 79, 17 L.Ed.2d 80, supplemented, 261 Iowa 1309, 158 N.W.2d 170; Lee Enterprises, Inc. v. Iowa State Tax Com'n, 162 N.W.2d 730, 741 (Iowa 1968); and Frost v. State, 172 N.W.2d 575, 586 (Iowa......
  • Redmond v. Carter, No. 59949
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 23, 1976
    ...is indefensible beyond all doubt, it need not be upheld. I recognize this is not to be undertaken lightly. In Kruidenier v. McCulloch, 261 Iowa 1309, 1315, 158 N.W.2d 170, 174 (1968), we considered the judicial correction of legislative errors this 'The specter of abuses resulting from a ju......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Terrazas v. Ramirez, No. D-1817
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • December 17, 1991
    ...86 S.Ct. 1284, 16 L.Ed.2d 332 (1966), pursuant to jurisdiction retained in 32 Ill.2d 212, 205 N.E.2d 33 (1965); Kruidenier v. McCulloch, 261 Iowa 1309, 158 N.W.2d 170 (1968), pursuant to jurisdiction retained in 258 Iowa 1121, 142 N.W.2d 355, cert. denied, 385 U.S. 851, 87 S.Ct. 79, 17 L.Ed......
  • Iowa Natural Resources Council v. Van Zee, No. 52931
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 9, 1968
    ...injunction of a post-statutory structure placed in a floodway or flood plain where the statutorily required application for permission[261 Iowa 1309] to so place such structure has not been filed, as a consequence of which no permit has ever I am satisfied the council not only has that auth......
  • State v. Blyth, Nos. 55974
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 19, 1975
    ...v. McCulloch, 258 Iowa 1121, 1140--1142, 142 N.W.2d 355, 366--367, cert. den., 385 U.S. 851, 87 S.Ct. 79, 17 L.Ed.2d 80, supplemented, 261 Iowa 1309, 158 N.W.2d 170; Lee Enterprises, Inc. v. Iowa State Tax Com'n, 162 N.W.2d 730, 741 (Iowa 1968); and Frost v. State, 172 N.W.2d 575, 586 (Iowa......
  • Redmond v. Carter, No. 59949
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 23, 1976
    ...is indefensible beyond all doubt, it need not be upheld. I recognize this is not to be undertaken lightly. In Kruidenier v. McCulloch, 261 Iowa 1309, 1315, 158 N.W.2d 170, 174 (1968), we considered the judicial correction of legislative errors this 'The specter of abuses resulting from a ju......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT