Nebraska State Constitution Article III-5

Article III-5


Legislative districts; apportionment; redistricting, when required.

The Legislature shall by law determine the number of members to be elected and divide the state into legislative districts. In the creation of such districts, any county that contains population sufficient to entitle it to two or more members of the Legislature shall be divided into separate and distinct legislative districts, as nearly equal in population as may be and composed of contiguous and compact territory. One member of the Legislature shall be elected from each such district. The basis of apportionment shall be the population excluding aliens, as shown by the next preceding federal census. The Legislature shall redistrict the state after each federal decennial census. In any such redistricting, county lines shall be followed whenever practicable, but other established lines may be followed at the discretion of the Legislature.


  • Neb. Const. art. III, sec. 2 (1875);
  • Amended 1920, Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, No. 5;
  • Amended 1934, Initiative Measure No. 330;
  • Amended 1962, Laws 1961, c. 246, sec. 1, p. 731;
  • Amended 1966, Laws 1965, c. 304, sec. 1, p. 856;
  • Amended 2000, Laws 1999, LR 18CA, sec. 3.


Where only two counties in the state possessed populations such that they could legally constitute unitary legislative districts and reapportionment plans were offered in the Legislature to that end, it was "practicable" to establish districts which followed the boundaries of those counties. When the population of a county is such that it can legally constitute a legislative district and it is practicable to do so, the Legislature must establish a district which follows that county's boundaries. Day v. Nelson, 240 Neb. 997, 485 N.W.2d 583 (1992).

The part of the 1962 amendment to this section permitting the crossing of county lines in making reapportionment of legislative districts was constitutional. Carpenter v. State, 179 Neb. 628, 139 N.W.2d 541 (1966).

Changing of boundaries of city did not operate to interfere with power of Legislature to divide state into legislative districts. Buller v. City of Omaha, 164 Neb. 435, 82 N.W.2d 578 (1957).

Where grave, unreasonable and gross inequalities exist between different districts, apportionment will be held void. Rogers v. Morgan, 127 Neb. 456, 256 N.W. 1 (1934).

Legislature may only redistrict itself once every ten years. Exon v. Tiemann, 279 F.Supp. 603 (D. Neb. 1967).

Crossing of county lines in making reapportionment of legislative districts was permissible. League of Nebraska Municipalities v. Marsh, 253 F.Supp. 27 (D. Neb. 1966).

Portion of 1962 amendment to this section providing for not less than twenty and not more than thirty per cent weight to be given to area in making apportionment for legislative districts was unconstitutional. League of Nebraska Municipalities v. Marsh, 232 F.Supp. 411 (D. Neb. 1964).

Federal court would not interfere with submission to electors of 1962 amendment to this section. League of Nebraska Municipalities v. Marsh, 209 F.Supp. 189 (D. Neb. 1962).