Bicameralism Law and Legal Definition

Bicameralism refers to a restraint on legislative power embodied in the state constitution vesting the legislative power in a two-house legislative body and requiring that all bills must be adopted by a majority of each house. Although bicameralism is in a sense present under the contested procedure, a committee of each house is involved and is in the more significant sense lacking, since neither house itself is fully involved in the legislative act. The main function of bicameralism is to provide contrasting bases of representation in the two houses, and that making both houses representative of population would make the second house a mirror of the first and hence redundant. In Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 576 (U.S. 1964), it was held that the concept of bicameralism is rendered anachronistic and meaningless when the predominant basis of representation in the two state legislative bodies is required to be the same population. A prime reason for bicameralism, modernly considered, is to insure mature and deliberate consideration of, and to prevent precipitate action on, proposed legislative measures.