Supreme Court Poised to Fuck Urban America

Comments

1
Sure would have been nice to have Gore "win" in 2000.
2
Laws affect everyone, not just eligible voters. It's always been by total population. When women couldn't vote they were still counted toward the total population for deciding representatives. Even the 3/5th compromise, as fucked up as it was, was created to increase the population of slave slates. Counting eligible voters instead of population would go against 250 years of prescient.
3
@2, 3/5ths comp. was to reduce the population of slave states i think?
4
I would suggest we just cut to the chase and do away with voting. Why should we have any say in who the corporations elect?
5
Just remember, they're not activist judges if they do what the conservatives want.
6
@3 No, it was to increase their population. Slave's were property not people, but the slave owners wanted to count them as people to gain more votes in the House. The free states were all like,"Which is it? People or property? You can't have it both ways!"

And the bigoted southerners said, "Sure we can! With a compromise!"

This of course was when bigoted southerners were still capable of compromise.
7
@3 - In a way, you're both correct, as non-slave states didn't want slaves to count at all towards representation and slave states wanted them counted 100%, even though they couldn't vote. The compromise was somewhere in the middle -- but since they counted more than half, a stronger argument might be made that the compromise served to increase the population of slave states.

But the point remains that those not allowed to vote -- slaves, women, children -- were always counted towards population for apportionment purposes.

8
@4 - Someone in 2014 (might have been Herman Cain) seriously proposed that individuals' votes be proportionate to how much income tax they paid (presumably after deductions).

Paid $100 in taxes? Get 100 votes. Paid a thousand? Get 1,000 votes. Paid a million in taxes? Your vote counts a million times more than the citizen who only paid a dollar in taxes. Too poor to pay taxes? Sorry, bud, you can't vote. Quite blatant in the endorsement of a plutocracy, really.
9
Regarding the Latino population, it seems like (at least in Washington State) the effects would be equally distributed between rural and urban, or at least not totally one sided. I'm assuming a lot of very "red" places like Yakima have proportionally similar population/eligible voter ratios to Seattle/Tacoma...maybe with even a greater gap. That would cut in our (Seattle) favor.
10
My understanding was that it was always One Dollar, One Vote.
11
One effect of this that has gone unmentioned (or at least I haven't seen it) relates to felon disenfranchisement. Felons who have lost the right to vote would decrease the population of areas they live in. The war on people who use some drugs has resulted in hundreds of thousands of back males who have lost the right to vote...mostly congregated in urban areas and a huge number in the south. So under the proposed scheme not only would they no longer be able to vote, they wouldn't even count.
12
Um, minor but easily corrected errata: Democratic House candidates won more votes than Republican House candidates in the 2012 election but not the 2014 election. Fucking fact check next time, Dan.
13
Isn't there, alarmingly, a wider spectrum of choices? Each of these steps descends from some red/blue balance to a red, super majority.
- based on population (any age, any citizenship)
- based on population (any age, US citizens only)
- based on eligible voters (non-felon, adult US citizens)
- based on active voters (participation in the last election determines representation in the next) - this is scariest of all as it would shift far more power to towns like mine and away from cities like yours. Before you poo-poo this horror scenario, how many people thought corporations should have all the rights of natural persons just 10 years ago? And a number of states base initiative qualification and recall petitions on active voter numbers so there is precedence.
14
How are they going to count "eligible voters?" The census counts everyone (or tries to). I don't remember seeing "Are you a felon?" on the census form. If this changes, they'll have to change the census (a bad idea, because then we really won't know what our population is), or create a new census just for counting "eligible voters."
15
@8 That's crazy, but maybe not the craziest thing I've heard about US politics. Really this is just another obvious attempt to alter the playing field. But then what other choice do they have? Their party is dying and they know it.
16
Country folks are simple, but they're also a dying population. As farming becomes more centralized and even more mechanized, the rural districts are emptying out. And since people who have to live with other people tend to be liberal (because they are in a reality-based world) it will eventually become a moot point.
17
We are one Republucan president away from giving voting rights to corporations.
18
@1, 2004 was a greater disaster: Bush had no Supreme picks prior to re-election, but got a couple after re-election. The disappointing aspect of the re-election is that even though the public got to see what a bunch of fascists they were over the first 4 years, a lot of people, even if you take out the fraud in Ohio, still voted for Bush-Cheney. People who in many cases did not totally buy into their ideology/philosophies, but still felt they had to vote for them because.............don't replace a war president............we're safer from the terrorists.........a man of god, not an effete elitist like Kerry. A lot of our people are stupid.
19
Indeed, the Senate is undemocratic by design. And the most fucked up thing is that not even a Constitutional amendment could fix it. Article V of the Constitution, which provides for amendments, specifically disallows amendments that would give proportional representation in the Senate.
It would literally take an entirely new Constitution to do away with our very undemocratic Senate.
20
Slaves only get 3/5 of a vote.

That's what they think 99% of us are.
21
First and foremost, the U.S. is a republic ruled by law to safeguard the minority and those inalienable rights of the individual. Democracy is ruled by the majority.

The 2 senators per state was a compromise among the framers of the Consitutuon to assuage fear of smaller states being overuled by larger states with larger population. Until 1913, senators were voted in by state legislature and that 1913 reform came about because senate seats were being sold in the state hall to the highest bidders (surprise, surprise). The other thing is the framers were educated wealthy landowners who were outnumbered by uneducated, poorer, white, free, and male citizens. They had a fear of mob rule and felt cooler, paternalistic Senate was needed as check and balance to House of Representatives.

200+ years later we now have a senate where 26 states which represent about 20% of this country population dominate. So when it comes to power by representational government, Wyoming comes in first and California with the largest population comes in last. The extreme lopsidedness is not exactly what the framers had in mind. But then again, they probably didn't envision that a few would spend $2billions on one election or that corporations are now people too.
22
The districts are apportioned based on population, and that's codified in the Constitution; I don't see the strict interpreters siding against that same principle at more granular levels.
23
In theory I could adopt millions of babies and bring them all to my small town and instantly have equal or greater voting power so that I can vote to increase financial benefits to parents with large families. There is sound logic and reason for counting 'eligible' voters. Unfortunately We the People are letting our party affiliations cloud our judgment as we selfishly try to manipulate the system for our own self interests. Henry David Thoreau said, “The fate of the country... does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.” And We the People have been dropping a selfish and corrupt man from the chamber. When deciding whether one vote one person should mean one vote one eligible voter or one vote one living organism try removing the bias of party affiliation. Political ideologies change over generations and republicans and democrats are just labels or groupings of these ideologies. So thinking about what one vote one person should mean should be made independent of whatever party you support. And sadly until we realize that it is the ideologies of both 'republicans' and 'democrats' that is fucking everything up then we are fucked.
24
I'm argued that what is being described...cramming cities with poor and illegal people...is the same type of "gerrymandering" that Democrats accuse Republican of.

The big city majors pursue bodies as votes. Cramming people into tight spaces, people who are then beholden to their social services and "infrastructure" just so they can "represent" is the modern plantation structure.

Republicans have every right to call this for what it is, a horrible attempt to warp American representative government.
25
#19 "Indeed, the Senate is undemocratic by design."

Indeed, yes, because the United States is not a democracy.

The United States is a Constitutional Republic.

These are different. With a Constitutional Republic the idea is that politicians represent not just The People, but the Republic. They are like corporate officers enabled to enforce or mediate a charter.

Exact representation by population is not a requirement, because the presumption is that the Constitution dictates the correct answer.
26
Quick, hide the urban illegals and poors! Bailo's onto us!
27
Not only screwed, but screwed in the ass. I hope it hurts. Terribly.
28
#26

Or expand the GMA boundary so they can buy reasonable priced homes in the suburbs, linked up with rapid rail lines.

29
The 3/5th clause and two Senators per state thing were part of the direct causes of the Civil War. The over-representation caused by the 3/5th clause gave the South an edge in the House, and we had managed to end up with an even split of slave and free states giving them a guaranteed 50 votes in the Senate, which combined with a tendency to elect Southern-born Presidents gave the South enough clout to protect the increasingly unpopular and dangerous slave system. Most of the political turmoil in the 30-odd years prior to the war- the Missouri Compromise and so forth- was about keeping the number of free and slave states even to maintain that slavery-favoring 'balance'. It took the pro-slavery vote being split in the 1860 election to allow Lincoln's abolitionist party to get any significant national power, whereupon the South completely lost its shit and did the whole secession thing.

So it's darkly amusing to see the Confederacy's spiritual successors complaining about over-representation now that it's favoring non-evil politicians. Sadly, and horrifyingly, ignoring hundreds of years of precedent hasn't been a problem for this Court in the past, so yeah. This could go very badly.
30
In the end of the day, it always was about power. Who holds it. You have an activist court not bothered by its politicization or religiosity. And a state like Texas faces the reality of seeing a tsunami change of the kind of voters it'll see as more of its native born Latinos reached voting age and becoming a real political force.

If this court should rule one citizen, one vote, it'll be a gnarly tangle to count all citizens, never mind eligible voters. In the past, the Feds left it to the individual state to determine what steps citizens need to become voter. Are they going to impose federal authority now? Who are they counting? Only registered voters or all citizens?
In any case, the 14th amendment may very well stand in the way as it clearly states:

"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State"

It would be odd to change the requirement to determine district representation based on eligible voters. After all our elected representatives represent "we the people" and most Americans would consider that to include their children, the mentally incompetent, and the felonious ones.

The most recent census shows more and more Americans are moving to urban/suburban areas. So even if SCOTUS rules in favor of the change, urban representation will still predominates. The Texas plaintiff's win will buy more time to find new ways to manipulate voting laws to suit their agenda. But the way our demographic patterns are changing, I'm not sure Roberts' court can do much to stave off this tidal change that's coming. Or Texas will decide to secede.
0
In the end of the day, it always was about power. Who holds it. You have an activist court not bothered by its politicization or religiosity. And a state like Texas faces the reality of seeing a tsunami change of the kind of voters it'll see as more of its native born Latinos reached voting age and becoming a real political force.

If this court should rule one citizen, one vote, it'll be a gnarly tangle to count all citizens, never mind eligible voters. In the past, the Feds left it to the individual state to determine what steps citizens need to become voter. Are they going to impose federal authority now? Who are they counting? Only registered voters or all citizens?

In any case, the 14th amendment may very well stand in the way as it clearly states:
"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State"

It would be odd to change the requirement to determine district representation based on eligible voters. After all our elected representatives represent "we the people" and most Americans would consider that to include their children, the mentally incompetent, and the felonious ones.

The most recent census shows more and more Americans are moving to urban/suburban areas. So even if SCOTUS rules in favor of the change, urban representation will still predominates. The Texas plaintiff's win will buy more time to find new ways to manipulate voting laws to suit their agenda. But the Roberts' court cannot stop the demographic changes coming. And maybe Texas will stop bluffing and secede.
31
@29

How do you avoid tripping while wearing those comically narrow partisan blinders?

But fyi? Not all politicians you disagree with are the "spiritual successors" to the Confederacy. Nor all all lefties the spiritual successors to Mother Theresa or whatever lefty dictator you think got it right. (Because left alone without other streams of thought to restrain it leftist thought always leads to dictatorship, which you'd know if you read real histories. Well intentioned or not all leftist thought boils down to this idea- people are too stupid to take care of themselves and need a nanny state to solve all their problems, poor dears. Leftist thought is therefore at core an idea at direct odds with democratic principles of government.)

If the world were as simple as your juvenile understanding of it we wouldn't actually need conservatives and liberals and other notions counterbalancing each others weaknesses. We wouldn't need rough and ready or deliberate and well thought out political compromises adults can dislike but understand why they're needed.

But, when you graduate high school in a few years and maybe college, when you've had some basic life experience rather than reading Howard Zen and listening to Democracy Now- maybe you'll figure that out on your own.
32
@31: I think it's funny that you're calling others ignorant of history and then spouting that ridiculous caricature of what leftist political theory is based in. It's also amusing to hear you accusing people of seeing the world in childish and simplistic terms, considering how you espouse the notion that poor people are just too lazy to work and too foolish to budget (source, source), and that hate crime laws unfairly give special protections to minorities (source), demonstrating that reality is more complex than you are capable of comprehending.
33
So are they also going to change the Senate so that states like Alabama and Wyoming with low populations won't be disproportionately represented in the Senate? Didn't think so.
34
I don't want to see SCOTUS make this change any more than the next person, but in my mind this case only serves to underscore the messed-up way we draw districts in this country. When a city council district can include a prison + 10 people, and it has an equal voice to a district with eligible voters, representation is a real issue. We need redistricting reform in a big, big way. (Watch the movie "Gerrymandering" to see how prisons fundamentally distort representation. It's horrifying that a guy won office in a small town that includes a prison because two of his neighbors voted for him.)
35
@33

If you had even a tenuous grasp on how and why our bicameral legislative branch was formed, you'd realize how foolish your comment is.

@34

When people figure out a way to get venal self interest out of politics it'll be a better world. But I'm not gonna hold my breath waiting.

Until then real demographic concerns can and should be addressed by redistricting. Unfortunately party interest, on both , is too.