Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘apportionment’

Your Slice Of The Pie Is Getting Smaller

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 30, 2020

“The more things change, the more they remain same,” goes the adage. And while there’s some degree of comfort in knowing that your socks and underwear will be in the same drawer as yesterday, the week and month before, there’s still a burning question, or two: Are you still going to wear the same old ratty, tattered old underwear that you have for the last 10, or 20 years or more?

If that doesn’t sound like you, you’re in luck.

BUT!

If it does sound like you… well, you’re like the Congress.

Our United States Constitution sets forth a representative form of government in which The People choose Representatives for themselves to represent their interests in a common gathering place called “the Capitol building” in Washington, D.C. And according to that constitution, and other relevant laws, The The People are to have our interests represented according to a formula, of sorts, which determines how many Representatives we should have. That process is called “apportionment,” and refers to the number of Members of the House of Representatives are to be apportioned among The People.

When our Constitution was first written, the Founders… well, read it for yourself.

Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature. No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. …”

There you have it.

“The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…”

When our Constitution was first written, there was a ratio, of sorts, established to guide the number of Representatives in the House. And, it was 30,000. Since then, it’s been changed, and in fact, it was supposed to be changed every 10 years, which is the entire and exclusive purpose of the Constitution – to determine how many Representatives we should have.

But, along about 1911, the year immediately after the 1910 Census, something happened.

Congress gave America an abortion.

I use that word “abortion” purposely, because that describes to a “T” the essence of what happened.

Allow me to explain further.

In 1911, for some still as-yet-unknown reason, when Congress took up the matter of Read the rest of this entry »

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America Has Problems

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

America has problems – 330,337,600 problems, to be exact.

That’s how many people – at least – are resident in the United States as of Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Previously, there were 330,326,679 people in the USA yesterday.

PROBLEM: The House of Representatives is TOO SMALL.

FACTS: Following the 1910 Census, with the Apportionment Act of 1911, Congress set the number of Members in the House of Representatives at 435, to become effective March 1913. The 1910 Census found 92,228,496 people in our United States, so at that time, the ratio of Residents per Representative was 212,020 to 1. The ratio is now 759,396 to 1. If you feel like you’re not being represented in Congress… guess what? You’re NOT.

BACKGROUND: Apportionment refers to the process of Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressional Apportionment & Illegal Aliens

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 24, 2020

Mo Brooks is Alabama’s 5th Congressional District Republican Representative.

Earlier yesterday, Alabama’s 5th Congressional District Representative Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks appeared on the NPR program On Point.

His appearance was in reference to a Federal lawsuit in which he, and the State of Alabama (through its Attorney General Steve Marshall), are plaintiffs, which raised a question about enumeration, and apportionment.¹

(Read the lawsuit here: State of AL & Mo Brooks v US Census Bureau)

Specifically, the state is concerned that they might lose a seat in reapportionment – along with the Federal dollars that accompany it – because of concern that other states might increase their apportionment of the 435 Members of the House of Representatives.

Now, if you think about it, that’s ironic, if not outright hypocritical, because Alabama is a significant recipient of government largess, aka “tax dollars” more so, than they send in. In other words, Alabama is a welfare recipient state. And welfare is something anathema to GOPers.

But it’s not as if Alabama hasn’t been shortchanged before. The “Alabama Paradox,” which interestingly – and, again ironically – is the inversely proportional phenomenon in which a state’s population increases, yet Congressional representation decreases, which was first discovered in 1880 by C. W. Seaton, Chief Clerk of the United States Census Bureau, who calculated apportionments for all House sizes between 275 and 350, and discovered that Alabama would get 8 seats with a House size of 299, but only 7 with a House size of 300. The same phenomenon was discovered to exist with new states admitted to the union (such as with Colorado in 1900), and generally refers to an apportionment scenario in which increasing the number of Representatives would decrease at least one state’s number of representatives in the House.

Mathematically, of course, it’s impossible to have a perfectly equal representation, which was proven in 1983 by two mathematicians, Michel Balinski and Peyton Young, who discovered that any method of apportionment which does not violate the quota rule – being that the number of seats to be allocated should be between the upper or lower roundings of its fractional proportional share – will result in paradoxes whenever there are three or more states. Earlier, in 1980, the Balinski–Young theorem proved that if an apportionment method satisfies the quota rule, it must fail to satisfy some apportionment paradox.

But, determining methods to apportion is getting much too complex, and practically misses the entire point, which is that the Constitution plainly states that ALL people should be counted, and Alabama is claiming that all people should NOT be counted, alleging that illegal aliens constitute an inordinate number of people in the nation.

Again, Alabama has been down that path before with their HB56 law written by Kris Kobach when he was Kansas Secretary of State, which sought to exclude people from legal rights (freedom of movement, etc.) and long-standing protections, based upon their immigration status, which was typically determined by looking at skin color, or surname, and little else. Federal courts have since struck down most of the law.

The wording in the recent Alabama & Mo Brooks v Census Bureau suit states that “plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the Residence Rule is unconstitutional because an apportionment of members of the House of Representatives and Electoral College votes among the states based on population figures which include illegal aliens would violate § 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, Article I, § 2’s requirement of an “actual Enumeration” of the population of the United States, and Article II, § 1 of the United States Constitution.”

The suit seeks remedy through a rather perverse – and un-Constitutional – means, making accusation that illegal aliens (aka undocumented immigrants, otherwise known as people who are here in violation of immigration law, such as Canadians, who illegally overstayed their visas, which research showed are far more abundant than Hispanics, or Mexicans, and in 2016-17 accounted for at least 93,000 – more than any other nation), and that such contravention is anathema to the purpose of the Census, which states that all people shall be counted, making no differentiation among citizens, and non-citizens… at least none that we now know of – except for the Indian thing (“excluding Indians not taxed”)… and the Three-Fifths Compromise and the 13th Amendment, which still allows slavery, albeit “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

Most recently, on July 21, 2020, the White House wrote a “Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce” which was entitled “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census,” and acknowledged in part that, “The Constitution does not specifically define which persons must be included in the apportionment base.” That’s interesting, because as they continue down the rabbit hole of their illogic, they conclude with the President having the final say in the Census by writing “The President, by law, makes the final determination regarding the “whole number of persons in each State,” which determines the number of Representatives to be apportioned to each State, and transmits these determinations and accompanying census data to the Congress (2 U.S.C. 2a(a)).”

However, the law which they quote 2 U.S.C. 2a(a) states in pertinent part, that “the President shall transmit to the Congress a statement showing the whole number of persons in each State…” not that the President shall make any changes, or additions.

Moreover, there’s likely little disagreement that Read the rest of this entry »

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