Should states with more people have more seats in Senate? | The Tylt

Should states with more people have more seats in Senate?

The makeup of the Senate is innately unfair, allocating two senators to each state regardless of their size. Thus, the largest, most populous states carry the same weight in Senate votes as far smaller states. Many people believe it is time to revise the Senate, distributing representation based on population and creating a governing body that is more representative of the nation as a whole. However, the Senate was constructed by design to ensure larger, more populous states do not ignore smaller states. Is it time for a change?

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Should states with more people have more seats in Senate?
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Should states with more people have more seats in Senate?
#ProportionalSenators
#TwoSenatorsForAll
#ProportionalSenators

Eric W. Orts, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, lays out a potential alternative to the two Senator system we currently have in an article for the Atlantic.

Start with the total U.S. population, then divide by 100, since that’s the size of the current, more deliberative upper chamber. Next, allocate senators to each state according to their share of the total; 2/100 equals two senators, 3/100 equals three, etc. Update the apportionment every decade according to the official census.
Using 2017 census estimates as a proxy for the official one coming in 2020, the Rule of One Hundred yields the following outcome: 26 states get only one senator (having about 1/100 of the population or less), 12 states stay at two, eight states gain one or two, and the four biggest states gain more than two: California gets 12 total, Texas gets nine, and Florida and New York get six each. This apportionment shows how out of whack the current Senate has become.
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However, as Vox points out, it is, if not impossible, at least incredibly difficult to change the number of Senators sent to Congress by each state. 

One thing we can’t do is make the Senate more proportional. Nothing in the logic of federal representation would prevent this. In fact, other countries have upper chambers in legislatures that represent constituent states but that also represent them proportionally.
But we can’t do this, even with an amendment, because the only limit that Article V of the Constitution places on amendments is that “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”
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Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University, expands in a Chicago Tribune op-ed.

But here’s the thing: The Constitution was designed precisely so that no one would be able to do anything about the undemocratic Senate. Almost uniquely among constitutional provisions, and unlike the Electoral College, the assignment of two senators to every state regardless of population is essentially unamendable. The Constitution specifically says that states can lose their Senate representation only with their consent. That’s never going to happen.
How can I say that with such confidence? Because the fight over the undemocratic Senate was already the central issue in the constitutional convention in the long hot summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. The nonrepresentative design was a source of outrage and profound frustration to James Madison, the primary architect of the Constitution, and the other representatives of large states like New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The small states made equal Senate representation into the linchpin of their willingness to join the Constitution. They anticipated staying small. They anticipated future efforts to strip them of their Senate representation. And they made sure those would never succeed.
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The problem is becoming worse as the demographic makeup of the nation shifts and changes. Per the Atlantic:

The Republican Party has an inbuilt advantage in Senate races. Since Democratic voters tend to cluster in cities and their inner suburbs, Republicans are more spread out over large geographic areas. While rural strength in a state like New York or California counts for little in Senate races dominated by large coastal cities, the abundance of sparsely populated, geographically vast states in the West and Midwest is a big help for Republican domination in the chamber. Wyoming, for instance, reliably returns GOP senators despite having about as many people as Albuquerque.
...Senate critics also contend that smaller states tend to be more conservative, while larger ones are more likely to back Democrats, though this argument is belied by the nine largest states, which are represented by an even number of Democrats and Republicans. Yet even if partisanship is put aside, those nine account for more than half of the country’s population—and their representation does not reflect that. Smaller states, at present, are not that much more likely to elect Republicans than Democrats. The 18 smallest, representing slightly more than one-third of the Senate, currently have 15 Democratic senators, 19 Republican senators, and two independent senators (both of whom caucus with the Democrats).
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CNN points out that these shifting demographics mean that Senators who represent a small number of predominantly white, conservative constituents are responsible for making decisions that will effect the nation as a whole for decades to come. 

The sheer disparity in size between the largest and smallest states is the most visible source of questions about the Senate's democratic legitimacy. That divergence is sometimes summarized as the ratio between California and Wyoming, the largest and smallest states: Each California senator represents nearly 19.8 million people, over 68 times as many as the 290,000 each Wyoming senator represents.
Yet even that contrast, while gaping, probably doesn't capture the central force that could significantly heighten tension over the Senate's structure in the years ahead. The real rub could be the widening divergence between the large and small states, not only in their partisan leanings, but also in their exposure to the most powerful forces reshaping American life in the 21st century.
Critically, the small states tend to be less touched than the large ones by the nation's growing racial and religious diversity. Many of the smaller states remain more white and native-born than the nation overall. Wyoming, the smallest state, for instance, ranks 46th in the share of immigrants in its population and 43rd in the share of its under-18 population that is nonwhite. North Dakota and South Dakota, also in the five smallest states, rank 46th and 43rd respectively in immigrant population, and 42nd and 38th in the nonwhite share of their youth population. Montana and Maine, among the 10 smallest states, rank in the bottom 10 on both categories as well. Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont and Idaho are among the other small states that rank relatively low in both categories too.
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Jay Cost at the National Review disagrees, saying this kind of uneven representation was built into the Constitution on purpose and should not be changed. 

[T]he Founders in 1787 raised the question of whether we would have a national democracy, and they voted it down at the Constitutional Convention. This is akin to what the staunch nationalists — Madison, James Wilson, and Alexander Hamilton — wanted, but they lost the battle in Philadelphia. And they probably would have lost it at the ratification debates as well. Ultimately, the established government was to be a blend of a national government acting directly on the people and a federal compact among the states, which retain a portion of their original sovereignty and equal representation in the Senate.
...Third, it is tempting to unfavorably compare the government as it is against some ideal that has never been — but this is a false contrast. Why should we assume that such an ideal government would be benevolent in practice? Philosophers since the ancients have appreciated the dangers of unbridled democracy. Perhaps democracy in our system has been so successful precisely because the compromises of 1787 do a reasonably good job of bridling it. Perhaps the Senate, despite being a product of political necessity, has been — on balance — a salutary check on the impetuosity of the House of Representatives.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should states with more people have more seats in Senate?
#ProportionalSenators
#TwoSenatorsForAll