HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » IS ADDING MORE SENATORS A...

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:08 AM

IS ADDING MORE SENATORS A SOLUTION WORTH CONSIDERING?

I am sure this idea has appeared here and elsewhere, but I have not read about it, so I’m putting it out here: INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SENATORS based on the population figures in the official census conducted every ten years to allocate members to the House of Representatives.

There’s an excellent article in the Atlantic by Eric W. Orts which includes a pdf discussing a three-part path for how the Senate can increase the number of senators under the Voting Rights Act. No Constitutional amendment needed. According to Mr. Orts: “Congress would adopt the Rule of One Hundred scheme as a statute; let’s call it the Senate Reform Act. Because it’s legislation rather than an amendment, Article V would—arguably—not apply.”

Here are a few excerpts from the article and its pdf attachment.

The article appeared in the Atlantic and was written by Eric W. Orts. The link to the Atlantic article is: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/heres-how-fix-senate/579172/

The pdf within the Atlantic article is at this link: https://faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp- content/uploads/2018/12/Senate.Democracy.12.7.18.final_.pdf

Here are some excerpts from the pdf:

“The unequal representation created by the original one state, two senators rule violates principles of voting rights found in the Voting Rights Amendments of the Constitution (including the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments).”

*****

“Congress, acting within its proper scope of constitutional authority under the Voting Rights Amendments, should enact a statute reforming the allocation of senators to the states. The legislation abolishes the rule of one state, two senators. It allocates senators to the states in a manner that both respects the original commitment to federalism (allocating at least one senator to each state) and the rights of American citizens to participate on an equal basis in their political democracy (allocating a greater number of senators to more populous states).”

*******

END.

My Comment: The pdf sets out a three-part process to accomplish this and argues that the Electoral College would better represent the population by adding more Senators. This is the proposition I am putting my support to for creating the changes we need to protect US.

48 replies, 1328 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply IS ADDING MORE SENATORS A SOLUTION WORTH CONSIDERING? (Original post)
in2herbs May 2022 OP
Polybius May 2022 #1
PufPuf23 May 2022 #14
in2herbs May 2022 #18
TygrBright May 2022 #2
InAbLuEsTaTe May 2022 #5
AnyFunctioningAdult May 2022 #41
InAbLuEsTaTe May 2022 #42
Hoyt May 2022 #3
Demsrule86 May 2022 #8
in2herbs May 2022 #19
Hoyt May 2022 #26
former9thward May 2022 #4
in2herbs May 2022 #20
former9thward May 2022 #40
roamer65 May 2022 #6
in2herbs May 2022 #22
Orangepeel May 2022 #7
sarisataka May 2022 #9
Novara May 2022 #16
in2herbs May 2022 #23
Jedi Guy May 2022 #34
hardluck May 2022 #35
MarineCombatEngineer May 2022 #43
JI7 May 2022 #10
jmowreader May 2022 #11
in2herbs May 2022 #24
jmowreader May 2022 #46
mwooldri May 2022 #12
unblock May 2022 #13
in2herbs May 2022 #29
muriel_volestrangler May 2022 #44
unblock May 2022 #47
kentuck May 2022 #15
sarisataka May 2022 #17
kentuck May 2022 #21
sarisataka May 2022 #27
in2herbs May 2022 #28
LiberatedUSA May 2022 #30
in2herbs May 2022 #25
Crepuscular May 2022 #37
unblock May 2022 #48
LiberatedUSA May 2022 #31
in2herbs May 2022 #32
sarisataka May 2022 #36
Emile May 2022 #33
Celerity May 2022 #38
Emile May 2022 #39
Celerity May 2022 #45

Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:11 AM

1. How so without a Constitutional Amendment?

Adding a state is the only way to did it without the Constitutional Amendment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Reply #1)

Sun May 8, 2022, 02:44 AM

14. Is a Constitutional Amendment required to split a State?

Or perhaps keeping one State but multiple jurisdictions for Senators?

Probably the Constitutional Amendment would be need for either approach.

Idea is to split large population States into multiple States, each with two Senators.

California would be 3 States and so on with other large population States. In a sense that would be adding 2 States.

The alternative idea is to keep the House the same and not split the State but make Senate jurisdictions within Staes of large population. Instead of 3 State, California would have 3 Senate jurisdictions and 6 Senators.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Reply #1)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:43 AM

18. Under this scenario, no state(s) is added and no Constitutional amendment is

required. The Senate gets its authority under the Voting Rights Act.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:20 AM

2. Statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia would add more Senators. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TygrBright (Reply #2)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:24 AM

5. Is P. R. on board with this? Of course, I'd support the idea wholeheartedly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to InAbLuEsTaTe (Reply #5)

Sun May 8, 2022, 11:32 AM

41. Polling seems to indicate a pretty even split.

PR residents do not pay Federal income taxes today and becoming a state would change that. Also, PR is not a shoe in for electing two Democrats every time whereas DC pretty much would be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AnyFunctioningAdult (Reply #41)

Sun May 8, 2022, 11:53 AM

42. Yeah, not sure then bout PR...DC fo sho tho. I say ram it thru then & federalize abortion rights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:20 AM

3. Who knows what we can do long-term, but we better get out vote in Nov and 2024.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:34 AM

8. That is where we have to start...without winning the midterm, nothing can be done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:45 AM

19. People say this GOTV as if its the solution. The states are so gerrymandered that

voting alone is not the solution. Beto said yesterday at his rally in TX that TX is the worst state for voting rights and voting restrictions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #19)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:54 AM

26. The laws aren't going to change between now and November. GOTV.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:23 AM

4. The composition of the Senate is given in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution.

It can't be changed by legislation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #4)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:47 AM

20. The article and pdf cites reasons why this is not cast in stone. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #20)

Sun May 8, 2022, 11:13 AM

40. Yes, and the article is wrong.

The Constitution is not a gimmick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:27 AM

6. Requires 38 states and 2/3 of the House and Senate to ratify such an amendment.

No way in hell will the smaller and taker states will give up the gravy train they have in disproportionate senate representation.

We will see the republic fall apart before it happens…and it will fall apart if Roe is overturned.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to roamer65 (Reply #6)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:48 AM

22. So do nothing?? With majority Ds in the senate this couldl be passed just like any

other law. Read the article and pdf.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:30 AM

7. No. But increasing the number of house reps is

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:53 AM

9. The article spends a lot of words

Trying to justify a case that Article V can be worked around because states have already given consent- a very shaky premise at best.

What isn't addressed is Article I which says
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.


It is hard to see how his logic overrides the clear verbiage of how many Senators each state gets.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sarisataka (Reply #9)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:29 AM

16. Exactly

The NUMBER of senators won't change.

The key is to elect more Democrats. Work on the races where Dems have a chance to unseat an R.

Could you even imagine how much we could get done with a clear Senate majority? One to override the filibuster, if they decide to keep it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Novara (Reply #16)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:51 AM

23. Of course I can imagine how much we could get done with a clear Senate majority, but

gerrymandering has prevented that in the past and will continue to prevent that in the future. There are states where more people have voted D for senators but because of gerrymandering it goes to the Rs.

In the past, TRMS has had several shows dedicated to how gerrymandering has and is preventing D representation even when Ds receive majority votes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #23)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:26 AM

34. Gerrymandering has nothing to do with the Senate.

Gerrymandering is drawing a district to give one party an advantage by including their voters and excluding the other side's voters.

Votes for Senators are cast by residents of an entire state without regard to Congressional districts. For gerrymandering to impact a Senate race, state lines would have to be redrawn. That's clearly not happening from year to year.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #23)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:28 AM

35. How do you gerrymand a state?

Nobody is changing the state lines.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #23)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:06 PM

43. The whole premise of gerrymandering collapses on the fact that the Senate

isn't gerrymandered, the residents of the state vote for senators, unlike representatives from numerous districts within the state.

Jeez, don't school's teach civics 101 anymore?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:58 AM

10. All of these things require support from people that want to take away rights



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 01:26 AM

11. It would be easier to reset the number of Representatives because that's governed by a law

The Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 became outdated when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union.

My recommendation is to set the number of representatives each state has by dividing its population RIGHT NOW by the population of Wyoming, and figuring out some way to lock that in so there can never be redistricting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmowreader (Reply #11)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:52 AM

24. Good idea -- approach the issue via House of Reps. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #24)

Sun May 8, 2022, 01:17 PM

46. The red states might go for it, too

Consider Idaho. We have three times Wyoming’s population and two representatives. This law would increase our say in Congress by 50 percent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 01:43 AM

12. Not necessarily.

If the US took its cue from England, one could argue that the Senate could be a pure revising chamber, where the House of Representatives can use a "Parliament Act" to push through legislation without Senate approval. Would probably require a constitutional amendment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 02:34 AM

13. this is a bizarre fantasy. it basically imagines a very left-wing supreme court radically

re-reading certain constitutional amendments already on the books as implying that the states have already agreed to something that clearly nobody was thinking about at the time.

while i like the result of a senate that's more representative of the people, the path suggested for getting there is bizarre and would ultimately be highly damaging to our notion of the rule of law and the endurance of the constitution.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #13)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:58 AM

29. You'd have to be more specific in your reasoning for there to be a response. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #29)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:06 PM

44. The paper imagines a Supreme Court completely unlike recent ones

From a political theory as well as a public perception standpoint, it would
be odd for nine unelected justices to strike down a congressional statute
designed to enhance democratic representation, including fair representation
of people of color, based on an interpretation of the original text of a 200-
year-old document written of white men, by white men, and, at least in large
part, for white men (many of them slaveholders)

No, it wouldn't be "odd"; it would be what everyone expects them to do. Especially for the present one, but quite probably for all Supreme Courts throughout history.

The author reckons that the "equal protection of the laws" promised to all citizens by the 14th Amendment overrides the explicit language of the Constitution that 2 Senators will come from each state (and that the states' right to representation can't be overridden even by amendment - "no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate" ).

This is a bit of silliness by an author trying to get noticed. It ignores the reality of the USA, and is of no practical use to anyone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #44)

Sun May 8, 2022, 04:20 PM

47. Thank you. Better explanation than mine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:25 AM

15. It is interesting that California has about 40 million people and only two Senators...

...but North Dakota and South Dakota have about 1 1/2 million people combined but have four Senators. How is that democratic?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kentuck (Reply #15)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:32 AM

17. California-2 Senators

N Dakota- 2 Senators
S Dakota- 2 Senators

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sarisataka (Reply #17)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:47 AM

21. Why not two states of California - North California and South California?

Why do you think they made two states out of the Dakotas?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kentuck (Reply #21)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:55 AM

27. The Dakotas were admitted as two states

From a territory, which is very different from splitting an existing state in half.

Yes, it was done to add Republican votes to the Senate however since it was done over 130 years ago when Republicans were the "progressive" party I don't believe it was part of any long range plan coming to fruition now.

California could be split into two states per the Constitution. It requires approval of Congress and the state Legislature

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kentuck (Reply #21)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:56 AM

28. I'm not in favor of that but even if it was done I don't see the increase equaling

the same level of representatives that Wyoming, Montana, etc., enjoy via their population.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kentuck (Reply #21)


Response to kentuck (Reply #15)

Sun May 8, 2022, 09:53 AM

25. It's obviously not. And the Atlantic article put for a solution, a solution that does not

require a Constitutional amendment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kentuck (Reply #15)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:34 AM

37. ...

The Senate was never intended to proportionally represent the population of each state, it was intended to represent the interests of each state collectively, hence an equal number of Senators per state, regardless of population or geographic size. That is why they were originally elected by State Legislative bodies instead of by direct popular election. The point of a bicameral legislature is to have two deliberative bodies which act differently and provide different functions. By basing the Senate on proportional representation, you remove a primary difference between the two, which would leave little point in having two bodies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Crepuscular (Reply #37)

Sun May 8, 2022, 04:28 PM

48. Just to be clear, slavery had a lot to do with that structure

The slave states feared too much democracy would take away their evil institution.

We learn all about "checks and balance" between the branches of government, but the senate really was a check on the house.

Had congress been more representative from the outset, slavery likely would ended a few decades earlier than it did.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:03 AM

31. If republicans...

 

…decided to jam pack one of their states, would we be ok with them demanding more Senators for that state or is this concept only good for us and California?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberatedUSA (Reply #31)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:20 AM

32. Senators would be added but the voters would be the deciders as to whether they would

be Ds or Rs or even Is.

Not addressing you particularly, but it is very disappointing to recognize how many DUers are posting responses without reading the article and pdf, and one can tell they haven't read the article because their arguments are addressed in the article and pdf.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Reply #32)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:32 AM

36. The article makes the argument

That we can ignore what is clearly spelled out in the Constitution by applying spurious logic.

Much like the shenanigans used to deny blacks their votes in the post Civil War south any Supreme Court, whether conservative or liberal, would throw out legislation to change the Constitutional make up of the Senate. And rightfully so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:25 AM

33. We haven't made a new state since I was a kid in 1959.

It's past time some of our US territories become new states!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:35 AM

38. multiple Dems are against adding more states and/or also adding more SCOTUS justices so none of this

is likely to happen

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Reply #38)

Sun May 8, 2022, 10:59 AM

39. Why?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Emile (Reply #39)

Sun May 8, 2022, 12:33 PM

45. because they're institutionalists for the most part, and we'd have to do a filibuster carveout

or a Constitutional Amendment, the latter according to at least Manchin (of course )

The 4 Dem caucus members who have not supported DC statehood so far

Angus King (ME): Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ):Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Joe Manchin (WV):Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past

Mark Kelly (AZ): Not currently a co-sponsor, hasn’t supported similar legislation in the past


Th last co-sponsor (Shaheen) signed on a year ago, so zero movement



Manchin says he doesn’t support D.C. statehood bill, dealing advocates a major blow

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/manchin-dc-statehood-amendment/2021/04/30/39fab2ae-a9dd-11eb-8d25-7b30e74923ea_story.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread