October 27, 2009

MAKE MORE CONGRESSES INSTEAD:

As US population increases, Congress must adjust: Today the average House district has a startling 650,000 people. How can one person fairly represent them all? (Jane S. DeLung and Judith A. Himes, October 27, 2009, CS Monitor)

The federal courts were recently asked by plaintiffs from five states (Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Delaware, and Utah) to rule that the size of the House be increased from its current 435 seats to reflect our nation's population growth. The US District Court has agreed to hear the case. The states argue that the disparity in the size of Congressional districts leaves many Americans without equal representation. Although the court may decline to intervene in the internal affairs of a coequal branch of government, the impact of national population growth on fair and effective representation merits a serious discussion.

Would adding members to the House of Representatives result in a more orderly or efficient governing system? In fact, it could have the opposite effect – imagine a House with twice as many members, committees, caucuses, and strong personalities, and you are unlikely to visualize an effective legislative body.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2009 2:22 PM
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