Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One More Reason Why I Like My US Representative

A couple of weeks ago Rich Galen reported the following:

US Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) represents the eastern half of the "thumb" of Michigan. And she has come up with a great idea: Changing the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution so that only citizens of the United States who can actually vote are counted for the purposes of Congressional apportionment.

The 14th Amendment is generally known as the "equal protection" Amendment as Section 1 states in part, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States … nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

But Rep. Miller's Amendment attaches to Section 2 which reads:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.
The effect of this language is that every ten years the Bureau of the Census counts everyone in residing in the United States - legally or illegally. The Census bureau then dutifully reports on how many "persons" are living here and where they are living.

They then decide, based upon this number how the 435 Members of Congress get split up among the 50 states, apportioning them among the states.

The problem arises because illegal aliens are "persons" for counting and apportionment purposes but, because they are in the US illegally, often find it inconvenient to cast votes in Federal elections.

Ms. Miller's resolution would change Amendment 14, Section 2 to read:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by counting the number of persons in each State who are citizens of the United States.

As of last this writing there are 23 co-sponsors of the resolution - none from California. Why? If apportionment is based upon citizens rather than persons then California would lose six seats. Texas, Florida and New York would lose one each.

Those nine Members of Congress would be re-distributed among the remaining states.

Here's why this is important. According to the CNN website recounting the results of the 2004 elections, there were 331,868 votes cast in the election in Michigan's 10th District (which is the eastern half of the Michigan "thumb").

Democrat Xavier Becerra won re-election in California's 31st District with only 110,411 votes. Why? Because there are so many illegal aliens in that portion of LA County who cannot vote.

What that means is, the citizens in California 31 have, effectively, three times the voting power as the citizens in Michigan 10.

This does not appear to meet the "one person- [neƩ one man] one-vote rule.

Constitutional Amendments - in this mode - need two-thirds votes in each House of Congress plus the approval of 38 state legislatures which is why Amendments are so relatively rare.

This, however, is an idea with such clarity and power that it needs to be taken seriously and acted upon quickly.
Amen. When I checked to see who the co-sponsors are,I was pleasantly surprised to find John Kline's name (The list also includes my former representative, Oklahoma's Ernest Istook). It's been nearly a decade since I volunteered for a candidate in Minnesota. With MSM-darling Coleen Rowley launching her campaign today, it may be time to change that.

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