Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A great reminder of the peculiarities of the Senate

Back when we were all counting electoral votes, I got very interested the topic of how the Senate a) skews the electoral college to favor small states; and b) skew business in that chamber to further benefit small states as cleverly laid out in Harper's by Richard Rosenfeld. There is a well timed reminder in today's NYTimes letters section by William Kenney.

Here is an interesting tid bit from the Richard Rosenfeld piece:
A majority of the people in our country are represented by just 18 senators, or 18% of the body . . . while the 52 Senators from the 26 least populous states represent just 18% of the U.S. population.Big surprise, he notes, that “the less populous states have extracted benefits from the nation out of proportion to their populations.”
So, to Joseph Pisano of Strong Island who wrote: "We the people elected George W. Bush president. The Democratic Party lost and now wants to rule and change laws through activist judges and liberal nominees. This is not what the majority of the people want, as reflected in the presidential race."

George W got the most votes, and yes, more than half of the votes cast in 04, (though appointed by activist judges in 2000) but that does not mean we should dismantle decades of jurisprudence in a matter of months to much of the country does not interpret Nov 04 as a mandate, only as close election in a sharply divided country. I though most of us want to live under a constitution that provides the longevity and continuity of the Judicial branch, though checked and balanced out by Legistlative and Executive branches. Furthermore, look no further than
Antonin Scalia if you're looking for an activist judge.

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