Thursday, October 18, 2018

Possibly of interest

I taught elective political science classes for many years in two Madison, Wisconsin, public high schools. Obviously time was spent on the structure of the US government, the three branches, the bicameral nature of Congress, checks-and-balances, etc. In the context of the Cavanaugh approval by the Senate there have been complaints about the equal representation of states in that body, regardless of the population of the state. Vermont has as many Senators as Texas! It is unlikely that any amendment modifying equal representation could pass the normal requirement of three-quarters of  state legislatures. Changing the equal representation of states in the Senate would be even more difficult: see the final clause below of Article V of the US Constitution.
Article V (Article 5 - Mode of Amendment)
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
For a similar reason there is unlikely to be any significant change in the Electoral College. Quite a few state legislatures or conventions would have to be willing to have less influence on Presidential elections for such an amendment to be ratified.

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