To me it's so patently related to population of the time that imo it is
irrelevant. Intent was clear to be made to balance representation.
There are also the passages that provide for the Congress to have the
ability to make such necessary rules and regulations, etc., that a far
better Constitutional scholar than we would have to work out the
That it should perhaps be repealed to be consonant w/ the letter is, I
suppose, arguable by pedants, but hardly worth the effort or trouble.
(Although, no second thought, if we could get them occupied on such
weighty matters, it might be good overall to minimize the collateral
damage they otherwise inflict... :) ).
In the pragmatic view I tend to adopt also, it's not unconstitutional
until the courts declare it so. Undoubtedly you could make a name for
yourself by managing to make that happen... :)
True. But in those areas where two constitutional provisions
overlap, the courts generally go with the specific as opposed to the
general. Even the ability to make rules, etc., states that they are only
those necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing
powers. One of which really specifically is the 30,000 per rule.
It would get REAL interesting if anyone wanted to push it.
Of course it is worth the trouble if it violates the constitutional
provisions (unless you really want something like 10,000 Congress
critters running around causing all sorts of mischief). The constitution
shouldn't be something that you can pick and choose when there is a set
Can't argue there. Heck I can be found standing over the dead body
of someone, with the knife and three guns in my hand saying I told you I
was gonna off your skinny little behind, and I am still not guilty until
a court says otherwise. (g).
But, by any reasonable interpretation, a body of 10,000 would be so
unworkable as to make it "necessary and proper" to limit the number in
order to effectively be able to execute the powers...
I really doubt it would cause much of a ripple at all as it is simply
too mundane a change. While not a judicial scholar I have a hard time
conceiving that the Court would consider it significant enough of a
question to even docket it. Then again, they've taken on some other
things that seemed pretty mundane at times, too...
Well, it doesn't appear there have been very many that think it worth
the trouble given they've had almost 100 years to have done something
about it and it hasn't happened yet (nor as far as I know has it ever
been _seriously_ raised as an issue...
While in general I'm more for stricter interpretation than opposed, some
things simply are so mundane as to be unworthy of the effort to
"correct". This is one imo. The only rational change is to simply
delete the clause and the effect can be obtained far more easily under
the present rules as has been done...
OJ's really happy over that minor point, too...
But the actual number is still there and the courts tend to put much
more weight on what is there than what should be. You don't have to be a
terribly strict constructionist to acknowledge that the figure is there
in black and white with nothing saying otherwise about how well it is
supposed to work. Heck, wouldn't surprise me in the least that the
Founders put that in to MAKE it unweildy and hard to get things done.
Nah, It is a constitutional number. At the absolute minimum, it
is an interpretation of two parts that seem to be in conflict (the
number vs the "as needed" clause). They'd HAVE to take it if anyone
Me neither. Like I said earlier this is probably like the fact nobody
has actually pressed to get a judgement on the War Powers Act. Everybody
is afraid they might lose and be worse off.
Interesting occassional debate, though doncha think.
And in a couple days we'll probably see how Phil Spector feels about
it, too (g).
You allude to a point I intended to make...
One would have to go back and look at the historical record of how the
number actually got into the final document, but it would not surprise
me at all that it is there not in order to actually determine the
overall size of the body but to ensure against gerrymandering. If,
indeed such were the context, the actual magnitude of the number itself
could be argued to be valid on in a relative sense in even a (somewhat)
strict (as opposed to literal) interpretation.
The War Powers Act, while an interesting question, is irrelevant to this
learn to read;I said nothing of the sort.
I -agreed- that 10,000 Representatives would be unworkable and that it
would be necessary to limit the number,but I did NOT say in any form that
just passing a law would be a proper solution.
The sole proper solution is to amend the Constitution.(not "make a rule")
The "method" used was and is -not allowed- under the Constitution.
But it WAS ignored.
They failed to effect the change in the only legit manner allowed them.
Instrad,they enacted an unconstitutional law and "looked the other
way",IOW;IGNORING the Constitution's ONLY defined procedure for changing
You are just putting out excuses.
You're so much fun, though... :)
My reading is the rules give them the leeway to do what they did. So
far, that hasn't been overturned.
But, since it hasn't been challenged in 100 years -- if you're so
incensed, draft an amendment, get your Congressman to sponsor it, and
see if it has legs...
Meaning enact clearly unconstitutional laws and count on the
risk,difficulty and expense of challenging them.
(against a gov't system with unlimited time,resources,and funds.)
It's SO reassuring that you and so many others find that acceptable.
There's an essentially zero out-of-pocket cost approach way to approach
fixing it that I outlined previously.
I'm left wondering why if it is such a fundamentally egregious problem
someone hasn't raised the issue in the last 90 years or so???
I just explained that above;
"Meaning enact clearly unconstitutional laws and count on the
risk,difficulty and expense of challenging them.
(against a gov't system with unlimited time,resources,and funds.)"
That's the AG's job -- write a letter explaining your concern -- I'm
sure he'll follow it up immediately as it has been such an egregious
oversight all these years...
The other alternative I gave you costs at most a first class stamp...
Are either of those actions that time-consuming or out of your economic
Actually in this case I don't think the AG would have a dog in this
hunt until someone else files. The AG (actually the Solicitor General
which I think is under the AG) defends laws, not tries to get them
So, I doubt contacting Justice would do you anyone much good.
If this was a real concern, I would think that one of the fringe
"mess with the government every chance they get" groups would have filed
by now. I would think it would be their wet dream to get every law since
1917 or so tossed out as illegal.
Not necessarily only defend -- also can file in order to get ruling on
the constitutionality in order to "vet" a law.
Also, yet another alternative route is to ask Representative to ask for
As usual, it is far more self-fulfilling to vent spleen on usenet while
tilting at windmills than to take even the most simple of expedients
that might even begin to actually address the issue (if there were even
a real issue to address which is, of course, the fundamental problem
If you feel so strongly that this is a concern, find a group and
As I noted elsewhere, one would have to look at the context of the
arguments made at the time the document was drafted, but it certainly is
well within my reading that the point wasn't at all to mandate the
absolute size of the body but to prevent jerrymandering and the
avoidance of any one district being underrepresented vis a vis another.
In that light, the sense of the document has been maintained inviolate.
Indeed it is. The wording is:
"The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand,
but each State shall have at Least one Representative;"
I read that as saying that it puts an upper limit on the number of
representatives, not a lower limit. The "shall not exceed" applies to the
number of representatives, not the thirty Thousand. It legal for a
Representative to represent more than 30,000, but not less, with the one noted
This interpretation is supported by the following phrase saying that "but each
State shall have at Least one Representative". This would not be necessary if
the limit was on the maximum number of people that a Representative could
So the current situation is entirely within the letter of the constitution.
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