Minority Rule

Last night sentators representing substantially less than half the country confirmed a Supreme Court justice appointed by a guy who lost the popular vote. Again.

So now 5 of 9 minority justices control the Court, which joins the Senate and Presidency as minority controlled.

I don’t think that’s out of spec for the Senate. We know that one of the founding ideals of the country was the protection of the minority from out-of-control majority rule (also the protection of the elite from the masses, but that’s a topic for another day). Both problems were solved by the Senate’s design.

But things have to change, our government hasn’t kept pace with the changing country.

Today the talk is about ‘court-packing’ and I’m sure that’s going to happen given the current climate and undemocratic methods used lately to appoint Justices.

Without a constitutional amendment we’ll end up with a court-sizing arms race. There’s no alternative anymore, but a change of that magnitude is going to bring some hard times for the republic.

As I see it the main problem, and one that doesn’t fit into 140 characters (and therefore our political discourse), is the House. So rather than respond to every person online that suggests short term solutions to the problem I’m just going to rant about it here.

We know the framers didn’t mean for a static House. Article the First would have been adopted and fixed this but for administrative snafus. We could have had a whole different set of problems with 6,000 representatives (or more likely an amendment to fix the size somewhere between where we are and where we would have been). Instead we’re left with a popular body that doesn’t represent the population. Madison would say (again) that’s by design, but he also said:

Whilst all authority in [the government] will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.

Federalist 52

Our country is more than a collection of fifty states. It’s a partnership of 330 million people, not all of whom are represented equally.

Fix that, and you fix the even-more-out-of-whack elector system. We should fix our republic by making it more democratic.