JEQuidam wrote:It would be far more beneficial to demonstrate that these problems [of enlargement implementation and operation] are solvable (as multiple solutions are available) rather than attempting to architect a detailed solution. Therefore, the more solutions that are proposed for consideration, the better.
So very true. That's a healthier way for me to look at it. And will help when drafting Amendment language, since the more flexible details can be handled elsewhere rather than in the Amendment itself.
You are correct that "the more flexible details can be handled elsewhere rather than in the Amendment itself".
My position is still that we need only ratify "Article the first" as it was originally proposed on August 24, 1789 (i.e., the non-defective version). I am concerned about weighting it with so much additional language that it sinks even more deeply into the recesses of history.
However, I realize that increasing the number of Representatives overnight would be a substantial challenge. Compelled by your persistence on this point, I'll suggest some additional concepts that could be incorporated into the amendment.
(of the proposed amendment) should contain the exact language from the original
version of "Article the first".
would provide a timetable for implementation. The timetable could prescribe that the number of federal Representatives be increased by a minimum
of 500 every two election cycles until the representational ratio specified in Section 1 is achieved, with the first augmentation going into effect as of the third election cycle after the date of ratification. For example, if this amendment were ratified in 2016, that would be during the 114th Congress. The number of Representatives would remain at 435 for the 114th, 115th and 116th Congresses. The first reapportionment would be implemented for the elections to be held in November of 2020 (for the 117th Congress). Then, the 117th and 118th congresses would have the same number of Representatives (e.g., 935). The next increase would be implemented prior to the elections in November of 2024, to be reflected in the 119th and 120th Congresses, and so forth. This restoration process could be deemed complete once the number of Representatives is within 500 of the required representational ratio (as per Section I) relative to the population estimate at that time. Thereafter, the only subsequent reapportionments would occur after each decennial population census (i.e., we return to the method prescribed by the Constitution).
could authorize the interdecennial reapportionments to be derived from population estimates to be provided by the US Census Bureau (USCB). That is, it will not
be necessary to conduct any additional population censuses beyond that already required by the Constitution. Instead, the USCB will be authorized to use available data along with established statistical methods to derive defensible population estimates for the states.
would explicitly authorize Congress to implement representational enlargement in whatever manner it deems most effective, subject only to meeting the prescribed ratio and timetable. This would ensure that Congress is empowered to implement a different collaborative structure as appropriate, such as enabling Representatives to vote and work from their home districts over a secured Congress-net that has been designed for that purpose.
could freeze the House of Representatives' aggregate staffing budget (though adjusted for inflation) for a specified duration. This duration could terminate four years after the Congress is deemed to be in compliance as per Section 2 (above). The point of this is to wean the Representatives off of their personal staffs. For the salary they are being paid, the Representatives can reply to e-mails and answer their own phones, especially if they have only 50,000 constituents (instead of 700,000+). Once the legislative body is large enough to be truly representative, they will no longer feel entitled to be re-elected so will not be inclined to indulge the luxury of personal staffs at the taxpayer's expense.
could specify that the basis for apportioning representation to the states should be the total number of citizens
residing in each state (rather than the total number of inhabitants). It could also require the inclusion of U.S. citizens who are living abroad (e.g., military and government personnel, missionaries, etc.). Granted, this last section is not necessitated by representational enlargement, but this would be a good opportunity to bring closure to these related issues.
Additional language may be required to confirm that the size of the Electoral College (for a presidential election), will be determined by the number of Representatives authorized for the concurrent election (plus the number of Senators and 3 for DC).
OK. That's it. I really didn't know I was going to write all that. I thought my response would only be the first two or three sentences above, but then one thing led to the next. Evidently my muse has no regard for the chores I had planned for today. But I'm glad that has been written as it provides a framework which can be further developed as time permits.