To preserve and strengthen the union, the framers needed every state to join. The method of awarding seats in Congress — favoring big states in the House but small states in the Senate — reeks of this political problem, or, to put it more generously, it was the solution to this problem.
When it came to appeasing the small states, the drafters had to go one step further to ensure them that they would not be overwhelmed by the big states. The framers agreed to make the guarantee of equal power in the Senate beyond even the reach of the amendment process. To modern eyes, this reassurance to the small states looks pretty undemocratic. Why should the weight of the 42 smaller states be so very, very much greater in the Senate than the weight of the eight biggest?
In a January 21, , article for PBS, reporter Kamala Kelkar described the effort to pass one such piece of legislation in Ohio: Within months of Trump winning the presidential election in , despite failing to capture the majority of votes, lawmakers such as [Ohio State Representative Emilia] Sykes in Ohio as well as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and at least a dozen other states supported bills to transform the process.
If enacted by enough states to influence the majority, they would agree to give all their electoral votes to the most popular presidential candidate, regardless of who wins their state. Ten states and Washington, D. Lawmakers in other states, too, abandoned their fights. While the popularity of abolishing the Electoral College may depend on the temperature of the political moment, eliminating the institution would allow for a more direct exercise of democratic will than the process currently in place.
For Discussion: How much of the material in this reading was new to you, and how much was already familiar? Do you have any questions about what you read? According to the reading, what are some reasons that the Electoral College was created? What might be some arguments for keeping the Electoral College? What are some arguments for eliminating it? Why or why not? One problem with the Electoral College is that most states appoint their electors entirely to one candidate.
Though Trump carried all four in , Democratic senators in each of them are now considered solid favorites for re-election in November. Read More Big states v. Republicans now hold 35 Senate seats and Democrats just 25 across the 30 smallest states.
Democrats in turn hold 24, and Republicans just 16, Senate seats in the 20 largest states. Put another way, about half of the Democratic senators represent the 20 largest states, while over two-thirds of the Republicans represent the 30 smallest states. The contrast between the two Senate coalitions emerges even more clearly when looking at the total population of the states each side represents.
One way of measuring the difference is to assign half of each state's population to each senator. Measured that way, the 51 Republican senators now represent about million people, according to the latest Census Bureau state population estimates.
The 49 Democratic senators represent about million people, nearly 40 million more. That's about 2. Some analysts might argue that comparison overstates the difference, because California alone accounts for almost 40 million people in the Democratic ledger.
But Texas puts 28 million people in the Republican column. Eliminating the largest state on each side still leaves the Democratic senators representing nearly 30 million more people than their Republican counterparts. John McCain doesn't vote, as is likely, the senators opposing the choice would represent over 42 million more people than those supporting it. A citizen in North Dakota with a population of , people has 37 times a greater vote and, therefore voice, than a citizen living in Texas with a population of 25,, Yet, both states elect the same number of senators.
This political inequality if further exaggerated because citizens in smaller populated states gain easier access to their senators; a citizen in Wyoming has a much better chance of accessing their senator than a citizen living in California.
In addition, senators and their staff from smaller populated states have more time to devote to constituent services and senators from smaller states are more likely to be in leadership roles in the Senate. Such leaders are able to send money and pork projects easier to their states than other senators. Similarly, federal expenditures clearly favor citizens in small states.State constitutions offered some guidance. Under FERS, senators contribute 1. Though Trump carried all four in , Democratic senators in each of them are now considered solid favorites for re-election in November. Non-member officers[. Furthermore, three senators Warren Harding , John F. In fact, Texas is the only real Republican stronghold on the list of the Big Eight after California and Texas, they are all blue or purple states.
In June and July, the framers debated the merits of involving Congress in the impeachment process. The Senate modeled its own offices of the secretary, the sergeant at arms, and the doorkeeper after positions established in the Continental Congress. Since the s, vice presidents have presided over few Senate debates. Main article: Seniority in the United States Senate According to the convention of Senate seniority, the senator with the longer tenure in each state is known as the "senior senator"; the other is the "junior senator".
In other states, upper house members fulfilled a five, three, or one-year requirement, while state representatives completed a residency period of one to three years. After each decennial census, the map of U. From his own experience, he believed that naturalized citizens would need sufficient time to learn and appreciate American laws and customs before they could serve in government. Qualifications No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen. The Continental Congress, which had no executive branch, dispatched agents to negotiate treaties.