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Lyman Stone @lymanstoneky
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Madison was wrong on this. The Anti-Federalists argued that a limitation on the size of the legislature would lead to only men of celebrity or wealth being elected; that is, people who were *not* representative of the people. They were correct. That's what happened.
Furthermore, Madison presumed that the House would be a body where discussion happened. That was a wrong presumption and flies in the face of the whole logic of *having a lower house*.
Finally, the same logic which supposes that 1 person can represent 600,000 with the efficiency that 1 person in Madison's day represented 60,000 (improvements in communication tech) ALSO imply a group of 6,000 can communicate as effectively as 60 in Madison's day.
Personally, I think that (1) any group larger than Dunbar's Number will have the exact same social characteristics and efficiency, so the House is already "too big" if you want personalist functioning, (2) 1 representative CANNOT represent 600,000 people. In any world.
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ONE PERSON TO EFFECTIVELY REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF A DISTRICT AS LARGE AS A HOUSE DISTRICT TODAY.

It.
Isn't.
Possible.
Your Representative will not listen to you. You do not matter. Their district is as large as an entire independent polity was in Madison's day, and actually a U.S. district is much more complicated and has more diverse interests than a sovereign state did in Madison's day.
AS SUCH, we should shrink districts by a large amount, or, AT MINIMUM, prevent them from getting any bigger.
Also, keep in mind, MADISON HIMSELF SUPPORTED CREATING A RULE MANDATING THE EXPANSION OF THE HOUSE!!!

It was the original 1st amendment!

And it was ratified!

And it is being illegally ignored by the treachery of the Archivist of the United States!
Some rebuttals I'm hearing:

"Won't this empower partisanship?"
Is partisanship not already in power? This is like asking, while the titanic is already tipped halfway up, "Should we really throw this wooden chair overboard? It's bouyant and this boat needs bouyancy!"
"Won't this diminish the individuality of represenattives?"
No. More reps will represent niche interests, and so it will actually *reduce* the homogeneity of representatives. Parties will still exist, but 3rd parties and independents will capture a larger share of seats.
"Won't this lead to special interests capturing the local reps of their company towns?"
Yes. But (1) this already happens and (2) this isn't a threat to the Republic if there are 6,000 representatives.
"Won't this lead to the House being fracturous and divided and unable to assert its power as a body against the Senate or other branches of govt?"
Have you seen the House lately? It's already unable to assert itself! Rejuvenating it with ACTUAL REPRESENTATION won't hurt it.
And indeed, it's actually the case that letting in hundreds of citizen-legislators for 2 years at a time will lead to a far more assertive, demanding, and dynamic House.
"Won't this be expensive?"
The budget for the legislature is a miniscule share of total US government spending. It's a pittance to pay for actual representation.
"Won't it be impossible for them to vote and assemble?"

The U.S. capital has sufficient space for large meetings. Bigger spaces can be constructed. But ultimately, yeah, we'll have to make the House move to teleconferencing and electronic voting.
WHICH WILL BE GOOD BECAUSE THEN HOUSE MEMBERS CAN LEGISLATE FROM THEIR HOME DISTRICTS.

WHICH MEANS COMMON PEOPLE CAN BE LEGISLATORS AND NOT HAVE TO MOVE TO WASHINGTON.

WHICH IS A GOOD THING, STUPID!
"But this just seems crazy!!"

George Washington singled out the Congressional Apportionment Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which required regular House expansions, as the most important amendment of them all.

I stand with George Washington.
#PacktheHouse
More people are asking me about my assertion that the Congressional Apportionment Amendment WAS ACTUALLY RATIFIED AND IS BEING IGNORED.

I am 50% trolling with that and 50% serious.

So here's the story.
First of all, a history lesson.

The Bill of Rights had 12 amendments. You know 10 of them: Freedom of speech, due process, rights not enumerated, cruel and unusual punishment, quartering, etc. Very familiar stuff.

But do you know the 1st Amendment?
I don't mean the free expression one. That's the ORIGINAL SECOND amendment. The FIRST amendment in the Bill of Rights set out a rule for how many members of Congress there should be.

The grammar on it is weird and the founders used some math terms improperly...
But from the debates about the Bill of Rights we know very clearly what the Congressional Apportionment Amendment was understood at the time to mean:

There shall be 1 member of the house of Representatives for every 60,000 residents of a state, FOREVER.
This proposal needed to be ratified by the states. Now this is where it gets complicated:

While the Bill of Rights was being voted on, new states were joining the Constitution! Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky all joined while ratification was being debated and voted on.
So I've made a chart here that follows the issue. The orange line is the official ratification count. The blue line is the required number. The gray line is what maybe-kinda-sorta-actually-happened.
The debate is about Connecticut.

See, CT's lower house approved all 12 amendments in October 1789. But the upper house dithered. The reason they did so was because Congress had sent them a copy of the amendments to vote on which had a typo: screwed up the cruel and unusual bit.
CT asked for a new copy, took a long time to get one, then they rejected the amendments, then accepted some... then un-accepted some.... basically Connecticut's paper trail on this is abysmally bad. To make matters worse, they didn't even mail all their paperwork back to Congress
None of this is disputed history. What's disputed is this:

*Allegedly*, Connecticut *actually did ratify* the Congressional Apportionment Amendment in May of 1790. But they didn't mail the forms back to Washington.
Evidence of this has been presented to the Archivist, and has not been *publicly* disputed or denied. A lawsuit was filed with SCOTUS on the issue, but SCOTUS refused to take the case.

The guy who pushes this theory is sort of a crackpot.

OTOH.... like for real if he's right...
Now, do I *actually* believe the CAA was ratified-but-not-mailed? Do I *really* think the Archivist of the United States is systematically refusing to recognize a simple piece of history for political reasons?

Well. I 40% believe it. I don't totally-not-believe it.
But I 60% don't believe it because bonkers crazy stuff usually isn't true.
But here's some things I know.

One of the other 12 original amendments failed to get ratified too: the limitation on congressional pay increases.

After TWO HUNDRED YEARS sitting unratified it was picked up and ratified by the states in the 1990s after ONE LAWYER started pushing
The Congressional Apportionment Amendment IS STILL AVAILABLE TO BE RATIFIED. The 11(12?) ratifications on record REMAIN VALID TODAY. It would only take 26 adventurous state legislatures to #Packthehouse.
Here's another thing I know:

Although the Original 1st Amendment didn't get officially ratified it DID get UNOFFICIALLY ratified. As long as the founding generation survived, they NEVER let the people/rep ratio get over 60,000, and expanded the House frequently to keep that rule
But by the 1840s, a cabal of slave-holding states, in league with a generation of Americans who had forgotten the unwritten agreement of the founders that DISTRICTS MUST BE SMALL TO BE REPRESENTATIVE, actually SHRANK the size of the House, despite rising population!!!
And then in the 1910s, Congress made the ridiculous and fairly inexplicable choice to freeze the size of the House at the arbitrary number of 435.

Like at least get to a nice round 500 or something.
I'm not going to claim that expanding the House will Fix All the Problems Of The Republic.

But you know what? George Washington wanted it. 11(12?) states ratified it in the first 3 years of the Republic. The Founders followed it like it was law even if it wasn't.
And at the end of the day, it's absurd that you have to be a professional politician to represent your neighbors and countrymen.

So ya know what? After the 2020 Census, we really, truly, in all sincerity, need to #PackTheHouse
I actually don't know what the full political effects of 6,000 legislators would be.

But I know that the current U.S. House of Representatives is not in any sense representative, not in the way its designers intended, and not in the way people today expect.
The Senate at least has the dignity of being intentionally and willfully non-representative of people: it makes no presumption to speaking for the people. It may be bad, but it's an honest kind of bad.

The House is, however, is a shriveled up husk of what it was meant to be.
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