Change the U.S. Senate? No Way! It Protects States’ Rights

November 29, 2018

Fortunately, Republicans held on to the majority in the U.S. Senate this past midterm election, but some liberals have an idea: change the structure of the Senate to favor more populous States. I think I need to put a “worst ideas ever” trash bin in my office and throw that idea in it! 

After Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, some liberals started complaining about how the Senate is set up. Washington Times published an article with the headline: “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans.” CNN grumbled that the confirmation shined a “harsh spotlight on the Senate’s historic bias in favor of small states.”

NBC’s Ken Dilanian got on board the Senate-bashing train, tweeting “It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change.”

Currently, every State gets two senators, no matter the State’s population. It’s set up so that small States get just as much say in national policy as large States get. Apparently, liberal media thinks that’s an unfair system. They think the Senate should represent what the majority of people want. 

If liberals opened a history book, they’d realize the Senate is meant to instead represent the States as States, as Kyle Sammin explained in his article for the Federalist. Each State is supposed to be equally represented in D.C. 

If equal representation for States wasn’t included in the Constitution, smaller States likely never would have agreed to become the United States of America. It was quite the debate at the 1787 Constitutional Convention: some delegates were concerned that larger States would  overshadow smaller States, so they wanted each State to have one vote in Congress, as James McClellan explains in his book Liberty, Order, and Justice. 

On the other side of the debate were delegates who thought larger and wealthier States should get more votes in Congress. 

So, the Founders came up with the Great Compromise”: States with more people get more votes in the House of Representatives to represent the majority of people, but States get equal votes in the Senate.

That compromise is a check on legislation because it means no law can be passed unless a majority of people AND a majority of States agree with it, as James Madison wrote in Federalist 62.

If the Senate was changed to represent the majority of people, do you know what would happen? The States with the highest population would get to decide how the rest of the country is run, stamping on the rights of States with less people. 

If North Dakota and New York no longer had equal representation in the Senate, for instance, then urban New York would get to dictate the rules for rural North Dakota, even though their way of life can be vastly different. 

However, the Senate protects against that and preserves States’ rights. The States weren’t meant to be consolidated into one single power. As Madison wrote, giving an equal vote to each State recognizes that a portion of political authority still belongs to each individual State. 

Our government structure helps enable States that “differ a good deal from one another or have different backgrounds to join together for common benefits, without some of the States or groups being required to obey unquestioningly whatever the largest State or group orders,” McClellan says.

Just because the Left doesn’t want a Republican majority in the Senate does not mean we should scrap the Senate’s structure! If we want States’ rights to still be a thing, equal representation in the Senate for States must be preserved. 

Do you agree? 

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

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