We’ve already heard some of the Democratic plans to stack the Supreme Court with more justices if and when they return to power. Some have also been bringing up the old argument against allowing the smaller states to have the same number of Senators as the larger ones, but changing that would require a constitutional amendment. But absent that, what else can they do? Amazingly, there’s a growing number of liberals out there who would like to reform the House of Representatives by creating a much larger number of districts. Enter Steve Vladeck, writing for NBC News.
Expanding the House of Representatives would be a vast improvement over the status quo — with the potential to impact all branches of government…
Although it’s not the only way to make our political branches more representative, changing the size of the House of Representatives would make that body far more reflective of the country at large.
Perhaps because it plays no direct role in the judicial confirmation process, these more recent conversations have largely ignored the House of Representatives. That’s a mistake. Although it’s not the only way to make our political branches (and, through them, our judges) more representative, changing the size of the House of Representatives — from its current total of 435 seats to 650 seats, or one for every 500,000 constituents — would make that body far more reflective of the country at large; would dramatically affect presidential elections; and, perhaps alone among all of these proposed reforms, would most be in keeping with the wishes of the Constitution’s drafters.
So Vladeck would decrease the number of people in each district to a half million, bringing the total number of congressional representatives up to roughly 650 from its current level of 435. Others are making the same argument but taking it even further. This guy wants to expand the House to 930 seats.
It’s a cunningly devious plan because they’ve choreographed their arguments nicely, focusing on several totally reasonable sounding debate points. Fewer people in each district means that individuals have “more representation” because their votes aren’t diluted as much, right? There is also an unfortunate level of inequality between the number of people in most districts and a few of the lower population states such as Wyoming. (Everyone always uses Wyoming as an example.)
But the fact remains that everyone has a representative, despite the size of the district, and we all get the chance to vote for them. Vladeck makes the disingenuous claim that it’s impossible for anyone “adequately to represent the interests of three-quarters of a million people.” This is based on the fact that they can’t possibly meet with and speak to all of their constituents each year. But they wouldn’t be able to meet with a half million either. In fact, members of Congress personally meet with very few of the people they represent in person. That’s why they have offices set up for constituent services.
All of these arguments are cloaked under the idea that such a change would make the House of Representatives more “reflective of the country at large.” Allow me to translate that phrase for you. It means the big cities, mostly on the coasts, would carve out a bunch of new districts which would almost entirely elect Democrats, easily handing them the House Majority and Speakership. It would also translate into the Electoral College swelling with members from blue states because each state’s number of electors is determined by adding up their number of representatives and Senators.
Funny, isn’t it, how all of these “fairness” changes would go to exclusively favor liberal causes and the Democratic Party? But here’s one more thing to consider. With 435 members, the lower chamber is already something of a madhouse, with most members rarely if ever having the chance to draft legislation and get it passed unless they have a lot of seniority. The arguments which frequently go well past the spirit of civil debate are getting out of hand as it is. Can you imagine the House of Representatives with a thousand seats? It would be bedlam.