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Rotten Boroughs Are Back
The next Census is a year away, and then legislative districts will be redrawn to reflect the new population. A crucial C0nstitutional issue is whether resident non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, should be counted in determining representation.
Some interesting data on rotten boroughs from Craig Russell:
1) In the last election, an average of 301,200 presidential votes* were cast per US House District.
2) In California, the US state with the highest number of immigrants, only 255,900 votes were cast per district.
3) The 22 House members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus averaged only 161,500 votes cast in their districtsâ€¦
4) The 413 non-CHC US House districts averaged 308,700 presidential votes cast.
5) Of the 10 highest immigration states (by percent), 8 voted for Obama; of the 10 lowest, 9 voted for McCain.
We are told by Obama & Co. how crucial sampling is because an â€śactual enumerationâ€ť (the Constitutionâ€™s exact words) would unfairly exclude immigrants. Based on this data theyâ€™re already being overrepresented. Is it fair to give a dozen or more House seats (and electoral college votes) to people who arenâ€™t even in this country legally, or who arenâ€™t citizens?
In most states, illegal immigrants are counted in allotting legislative districts, but the highest court to consider the issue said that's wrong:
In the majority opinion of the 1998 7th Circuit federal case "Barnett vs. City of Chicago," Judge Richard J. Posner ruled, "We think that citizen voting-age population is the basis for determining equality of voting power that best comports with the policy of the (Voting Rights) statute. ... The dignity and very concept of citizenship are diluted if non-citizens are allowed to vote either directly or by the conferral of additional voting power on citizens believed to have a community of interest with the non-citizens."
That decision applies only to three Midwestern states, however. The Supreme Court has yet to rule definitively on the issue.
It would seem like if the GOP wanted to bring it up, they'd better do it now.
But, they'd get smeared as racists for mentioning it, so, never mind.