« PreviousContinue »
note for the record that Mr. Campbell patiently waited. The discussion has been rather lengthy and he had to go to another meeting, so he left his statement. We will include it in the record at this time. (The prepared statement of Mr. Campbell follows at this point:)
STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN NATIONAL CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION My name is Dudley T. Campbell and I am pleased to have the opportunity to testify before this committee as secretary of the American National Cattlemen's Association. Our association represents 39 States, over 100 breed, local and county affiliated associations, and thousands of individual members engaged in the breeding, growing, and feeding of beef cattle.
Our association considers the question of equitable reapportionment as one of the greatest problems confronting the cattle industry as well as all Americans. As evidence of this, the association's leading resolution, adopted at a recent meeting in Portland, deals with this subject as follows:
RESOLUTION NO. 1-REAPPORTIONMENT Whereas the Congress of the United States and most State legislatures were originally and deliberately apportioned one house by population and one house by area; and
Whereas this legislative structure has been the basis of the strength of our republic and the hope of the free world; and
Whereas a recent Supreme Court decision, if permitted to stand, would destroy this American concept of fair representation; and
Whereas the members of the American National Cattlemen's Association believe that this decision was based on considerations other than constitutional laws: Therefore, be it
Resolred by the American National Cattlemen's Association in convention in Portland, Oreg., January 28, 1965, That Congress, State legislatures, and the citizenry of the United States be alerted to the dangers inherent in this decision and be urgently petitioned to adopt a constitutional amendment that will preserve our present legislative structure.
The resolution, it will be noted, expressed the belief that the Supreme Court's decision was "based on consideration other than constitutional law.” This statement is borne out in the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Stewart, joined by Mr. Justice Clark, in these words:
( The decision which makes unconstitutional the legislatures of most of the 30 States) * "finds no support in the words of the Constitution, in any prior derision of this Court, or in the 175-year political history of our Federal Union."
The dissent further states :
"What the Court has done is to convert a particular political philosophy into a constitutional rule, binding upon each of the 50 States * * * (without regard to the different characteristics of each State, their history, geography, distribution of population, and political heritage) *** (the decision) is at odds with long-established principles of constitutional adjudication under the equal protection clause, and it stifles values of local individuality and initiative vital to the character of the Federal Union which it was the genius of our Constitution to create * * * (it) forever freezes one theory of political thought into our Constitution."
While the election of Members to the Congress of the United States is governed by article I of the Constitution, and is not directly involved in the reapportionment decision, to the layman it seems strange indeed that the Supreme Court should deny to the States what the Constitution provides for the Nation. And the Federal plan as well as the various State plans, it may be said, have worked well for the Nation and States.
It is not established, as the Court stated, in view of the makeup of State legislatures generally or the Congress, that the principle of representative govfrument in this country is one of equal representation for equal numbers of people.
The dissent points out that it is not the system under the Constitution; it was not the system when the 14th amendment was adopted; not predominantly pracJapad in the States, and it is not the system under colonial times.
We agree with the contention that our various governments arose from practical experience, not theory. The apportionments of State legislatures have reflected the tradition that the public interest is composed of many diverse interests, and that these can better be expressed by a medley of component voices than by the majority's monolithic command.
Resources and property, as well as people, are the cornerstones of a success ful society. It is proper and necessary that all of these elements have repre sentation in our governments. The two Houses of Congress and of the typical State legislature, which have long functioned on this principle, act as checks and balances in the legislative processes that have been the foundation of the strength of our Nation. Without proper checks and balances in the legislative processes, future development of various resource uses will certainly be stifled. If this happens, new wealth created by development of these resources will not occur thus having a deleterious effect on the total national economy.
There is obviously the danger in numerical equality voting that less populated areas would be neglected, or that, in a conflict between areas of a State, the more populated area would elect an entire legislature and the minority would never be heard.
But a point to be emphasized is that the areas with concentrated population already have the practical opportunity of exerting their political weight at the polls, and this is not available to the same extent to the thinly populated areas.
While the great majority of the stockmen we represent reside in remote and sparsely settled areas, we believe a legislative plan to reflect the particular characteristics and needs of various sections of a State is as necessary in a State with great concentrations of population as in States with fewer metropolitan centers. All legislators who truly would represent their districts and States would not favor a legislative situation in which only one or two numerically large groups were represented.
The fact that States and the Nation have historically accepted special representation from diverse sections strengthens this statement.
We, therefore respectfully urge your congressional body to act to correct the wrong that will stem from the Supreme Court's decision on reapportionment. We are heartily in favor of passage of S.J. Res. 2 which calls for an amendment to that effect to the Constitution,
Senator BAYH. I would also like to include in the record the statement by the distinguished Senator from Alabama, Lister Hill, to have it included in the record as if read.
(At this point, the prepared statement of Senator Lister Hill follows:)
STATEMENT OF SENATOR LISTER HILL Mr. Chairman, I welcome this opportunity to be here to testify in support of S.J. Res. 2 of which I am a cosponsor.
This resolution would submit to the States for ratification within a period of 7 years a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States which would give back to the States the right to apportion one branch of a bicameral State legislature on a basis other than population if the people of that State elected to do so by a referendum vote. The amendment would also allow the people of a State to give reasonable reight to factors other than population in apportioning unicameral legislatures.
The amendment proposed in S.J. Res. 2 is wholly in keeping with our traditions and the need for sound and efficient government. For some 11 rears from the dars this Nation was founded, the States had ererrised this premgative and had considered it their right to do so under the Constitution and the laws of the land.
I was shocked, as were many Constitutional lawyers, when in March of 12° the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Baker r. Corr, 369 US is opened the flood gates to the entire field of legislative apportionment within the States themselves and established the jurialietion of the Federal courts to issue decres, injunctions, and other orders aimed at State legislative bodies and the peoples of the individual States in regard to State reapportionment.
As one who has always believed in the Constitution and in the rights of the States as reserved to them thereunder, I think it is fundamentally wrong for the Supreme Court or any Federal court to tell the legislature of a State how to apportion itself. But the Court did not stop here. It went a step further, a gigantic step further, in the case of Reynolds v. Sims (377 U.S. 533 June 15, 1964), and held that both houses of a bicameral State legislature must be apportioned on the basis of population.
In many State legislatures a bicameral legislature is patterned after that of the national legislature, the Congress of the United States. On the basis of the Supreme Court's theory as enunciated in Reynolds 1. Sims, the upper house of our bicameral national legislature is out of proportion. If it were not for the fact that the Constitution of the United States so established the U.S. Senate by express language therein, I dare say that from this rush in recent years toward government by bare majority rule the U.S. Senate would be in danger of "reapportionment” by the Supreme Court. Recent figures reveal that States can be so aligned to show that 25 percent of our U.S. Senators represent 58 percent of the population and by the same figures that 75 percent of the Senate represents only 42 percent of the population.
While this may be attacked on the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. Sims, history will show that it is exactly that our forefathers intended. In the upper house of the bicameral national legislature, our Founding Fathers were not striving to seek balance based on population. Rather there were to be two votes from each State to speak in behalf of the interests of the people of the State they represented, regardless of its population in proportion to the other States. This principle was debated at length by those who put our blueprint for democracy together and was insisted on in the ratifying conventions in order to bring this Nation into being. Again, history will show that had not this principle been accepted, this principle of two voices from each State in the upper House of a bicameral legislature regardless of population apportionment, this Nation would have never come into being.
The Supreme Court tells us by its 1964 decision in Reynolds v. Sims that we must abandon this principle in our individual State legislatures. With one fell swoop, a principle which was fought for by our forefathers and bequeathed to us as part of our heritage is destroyed in regard to our State legislatures.
Mr. Justice Brennan labored long and hard in his lengthy opinion in the case of Baker v. Carr to justify the new and difficult position of the Supreme Court in entering the political field in the apportionment of the State legislatures. The essence of what Justice Brennan said may be found on page 209 of the opinion of that case: “Of course, the mere fact that the suit seeks protection of a political right does not mean that it presents a political question.” He then distinguishes all of the cases wherein the Court refused to pass on political questions.
Frankly, I know of very few matters that are more political than the apportionment of State legislatures, whose members are elected by the people of a State, who in so doing make their selection on the basis of
political issues and considerations and who in the process employ the basic political processes.
I think that Mr. Justice Harlan's dissent in the Reynolds v. Sims case is worthy of quoting on this point:
The Court's elaboration of its new "constitutional" doctrine indicates hor far--and how unwisely—it has strayed from the appropriate bounds of its authority. * * * It is difficult to imagine a more intolerable and more inappron priate interference by the judiciary with the independent legislatures of the States. I certainly agree with Justice Harlan's remarks. The apportionment decisions of 1962 and 1964 by the Supreme Court are as Justice Harlan put it, "inappropriate interference by the judiciary with the independent legislatures of the States."
If the States wish to change the method or basis on which they elect membership to their respective legislatures it should be left to the will and the vote of the people of the individual States to so decide. Already 14 States have petitioned Congress to convene a constitutional convention to accomplish in an approximate way what Senate Joint Resolution 2 would accomplish without the necessity of a national constitutional convention; that is, that they, the States, would rather retain unto themselves the basic right, subject to the fair standards laid down in Senate Joint Resolution 2, to determine the basis for representation in at least one branch of their legislatures than to be constantly told by the Federal judiciary what they can and cannot do in matters of their own legislative reapportionment. The people should have this right and in this belief I joined in introducing Senate Joint Resolution 2. I ask this committee to report the resolution favorably and I strongly hope that it will become a part of the Constitution of the United States.
Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Chairman, it has just come to my attention that the senator from Los Angeles County was also present in the hearing room and has been present during the testimony of his colleague. Senator Rattigan. I should like to present him, ask him to identify himself, give his name and his address, and make any comment he might like to make on it.
Senator Bayh. There is another member of the California Senate present. They both might want to do this.
The reason the chairman did not ask them to testify is that it was my understanding that we had unanimous expression of the California Senate and there was no need to comment on it.
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS M. REES, STATE SENATOR, LOS
ANGELES COUNTY, CALIF. Senator REES. I am Senator Rees from Los Angeles County. I would only say that I concur in the great majority of Senator Rattigan's statement, with the exception that I did carry the southern California highway bill and I consider it a very fine piece of legislation. STATEMENT OF HON. VIRGIL O'SULLIVAN, STATE SENATOR,
Senator O'SULLIVAN. Mr. Chairman and Senators of the committee, I am State Senator Virgil O'Sullivan from the Eighth District, which
is the west side of the valley of Sacramento River in northern California. I concur with everything that has been said by Senator Rattigan and Senator Rees. We feel that, in California, we do have a good system of government and I concur also in the things that have been said in regard to popular sovereignty. I think that we should keep as close the limitations that have been placed in the Constitution in full forces and effect by the U.S. Supreme Court but, at the same time, I think the extension of this popular sovereignty on this particular issue would be helpful to State government.
Senator Bayh. Thank you very much. We are appreciative of all three of you making the long journey here.
I would suggest that, instead of reconvening at 1:30, we reconvene at 2:15 to permit us to check up on business on the floor and try to get our offices in shape so we can listen to the witnesses who will be with us this afternoon.
We will be in recess until 2:15.
(Whereupon, the subcommittee adjourned for recess, to reconvene at 2:15 p.m. on the same day.)
Senator Bays. The subcommittee will please reconvene. I would like to note that we have a guest with us, Mr. Bryan Palmer, who is presently the Assistant Principal in the Legislative Branch of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Government of Northern Ireland, who is here in Washington participating in the foreign specialist exchange program of the Department of State, and I have asked him to sit here and observe first-hand.
We are glad to have you with us, Mr. Palmer.
Senator Bayh. Our first witness this afternoon, and I wish to again apologize for the lengthy discussions we were involved in this morning—not that they weren't necessary, 'I thought they were fruitful, but I know that it necessitated inconvenience to those who were to testify this afternoon.
Mr. Robert McKay is our first witness, Associate Dean of New York's University's School of Law, who is representing the American Civil Liberties Union.
I notice that Mr. Lawrence Speiser of the Washington Staff Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, is also with him and we will ask him to do as he has, join Mr. McKay at the witness stand, and to proceed to let us have your thoughts if you will, sir. Would you proceed, sir.
STATEMENT OF PROF. ROBERT B. MCKAY, ASSOCIATE DEAN, SCHOOL
OF LAW, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, ON BEHALF OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION; ACCOMPANIED BY LAWRENCE SPEISER, COUNSEL, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION Mr. McKay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As already indicated, I represent the American Civil Liberties Union today and in my prepared statement which I would like to submit for the record I have some comments as to the particular