Page images

legislature-something that would have raised the hair on the necks of people that had been bowed before strong central government for generations. They whe had just fought a war over the issue of a strong, despotic Central Government that imposed itself on the people against their will.

"By declaring on June 15 that what we have is not representative government the majority six, in effect, charged that our American Government has been a farce since the Revolutionary War. They are indulging in pure theory. The COEstitution guarantees each State a republican form of government, but the ma jority six did not use this part of the Constitution to attack the government of the States. What they said is that the States do not conform to their own ideas of representative government.

"The majority six quote Jefferson as saying that proportional representation is a fundamental principle of a true republic.

“They also could have quoted a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl War. ren, now one of the majority six, but who while Governor of California in 1945 said: “The agricultural counties of California are far more important in the life of our State than the relationship their population bears to the entire populatios of the State. It is for this reason that I never have been in faror of restricting their representation in our State senate to a strictly population basis. It is the same reason that the Founding Fathers of our country gave balanced repre sentation to the States of the Union, equal representation in one House and proportionate representation based upon population in the other.

"Moves have been made to upset the balanced representation in our State, eres though it served us well and is strictly in accord with American tradition and the pattern of our National Government.

" "Our State has made almost unbelievable progress under our present system ut legislative representation. I believe we should keep it.'

"This agreed with Madison who wrote in The Federalist (No. 62): 'In a conpound republic, partaking both of the national and Federal character, the government ought to be founded on a mixture of the principles of proportional and equal representation.'

“But as we pointed out earlier, our Government arose from practical experiene. not theory, and it is not the exact form that Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, or other individuals wanted. And let's hope that in this day, we don't make it a government of what six men want.

"By their June 15 decision, these six men are saying that hundreds of court justices-equally omniscient as they-have been wrong down through the years for maintaining that State legislatures were a political matter for the States and the States' people to determine.

"In saying that States are not sound in copying the Federal Senate's geen graphical apportionment, the majority six are overlooking the fact that it was the Federal Constitution which copied State systems, and that State and colonial senators have been apportioned partly along geographical and political lines sin ? 1700. In no case that I can find was an upper house in colonial and Revolutionary times elected by proportional representation of districts equal in population.

"In saying that basic representation is based on equal numbers, and equal numbers alone, the six are overlooking that each State is 'unique in terms of topoeraphy, geography, demography, history, heterogeneity or concentration of popslation, variety of social and economic interests, and in the operation and interrelation of its political institutions,' as pointed out by Justice Stewart.

"The Indianapolis Star commented: “The Court deals with people as a sack of marbles. They are to be rolled out on the table top and divided into equal piles.'

“The real essence of federalism is reserving certain defined powers to each component part. But democracy, in the sense of the majority six, is 'winner take all' with minorities having no rights that the majority can't override, suggests Felix Morley.

"What people really want is good and balanced representation. And good rep resentation where one State senator looks outside his downtown city office and sees the rooftons of all his constituents in a compact area of homogeneons interputs is quite different from good representation of constituents by a State senator who comes from a large rural area of farmers and many small towns with their many interests, backgrounds, economic problems, and diversity.

"Good representation in government for a citizen does not stem from equal numbers-it does not even start there. It is born of the relationship between citizens and their representatives; the availability of the representative: the


feeling of rapport between citizens and their elected representative; the flow of information, ideas, and response between citizens and their representative; and the effectiveness of the representative in understanding the interests of his people and relating it to the national welfare.

"The great responsibility of American representative government is for the representative of districts to really represent-represent not just numbers, and equal at that, but represent the views and needs of the people in the crucible of the State legislature.

"Rural people, and those in small towns, are by distance, availability, and diverse interests harder to represent effectively than more homogeneous concentrations of population in concentrated areas.

"Counties perform many important functions for unincorporated areas-things such as zoning, park and recreation services, street and road construction, sanitation, schools, public welfare, police and fire protection, licensing-all of which justify (ounty representation in the councils of State governments.

"The majority six have violated the principle of the separation of powers. They have taken over the amending process reserved for the people themselves. The selection of one house on the basis of area has developed as a part of our American governmental system since colonial days; it has become intertwined in the warp and woof of our governmental fabric; and now six men seek to rent it apart, willfully and unilaterally, without consulting the Congress, without public debate, and without consulting the people of the Nation.

“ 'It amounts to judiciary rewriting * * * shocking judicial arrogance,' says Columnist William S. White.

"The Court did not say to States who were admittedly delinquent in apportioning their State legislatures : 'Live up to your State constitution and apportion as the people wish. Instead, the six said : Live up to our ideas of what we think your constitution and apportionment should be.' The six have roped off State reapportionment as an area for their judgment, and their judgment alone. The lower courts, they say, are going to be their agents as the sole authority for what is ‘proper apportionment and representation. Not the people; not the States; but the courts.

"And the haste with which the courts have proceeded to carry out the June 15 decision suggests that they want to get it done before people wake up to the seriousness of what has been proposed. Instead of being a brake on hasty governmental action, the Court is a party to it—and the perpetrator. They have invaded the political arena to settle a question of politics with judicial powerthrough a plan hastily conceived and hastily executed, without the benefit of thorough public discussion.

“People never intended for appointed officials to determine political questions. They intended that these questions should be determined by themselves or by those who are both responsive to the voters and responsible to them.

"If the Court can apportion a State against the will of the people, then it can dictate how your country, your township, and your local school board will be run. 'If nothing is done, this is only the beginning of Federal interference,' says Representative William M. McCulloch, of Ohio. "The composition of every political xubdivision in the Nation may be subject to the dictates of the Supreme Court

* the circuit court of Kent County, Mich., pursuant to the Supreme Court decision, ruled (in September) that the county board of supervisors was elected under an unconstitutional apportionment. Every city council, city ward, irrigation, food control and sanitation district, and board of supervisors, among others, may have their membership apportioned by the mandate of the Supreme Court.'

**The decision of the majority six is illogical. How can a voter in a state with unequal population districts be 'debased' statewise and not be debased federally where 408,000 people elect two U.S. Senators in Nevada and 18 million people 45 times as many--elect two U.S. Senators in the State of New York? Is the city of New York debased in the U.S. Senate when that city has no Senators it can call its own, but has more population than 43 States that do have two Senators fach? And is the majority six saying that the Federal Senate is a farce; not representative Government? 'They imply that it is somehow un-American and undesirable,' writes Felix Morley.

The U.S. Senate is made up in such a way that 26 States having only 16 perpent of the Nation's population exercise a majority in the Senate. Yet we haven't heard that the other 84 percent of the people are so deprived and debased that they want to throw out the Federal Senate and tear up the National Constitution. Or Is this next for the majority six?

"The two Iowa Senators do not represent trees or acres or pastures. Indeed not. They represent the great State of Iowa. They represent a State with a unique contribution to the Nation. A glorious State with its own economic, historical, and social history, strength, needs, problems, aspirations, honor, ani people. It is a complex that the six men in Washington, D.C., have ceased to understand. I for one would not abide the charge that Iowa's two Senators represent trees and acres. And if I were one of Iowa's two Senators, I would be working day and night—as I trust they are to see that the people had a opportunity to set the six men straight about that.

“In summary we can say that the decision of the majority six :
"1. Has no historical basis.
“2. Has no basis in the Constitution, as constructed.
"3. Is illogical.
“4. Is a violation of the amending powers of the Constitution.
“5. Is an invasion of States rights.
“6. Is an overextension of historic, expressed powers of the Court.

"7. Thwarts the checks and balances and caution built into our Gorentment.

"8. Is an impulsive creation of our overanxious Court.
"9. Denies fundamental protection to the minority.
"10. Propels an appointive Court into political matters.
“11. Is government theory of six men, untested in the public processes.
“12. Creates a central governmental monster.

“13. Ignores the full content of the 14th amendment on which the decision is based.

"For some unexplained reason, the majority of six, in groping for something on which to base a case last June 15, clutched the straw that is in the first section of the 14th amendment. This Reconstruction amendment was an outgrowth of the Civil War, and all reconstructed States were required to ratify it to gain admittance back into the Union. The first section says: “All persons born or natural ized in the United States * * * are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” And no State shall "deny to any person within its juris diction the equal protection of the laws." The reason for this, in view of the times, is obvious. It meant simply that whatever the law-it would apply to everyone, regardless of color.

“But there is a second, and longer section, to the 14th amendment. It recos nizes that States have exclusive power over who can vote and in what mannerso the second section provides that if the vote of any male citizen over 21 is denied or abridged in any way—in National or State elections——then the State population for purposes of governmental representation will be reduced by the proportion that the denied voters bear to the whole number of male citizens 21 or over in the State.

"Justice Harlan, in his dissent, gives a clear history of the congressional de bate that preceded offering the 14th amendment for State ratification. He shows that the Congressmen who constructed the 14th amendment at no time believed that it would render inoperative the several State constitutions of either loyal or reconstructed States.

"Congressman Bingham, the author of the first section, said on the floor of Congress at the time that "the exercise of the elective franchise, though it be one of the privileges of a citizen of the Republic, is exclusively under the contri of the States.”. Other speakers stated this repeatedly. This point was well understood in the Congress.

"Furthermore, 15 of the 23 loyal States that ratified the amendment before 1870 had constitutions which provide for apportioning one of their houses o other than population considerations. "Can it be seriously contended that the legislatures of these States, almost two-thirds of those concerned, would have ratified an amendment which might render their own States' constitutions anconstitutional?" asks Justice Harlan. And the constitutions of 6 of the 10 recor structed Southern States provided for State legislature apportionment on ba** other than population. Would these legislatures intentionally put themselves and their constitutions out of business without mentioning it?

"For some reason, the majority six are silent about this part of the 14t! amendment.

“ 'I am unable to understand the Court's utter disregard of the second sectiou which expressly recognizes the States' power to deny "or in any way" abridge the right of their inhabitants to vote for the members of the (State) legisature,' sars Justice Harlan. This section, he says, 'precludes the suggestion that the first section was intended to have the result reached by the Court today.'


"Not everyone takes this view of the decision.

“Organized labor was quick to sense the crippling blow to rural areas of the June 15 decision. The committee of political education of the AFL-CIO, in its COPE publication of June 29, said with obvious enthusiasm : 'Curtains for ruraldominated horse-and-buggy State governments unresponsive to the needs of an increasingly urban nation.'

*COPE told its labor-union readers that the effect of the June 15 decision would be a 'surge of responsible, progressive action within the States aimed at advancing the social and economic welfare of their citizens.'

**COPE applauded: "The Court pitched a third strike against lopsided repre. sentation which has given the rural voter a powerful advantage over his city and suburban counterpart. And, as in baseball, three strikes means you're out.'

**Senator George Aiken, of Vermont, says, "Once both houses of the State legislatures are apportioned in accordance with the rule, control of fully half the States will pass to an urban majority, leaving the rural areas of a State as a minority or possibly without representation at all.'

"What does this hold for rural areas? Probably it would mean less road aid; it could mean higher school taxes and less local school aid ; it could mean greater consolidation of schools; it could seriously impair vocational agriculture and home economics programs; sales taxes might be imposed on farm production items; it could lead to an oppressive value added tax; water rights would change, with industrial areas of concentrated population taking over control of water; hunting and fishing laws probably would be altered; public domain land in rural areas for open spaces and recreation probably would be greatly expanded; it could well mean that control of county governments would pass to cities; it could launch a move to do away with township governments and consolidate them into counties; it could easily lead to consolidating county functions and redrawing county lines; it would certainly mean reapportioning Congressional districts to the disadvantage of rural areas after the 1970 census; it would automatically mean a change in the control of local and State political parties, and this would certainly lead to a change in the kind of political candidates and political programs from local government on up the line.

"It is with good reason that this is called the most sweeping overnight change in Government contemplated since the Civil War.

** 'If this Supreme Court decision is permitted to stand, the State of Kansas will be completely dominated from this day forward by urban areas. Rural areas will be virtually powerless,' says Congressman Bob Dole, of Kansas.

"It would mean that 'the State of Illinois will be completely ruled from this day forward by Chicago,' says Congressman Paul Findley, of Illinois. 'Downstate will be powerless to keep a legislature dominated by Chicago machine politics from funneling the lion's share of State revenue into Chicago projects and programs.'

“The Wapakoneta (Ohio) Daily News commented: 'Bigness is not a virtue, nor is smallness a fault. Centralization of authority, whether in Federal or State governments, can lead to despotism.'

“We are now confronted with political minions surging forth from the controlling city machine to levy, collect and bring back the revenues to be used to perpetuate and further the granduer and power of that machine,' says Senator Everett Dirksen, of Illinois.

"We might ask: If it is bad that a large geographic area with less than a majority of the State's population can control the State through one house of the State legislature, then is it automatically good that a small geographic area with a majority of the State's population can control the entire State? Which is better for the State of Illinois and the people in it? Weighing the prospect of the two possibilities should leave little question in the minds of thinking people as to which is more desirable. I know, because I lived in Illinois for many years.

"Could the majority six really believe that the city of Chicago should rule all of the State of Illinois? Or that three or four counties should rule all of California, a diverse State 900 miles long?

“While trees and acres and pastures and districts don't vote, it is a matter of practical politics that political machines do voteor deliver the vote and that these machines are most often found in cities where the history, economic interests, communications, citizens, and numbers are such that political machines can and do deliver large blocs of votes. I know; I work in such a city. The doctrine of the political equality of equal numbers when viewed in this setting does not paint a glowing picture of equal voters in equal numbers between districts meet ing on equal ground to cast their equal-numbered votes.

" "To be specific,' says Senator Aiken, 'we are engaged in a struggle between the powerful machines of the great cities and the people of the United States. Make no mistake about it,' he says, 'this is a battle for the political control of the Nation and with the control goes the power to tax, the power to spend, and the power to enact programs that will affect the lives and welfare of every living person for generations to come.'

"To better see what this might mean to rural areas, I requested three State Farm Bureau organizations to make studies of the voting of their big-city Cougressman-in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia—to add to a study that Nex York had already made of the vote in New York City.

"The results may both surprse you and astound you: "In the State

of New York, the Farm Bureau compiled the voting record of their Representatives in the National Congress on 10 representative issues, farm and nonfarm (feed grain program, foreign aid, tax cut, area redevelopment. Mexican farm labor, Cooley cotton bill, credit to Communist countries, food stamp, wheat-cotton bill, and antipoverty bill). There are 19 Congressman from the city of New York; and voting on 10 issues gave them a possible 1 votes on these 10 issues. They actually voted 188 times. These New York City Congressmen voted for the Farm Bureau position 15 times—8 percent of the time and voted against the Farm Bureau position 173 times-92 percent of the time.

“Yet these same Congressmen in the 88th Congress voted for COPE's labor position 96 percent of the time and 98 percent of the time for the position of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), an ultraliberal group.

"The other 22 Congressmen from the State of New York-outside the city of New York-voted with the Farm Bureau position 72 percent of the time (157 votes) and opposed the Farm Bureau 28 percent of the time (61 votes).

"In the State of Illinois on the same 10 issues, 9 Congressmen from Chicag voted 84 times—and 83 of those 84 votes opposed the Farm Bureau. Only out vote agreed with the Farm Bureau position. Yet in the 88th Congress they voted 97 percent of the time for the ADA position; and 98 percent of the time for COPE's position.

"Congressmen in the rest of the State of Illinois outside of Chicago-favored the Farm Bureau position 80 percent of the time.

“In Pennsylvania, on the same 10 issues, 5 Philadelphia Congressmen voted 46 times, and cast every single vote against the Farm Bureau position. Yet in the 88th Congress they voted 98 percent in favor of COPE's labor position; and 97 percent of the time for the position of the ADA.

"In the State of Michigan the Farm Bureau compiled the votes on eight repre sentative issues. There, 7 Representatives whose districts are primarily in the city of Detroit voted 48 times on these 8 issues, and cast 47 of the 4* votes against the Farm Bureau position. Yet in the 88th Congress they voted 93 percent of the time for the position of the ADA and 99 percent of the time for COPE's labor position.

"The other Congressmen in Michigan-outside of Detroit-cast 88 percent of their votes in favor of the Farm Bureau position.

“A summary of the vote in the 4 States shows that in 366 votes cast by Congressmen from the 4 big cities, these city Congressmen voted with the Farm Bureau position just 17 times (15 of those from New York City) and against the Farm Bureau 349 times-5 percent for and 95 percent against.

*The conclusion is rather obvious. These big-city political machines are not only almost unanimously opposed to the Farm Bureau position, they are als out of step with the Representatives from the rest of their own States. What this means to all people in light of the June 15 majority six decisions is rather plain.

“Can the people do something about this? You bet they can. And I count you on the side of those who want to see it done.

"There are these things that you can do:

"1. First, see that everyone recognizes that this June 15 decision is a fundsmental question of constitution and government.

"It is a question of whether the power in our Government will really flow from the people, as it has since the Revolutionary War, or whether this will suddenly be changed.

« PreviousContinue »