ON THEIR WAY to Washington after last week's special elections
John Garamendi of California's 10th congressional district,
and Bill Owens of New York's 23rd.
When the congressmen-elect are sworn in,
the House will again have its full complement of representatives.
To mark the occasion, here is a short civics quiz:
1. According to the Constitution, how many members serve in the House of Representatives?
2. Why did the Framers believe the size of the House should be kept at a fixed number?
3. As of 2009, which of the following approximates the number of residents in each congressional district: (a) 530,000 (b) 700,000 or (c) 970,000?
Go to the head of the class if you recognized all three as trick questions.
To begin with (answering Question 1), the Constitution does not stipulate the number of House members, other than allowing no more than one representative for every 30,000 residents. Sixty-five men were elected to the first House of Representatives, but it was taken for granted that the membership would increase with the nation's population.
Far from favoring a fixed membership for the House (Question 2), the Framers opposed the idea. They went out of their way to dispel "fears arising from the smallness of the body," as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 55, and took it "for granted . . . that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution." Madison reinforced the point in Federalist No. 56, assuring those who worried that a 65-member House would grow distant and oligarchical that "the foresight of the [Constitutional] Convention has . . . taken care that the progress of population may be accompanied with a proper increase of the representative branch of the government."
Since 1911, the number of House seats has been frozen at 435. The number of Americans, meanwhile, has tripled.
Nearly a century later, the House membership remains frozen at 435, even as the US population has surged to 305 million. There are now more than 700,000 Americans for member of the US House, which is another way of saying that the average congressional district is home to 700,000 constituents.
Yet 700,000 is not the correct answer to Question 3. Since every state is entitled to at least one House seat, and since every state cannot be divided evenly into multiples of 700,000, the number of residents in each congressional district varies sharply. At the extremes, Montana's lone US representative has 967,000 constituents, while the member from Wyoming represents fewer than 533,000. That disparity -- more than 430,000 between the largest congressional district and the smallest -- means that residents of some states have considerably more voting power in Congress than residents of others. And that, insist the plaintiffs in a lawsuit making its way through a federal court in Mississippi, violates the principle of one-person, one-vote.
The lawsuit argues that only by enlarging its membership to at least 932 -- or better yet, 1,761 -- can the House return to districts of equal size. Whether the suit will succeed is an open question. But what a blessing if it did! Quadruple the size of the House, and congressional districts would again be small and compact, ideally suited to the retail politics of an earlier era, and more closely aligned with discrete communities and neighborhoods. Enlarge the House, and it would fill with new blood, new thinking, and new energy. Elections would be more competitive, since it would take fewer votes to win. The House would grow more diverse, more lively, more representative.
Today's incumbents would hate the idea, of course: It would dilute their power and make them more accountable. For a congressional baron, there could be no fate more odious. But James Madison would certainly approve.
by Jeff Jocoby
THE BOSTON GLOBE
Sunday, 08 November 09
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.)**************************************************
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens