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Fri Mar 17, 2017, 01:22 PM

Constitutional Amendment Proposal : Gerrymandering & Capping Congressional Representation

It's my first time doing this so please forgive if this idea is still rather broad.

WHEREAS, Overall representation and redistricting have become of focal interest to American political parties to reach majority representation on federal and state levels; and

WHEREAS, The major political parties in the United States nationally and in the several States have proven unwilling to compromise on non-partisan solutions when redistricting, and have gone to great lengths to creatively draw districts in a partisan and often discriminatory manner to ensure majority status; and

WHEREAS, diluting districts by grouping large numbers of citizens into a single district and fewer numbers of citizens in other districts, or grouping a class or group of citizens with certain similar characteristics or political leanings into a single district, to deliberately reduce the impact of their votes and representation,

RESOLVED, By two-thirds of the Congress here assembled, that the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress:

ARTICLE 1: CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS
A) Congressional Districts cannot exceed a maximum constituency of 750,000 citizens.
B) To satisfy the above requirement and prevent districts with too few citizens, Congressional Districts may be drawn across State lines with a 2/3 approval vote of Congress and the legislatures of the State(s) affected.
C) Congressional Districts may only be bound using the following criteria:
1) natural geographic boundaries;
2) existing State boundaries;
3) county lines established by a given State;
a) established postal ZIP codes, only if necessary (i.e for cities with large populations)
D) Districts must be drawn by a non-partisan entity appointed by each state's legislature.

ARTICLE 2: STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS
A) State Legislative Districts may only be bound using the following criteria:
1) natural geographic boundaries;
2) county lines established by that State;
3) established postal ZIP codes
B) Districts must be drawn by a non-partisan entity appointed by each state's legislature.

ARTICLE 3: SCOPE OF POWER
A) The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Any formula currently set for by law that conflicts with the standards mentioned above shall be replaced by Congress within ninety (90) days of ratification of this amendment; if not the relevant sections of law enacting such formulas shall be considered null and void.
B) The Federal Courts shall have the exclusive power to resolve any dispute arising between political parties in regard to boundaries referenced above.

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Reply Constitutional Amendment Proposal : Gerrymandering & Capping Congressional Representation (Original post)
Scoopster Mar 2017 OP
FreepFryer Mar 2017 #1
Scoopster Mar 2017 #2
Raine1967 Mar 2017 #3
DaleFromWPB Mar 2017 #4
SickOfTheOnePct Apr 2017 #5

Response to Scoopster (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 01:25 PM

1. Why call for a Constitutional Amendment while a majority of Congress is controlled by the GOP? (n/t)

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Response to FreepFryer (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 01:30 PM

2. Honestly, I just wanted to take a stab at writing it.

It's not exactly calling for it - just wanted to present the idea for criticism and tweaking.

It's an oddball compromise idea. Both parties would be giving up their partisan gerrymanders, on both state & federal levels. it would reset the playing field.

Tho I admit, setting a hard maximum representation cap is not gonna win any GOP votes. It means more representatives, specifically in population centers.

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Response to Scoopster (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 01:38 PM

3. Welcome to DU Scoopster!

<-- This is for Scoop, One of my very dear personal friends!

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Response to Scoopster (Original post)

Fri Mar 17, 2017, 03:24 PM

4. I'd love to see this done ...

The only part I have any problem at all with is a district crossing state lines, but it's not a deal breaker by any means. For example, Mass is densely populated, NH isn't - Mass has strict gun control, NH doesn't --- Someone representing a portion of each is in a tough position.

Now all we have to do is figure out how to get it passed, or even debated, in the current political environment. In 10 years I think things will have shifted and it might be viable.

The question is -- when Dems rule the roost again, will they be eager to upset the status quo?

My hope is that PBO and Eric Holder can get, and keep, the issue in the news and get public opinion on their side.

Excellent idea though, the more ideas the better.

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Response to Scoopster (Original post)

Sat Apr 8, 2017, 01:45 PM

5. Interesting ideas

But no way I could support crossing state lines.

Nor do I believe that the federal government should be setting rules for how the states draw their internal districts.

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