Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Supreme Court Nominee Ought To Be Filibuster-Proof

52 Senators represent 18% of the population.

The filibuster is fundamental in our Constitutional system.

Each Senator has the same vote, they don't represent the same number of people. Filibusters, and other super-majority tactics, are fair because they prevent a minority representing 18% of the people from rolling a majority representing 82% of the people.

This comes up most obviously in things like giving each State a base-line percentage of Homeland Security money even though New York needs a lot of money and it is unclear whether Nebraska needs the base-line percentage it gets.

But it also makes sense when you are giving a Supreme Court justice a lifetime to change rulings that favor city-folk and maybe not the people who live in sparsely populated areas.

A Supreme Court nominee -- voted to a life-time powerful position --- with the Advise and Consent of the Senate -- ought to be filibuster proof -- notwithstanding the machinations of the Gang of 14.

For the representatives of 18% of the people to decide something as important as the next Supreme Court -- doesn't sound like a democracy to me.

[Some methodology
According to the April 2000 census , the population of the United States (not including Washington D.C.) 280,849,847

Total Population of 24 most heavily populated states (California to Colorado)230,938,671

Total Population of 26 least heavily populated states (Kentucky to Wyoming)

That is 82% to 18%