Gary Horton’s 23 September column “Undemocratic Senate Doesn’t Represent Us” (here) was yet another example of his regurgitation of the Dem/socialist party’s talking points du jour, in this case hysteria about Trump nominating the successor on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to Justice Ginsburg.
He complains about small states like Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky having the same representation – two Senators – as heavily populated states like California. So, let’s examine that.
The size of each state’s House delegation is determined by its population, thereby representing the “popular vote”. That’s why the House is known as “the people’s chamber”. The purpose of the Senate was to represent the interests of each state as a body, and originally Senators were appointed by each state’s legislature. The Constitution was amended so that the electorate of a state determined its Senators, but again, Senators represent the interests of each state as a body, and so each state is treated equally with two Senators. If each state’s Senate delegation varied by population instead of being limited to two… well, since that’s exactly what the House does, there wouldn’t even be a need for the Senate, would there?
Horton predictably goes on to try to contrast the Senate’s refusal to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to SCOTUS to Trump and McConnell’s intent to seat a replacement for Ginsburg in this election year period.
However, McConnell is simply following long-established precedent in both cases. When, in an election year, the Senate is held by one party and the presidency by another, the usual practice is to wait for the outcome of the election, which is exactly what happened with Garland. But if the Senate and presidency are both held by the same party, standard practice is to move forward with confirmation, which is what’s happening now.
I have to wonder if Horton ever had a class in civics while he was in school. Really, this is pretty basic stuff.
©Brian Baker 2020
(Also published today in The Signal )