Thursday, September 27, 2012

On American constitutional stability (I)

Arguably, the US has had the most stable constitution in the Western hemisphere. Stability should be a good thing when it comes to constitutional concepts.

After all, the constitution is the framework around which all our government institutions functions. Justice, governance, openness, use of force, freedom of expression, and enforcement of rules are all the main foundation on which the institutions of our society function. We want stable institutions, don't we?

Yet, there are a few conflicts between stability and the evolutionary needs of a growing society. We can see the conflicts being played out in at least 2 major directions.

The first is centered around the 2nd Amendment which is interpreted as the unstoppable right of all Americans to have weapons. This is the text of the 2nd Amendment: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

The second conflict relates to the fact that we, as Americans, are under-represented in the Congress.

Since 1910 the number of Federal representative has remained constant across the years while the population has grown dramatically. We have had 435 Congressmen for the past 102 years and 100 Senators. For more details on apportionment, please see this US Census link.

As far as the Senate, we have 100 Senators, so the apportionment is not population driven (2 per state).

The US population has evolved as detailed below.

...To Be Continued

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