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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
 
Chuckie Schumer Fails History, Civics, And Math
by Cordeiro
All in the same speech. Pretty impressive there, Chuckie.

The "Junior" Senator from New York, Chuckie Schumer, took aim at a man I admire yesterday. He took some cheap shots at Senator Orrin Hatch, and in a not so round about way the State of Utah. Having some roots there, I take offense to that, so I'm going to respond to Chuckie's diatribe here. Transcript highlights are available for your perusal at the Blogfather's (Hugh Hewitt) site with more detailed stuff at Radioblogger.

Actually I have roots in Virginia, Iowa, California, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, and the State of Washington. What can I say? I am an Army Brat. But I digress.

Here is an excerpt from Senator Chuckie's diatribe:

The Senate is not a majoritarian body. My good friend from Utah got up and spoke. I think he represents about 2 million people in Utah. I represent 19 million in New York State. We have the same vote. You could have 51 votes for a judge on this floor that represents 21% of the American people. So the bottom line is very simple. This has not always been a 50.1 to 49.9 body. It has been a body that has had to work, by its rules, and by the Founding Fathers' intent, that even when you are in the majority, you have to reach out and meet, not all, not most, but some of the concerns of the minority.
If Chuckie Schumer has read the Constitution, he does not understand it. Perhaps he slept through his High School Civics class, or maybe he took French as an alternative track.

When the Founding Fathers sat in the sweltering Philadelphia summer of 1789, there were many compromises hammered out in order to satisfy the large, less populous states and the smaller more populous states. Principle among these compromises is what came to be known as The Great Compromise.

This Compromise created the House of Representatives, a body whose make up is determined by population. This means that in places like New York State, you can't throw a football without hitting a Member of Congress. In Wyoming you'd spend your life looking for the one lone Representative from the Tumbleweed State.

The other part of the Great Compromise was the Senate. The Senate's makeup is based solely on Statehood. You have a State, you get two Senators whether you need them or not. Rhode Island has two Senators, and the roadside population sign marks their departure each time. The Senate is the great equalizer. Utah has the same number of votes as does New York. The fact there are 2 million people in Utah and 19 million people in New York means absolutely nothing in the Senate. That, Senator Chuckie, was the intent of the Founding Fathers.

Now, about this issue of "Majority". Majorities are very simple things to figure out. It doesn't take an MBA to figure out a Majority, even a slim one. The Constitution defines the types of majorities needed to enact certain types of legislation. Some require 60 votes, others require 67 votes. Most, including confirmation of presidential nominees, require a Simple Majority. For those of you mathematically challenged people like Chuckie, that is 51 votes out of a 100 member Senate. If you want to change that Constitutional Requirement, you might try the novel concept of Amending the Constitution. Short of that, you might try Winning an Election.

As a Senator, Chuckie should be - at the very least - familiar with the foundations of the legislative body he is a part of. Maybe after he figures that out he can enroll in a remedial math class focusing on fractions.

Here endeth the lesson.
2 Comment(s):
The Constitution defines the types of majorities needed to enact certain types of legislation. Some require 60 votes, others require 67 votes. Most, including confirmation of presidential nominees, require a Simple Majority.

All legislation (bills) require a simple Majority, only overriding a veto requires 2/3. I didn't find any other voting rules for the Senate in the constitution. Are you perhaps looking at other documentation?

Also, it was 1788 that the constitution w/o ammendments was fully ratified. Passed with the Bill of Rights in 1791. The first Annapolis convention started in 1786, while the Constitutional Convention started in 1787.
I didn't find any other voting rules for the Senate in the constitution.

I believe you just proved my point.
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