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Reapportionment and Gerrymandering American Citizenship.

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Presentation on theme: "Reapportionment and Gerrymandering American Citizenship."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reapportionment and Gerrymandering American Citizenship

2 Historical Overview  Constitution – Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons

3 The Reapportionment Act of 1929 (ch. 28, 46 Stat. 21, 2 U.S.C. § 2a, enacted June 18, 1929) was a combined census and reapportionment bill passed by the United States Congress that established a permanent method for apportioning a constant 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives according to each census. The bill neither repealed nor restated the requirements of the previous apportionment acts that districts be contiguous, compact, and equally populated.Stat.2 U.S.C.§ 2acensusUnited States CongressU.S. House of Representatives It was not clear whether these requirements were still in effect until in 1932 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Wood v. Broom [1] that the provisions of each apportionment act affected only the apportionment for which they were written. Thus the size and population requirements, last stated in the Apportionment Act of 1911, expired immediately with the enactment of the subsequent Apportionment Act.Supreme Court of the United StatesWood v. Broom [1] Apportionment Act of 1911 The Act of 1929 gave little direction concerning congressional redistricting. It merely established a system in which House seats would be reallocated to states which have shifts in population. The lack of recommendations concerning districts had several significant effects. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 allowed states to draw districts of varying size and shape. It also allowed states to abandon districts altogether and elect at least some representatives at large, which several states chose to do, including New York, Illinois, Washington, Hawaii, and New Mexico. For example, in the 88th Congress (in the early 1960s) 22 of the 435 representatives were elected at-large.New YorkIllinoisWashingtonHawaiiNew Mexico88th Congress  Representation in the House of Representatives is based on a state’s population…the more people that live in a state, the more representatives that state will have. BUT DOESN’T POPULATION CHANGE? Yes. So…  Every ten years the US Census Bureau records the population of the United States.

4  Set the size of the House at 435 members  Made census bureau responsible for determining the # of seats each states would have… Reapportionment Act of 1929

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6 Apportionment: Redistricting: Terms to Know -write the definitions into your notes.

7 After each census, Congress uses the new population count to apportion (distribute) the 435 states among the states Reapportionment

8 The regional patterns of change in congressional representation between 2000 and 2010 reflect the nation's continuing shift in population from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West.

9  Once seats are apportioned… what’s next? State legislatures decide the boundaries of the congressional districts in its state. How are district boundaries drawn?

10 Why are districts different sizes? In the past, many boundaries were UNFAIR because districts in a state varied in population size….so citizens in smaller districts had greater representation than those in larger districts. Wesberry v. Sanders(1964 ) – Court established “one person – one vote” principle – ( each person’s vote should be roughly equal to all others)

11 Wesberry v. Sanders led to the redrawing of many congressional districts…. There will always be differences in population in districts but not the HUGE variations of the past.

12 What is gerrymandering?  The process of drawing districts lines to benefit one group or another Wait…aren’t there rules? Yes…districts must be  contiguous (physically touching )  of equal population

13 Where did the name “gerrymandering” come from? Election of 1812 – Massachusetts legislature passed a redistricting bill  increasing the chances of the Democratic-Republican candidate, Thomas Jefferson’s chances of winning…. Governor Elderidge Gerry (a Federalist) signed bill & took blame… “Gerrymandering”

14 Types of gerrymandering PARTISAN  Benefits one political party over another  Party has enough seats in legislature to control the process RACIAL  District lines are drawn to either favor or harm an ethnic or racial group

15 Why? Political parties draw boundaries that would split districts previously controlled by the opposing party…

16 Gerrymandering news/ #

17 Your Task: Redistrict and gerrymander a fictional state.  Each letter represents a county in the state as well as the party that has the most support in that county.  R = Republican  D=Democrat  Note that in the state the Republican Party actually has a majority in only two more counties than the Democrats. (13 R counties, 11 D)

18 Gerrymandering 101  The state has 5 congressional districts.  I am going to gerrymander the House districts to give the Republican Party a 4-1 advantage (even though the party only has 13 safe Republican counties).  As I draw the lines, draw the same ones on your Handout #1. This is Redistricting Plan 1.

19 Your turn…but watch the rules! Rule: 1 person=1 vote…each district must have at least 4 counties and not more than 5 Rule: Districts must be contiguous, single member districts & State legislatures draw lines in most states

20 You do it…  Redraw the lines to get the Democrats a better deal.

21 And now…  Re-draw it so Republicans get a better deal.

22 Answer on the back of handouts : 1. What are the consequences of redistricting or reapportionment? 2. What is gerrymandering and why is it used? Did you get it? Exit Questions


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