Patrick Bohan for Congress: Equality (Urban v. Rural America)

Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

The above section of the Constitution clearly indicates states should have republican forms of government and not democratic forms of government. However, democratic principles were forced onto the states in Baker v. Carr (1962) and Reynolds v. Simms (1964) or better known as the One Person, One Vote cases.

In the above-mentioned cases, the Supreme Court decided that districts for both state legislative houses must be evenly divided based on population. Remember, the United States Senate does not follow the standard decided in Baker because each state has two senators regardless of population. In essence, Baker provided all the voting power within states to urban centers. Rural regions are now at the mercy of big city politics. There is no good reason why one state house chamber cannot have equal representation for urban and rural regions whereas, representation in the other house chamber can be allotted based on population. According to the Department of Agriculture, per capita data suggests rural areas are more poverty stricken and less educated than inner cities. [i] That may surprise some but considering how state and federal tax money is appropriated, that finding should not be a shock. Those with greater representation receive the most benefits. There are no dirt roads in cities, urban teachers make more money than rural teachers, many rural areas still have limited internet and cell phone coverage, and state constitutional amendments are dominated by urban centers. The purpose of Baker was to stop disenfranchisement of minority voters, but instead it displaced subjugation to rural areas. One solution would be for one house in the state legislator to be divided equally among urban and rural counties, for example providing each county of the state one representative.

[i] USDA ERS - Rural Poverty & Well-Being