Why does the news media only mention
Dem. And Rep. And not NPA or Independent candidates?
Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD
Retired MSGT / Pastor
Write in Candidate for US Senate Florida 2016 NPA
Please make your donations in support of Citizens for a Better America Party of Florida CFABAPF to your local charity.
CFABAPF paid for By Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD
The Constitution Today: Redistricting
Redistricting was formed when the change to the constitution gave the African-Americans the right to vote. The reasoning behind this was to ensure that the minorities had representation in their community within a state.
The Issue today is the unconstitutionality and the reasoning behind redistricting.
Now districting is according to Spanish population, noncitizen and whether they are Democrats or Republicans.
I find the entire issue to be unconstitutional and in reading and presenting this information I have voiced the constitution validity of court decisions.
Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD
Write in Candidate for United States Senate Florida 2016 NPA
ethnicity by voting districts state of Florida
The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts — 27 in Florida — each with a population of about 710,000 individuals. Each district elects a representative to the House for a two-year term. Representatives are also called congressmen/congresswomen.
Voting rights act of 1965
It’s important to remember the other provision of the constitution that is relevant here is Article 1, Section 4, the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof. So it was the states that were given the authority to decide how those representatives would be elected. They could have set up a proportional representation system, everyone running at large statewide in which case redistricting would never have arisen as a problem.
It just says here the actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in a manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each state shall have at least one representative. And until such enumeration shall be made and then they lay out which states get how many members of Congress in the first congress
The Constitution Today: Redistricting
Four states–Virginia, New Jersey, Louisiana and Mississippi – have begun redistricting. It’s a grueling process that’s often politically charged. And the U.S. Constitution doesn’t provide many guidelines. The framers laid out how the number of representatives should be chosen, but left it up to the states to decide how to elect them. In some cases, that’s created vastly unequal and unfair districts, and given rise to cases of Gerrymandering. As part of our “The Constitution Today” series, we examine what the document says about drawing congressional and legislative districts and how court decisions have further shaped those guidelines.
. The framers of the U.S. Constitution did not use the word district when they outlined how Congressional representatives would be chosen. Article 1, Section 2 of the document states only how to choose the number of lawmakers. Today, the redistricting process has become at times contentious and blatantly partisan. As part of our “Constitution Today” looking at what the document says about the process of redistricting and how court cases have furthered shaped those guidelines.
What does the constitution actually say about legislative districts?
The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in a manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each state shall have at least one representative. And until such enumeration shall be made and then they lay out which states get how many members of Congress in the first Congress.
There is no constitutional requirement that we have it. We have since the Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s abided by a rule of population equality for congressional and other districts and are drawn but Congress then has passed statutes, various apportionment statutes over time that have required single member districts and the one that currently exists today is about 90 years old.
Article 1, Section 4, the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof. So it was the states that were given the authority to decide how those representatives would be elected. They could have set up a proportional representation system, everyone running at large statewide in which case redistricting would never have arisen as a problem.
The origin of districts comes from a basis in territorial representation that, you know, you can see in the constitution with the requirement of the Senate in that each state should have two senators. And so most — over time, most of the states have had territorial districting.
Each state can decide for example for its state legislature or for local councils, et cetera, that you don’t have districts and you can elect them at large or proportionally.
The actual enumeration shall be made essentially once every 10 years. And some people get very worked up about the words actual enumeration as opposed to using statistical methods to estimate numbers of people in certain more complicated modern populations.
We have a long-standing tradition of counting population. Not citizens, but population as a whole and there are some politicians now who are challenging that and saying only legal residents and citizens of the United States should be counted. But the underlying dynamic here is the constitution provides that every 10 years, there is a new enumeration of the population and therefore, the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to all the states and therefore at the very least those either gaining or losing seats have to redraw their maps going back some time to account for an additional seat or a loss of a seat or two.
In 1911 where we kept increasing the size of the house. We then got to 435 at the beginning part of the last century and stopped adding. We did temporarily add seats for new states coming in, Hawaii and Alaska. But then in the next census, it fell back to 435, so that the size of the constituencies of members is now pushing toward 800,000, where originally it was 30,000.
George Washington wanted — it was one of the very few times that he spoke up during the entire convention about the representation. But what Is particularly interesting is in the original Bill of Rights that James Madison proposed, the original 12th Amendment was an amendment about the size of Congressional districts and they would have maxed out at 50,000 people if the original Bill of Rights had passed as proposed by James Madison. So the original 10 amendments are the ones we’re all used to, but the original First Amendment would have been a different one and the original 12th Amendment would have been a different one.
The history of gerrymandering predates the name gerrymandering and goes back to actually before the first Congress even existed. Patrick Henry was governor of Virginia, he was an anti-Federalist, James Madison was a Federalist. Patrick Henry arranged for James Madison not to get elected to the Senate because at that time, the Senate was chosen by the members of the state legislature. So James Madison was going to have to run for Congress if he wanted to be able to introduce the Bill of Rights.
He had been then appointed to the last continental Congress so that he had to travel up to New York to be part of that, or Philadelphia, rather, to be part of that Congress so he wouldn’t be able to run locally. And so his friends were saying, James you have got to come back and campaign in your district because the district that has been drawn for you, as described by one person as having 1,000 eccentric angles and it was drawn to put him in the same district with James Monroe who was an anti-Federalist at the time.
Gerrymandering comes from Elbridge Gerry, the Democratic Republic Governor of Massachusetts in the early 1800s who drew a district that looked like a salamander and so that’s how we got the name gerrymandering. Now, we have salamander and other animal-shaped districts around the country for various levels of office. And gerrymandering itself is not outlawed. What is outlawed and what is unconstitutional are mala-portioned districts, which is to say districts that have different numbers of people
In 1960s, the Supreme Court has shut down the process of drawing districts that had say a 100 times more people than another. And then there are also other legal prohibitions on racial discrimination. But when it comes to partisan greed in the process or incumbent protection, for the most part, the courts are given a green light toward incumbent politicians drawing their own lines.
There’s Section II of the Voting Rights Act which prevents dilution around the country, meaning that you can’t pack or crack racial minorities in districts
Section V of the Voting Rights Act, which prevents a diminution in the electoral influence of racial minorities. And this was reauthorized again in 2006 and the Supreme Court recently said that it may be unconstitutional and that it is now sort of hanging by a thread because for various reasons, the Supreme Court thinks it — or maybe five members of the Supreme Court think that it violates some of the federalism and states’ rights jurisprudence that they have been sort of authoring in recent decades.
The state legislative plan is automatically sent to the Florida Supreme Court for review; if the plan is unlawful, the Court will allow the legislature another opportunity to redraw the lines. Similarly, if the legislature does not develop a map, the Attorney General must ask the state Supreme Court to draw the legislative district lines. No similar provision exists for congressional lines. [Fla. Const. art. III, § 16(b)-(e)]
Like all states, Florida must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. State law further asks that districts be as nearly equal in population as is practicable, if doing so does not interfere with minority rights. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(b), 21(b)]
Florida must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Because five Florida counties (Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe) are considered “covered jurisdictions” under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Florida has an obligation to submit redistricting plans to the Department of Justice or to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ensure that the plans do not discriminate against minority communities in those counties. State law further requires that districts “not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice.” This latter provision has not yet been construed by the courts. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(a), 21(a)]
Florida redistricting according to language would be a violation of the Florida’s Constitution
Currently Florida violates three major United States constitutional issues:
1 -United States Constitution says open primary.
2 -United States Constitution says if one commits a felony and serves time, voting rights will be returned.
3 -Florida Constitution states english only. If then any business or major company uses English and Spanish without using the other languages it is a violation of the Florida constitution.
Florida law also provides additional constraints for both state legislative and congressional districts. Districts must be contiguous, and where doing so does not conflict with minority rights, must be compact and utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(a)-(b), 21(a)-(b)] Districts may also overlap. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 16(a)]
No plan or individual district may be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or incumbent. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(a), 21(a)]
Gerrymandering may be used to advantage or disadvantage particular constituents, such as members of a racial, linguistic, religious or class group, often in the favor of ruling incumbents or a specific political party