The United States Senate should be abolished

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The United States Senate should be abolished.

Yes, you read that correctly.

When the U.S. declared independence in 1776, it consisted of 13 states that were autonomous colonies, each with their own unique societal and governmental structures.

Just 11 years later, the Constitution established the Senate and the House of Representatives as the nation’s legislative bodies. Representatives were elected by citizens within evenly populated districts across the nation. Each state wanted at least one form of equal representation in the newborn country, so the Constitution mandated that each state have two senators directly elected by state legislators. This lasted until the Seventeenth Amendment, which gave citizens the ability to directly elect their Senators.

Because of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Senate no longer stands for equal state representation in Congress but for unequal demographic representation.

According to Census Bureau Projections from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, 67 percent of the U.S. population will be housed in 15 states in 2040, which means that 67 percent of the U.S. population will only have 30 percent of the Senate’s representation.

This is inherently flawed and is only more relevant in today’s world. While the House is currently dominated by Democrats (according to the New York Times, Democrats won 52.5 percent of the combined House votes in 2018), the Senate is dominated by Republicans. Even if President Donald Trump is impeached by the House, he is less likely to be convicted by the Republican Senate, despite the Senate not actually representing the majority of U.S. voters based on population.

States should not be equally represented by Congress; people should be represented because the federal government encompasses every American citizen. If state legislators want specific laws to be passed that would benefit their respective states, they already have a state government that enables them to do so and is not a detriment to democracy.

Even a large state, such as Wyoming, that has few representatives in the House, is able to form laws within its borders. Although these states would not have much federal representation after a change like this, lobbyists from those states will still be able to petition representatives of all states.

One might argue that the Senate is important in the U.S. government’s system of checks and balances because it adds another level of debate, but is it truly necessary? The judicial branch can determine whether or not laws passed by the House are constitutional or not, and the executive branch can veto Congressional bills. The House already checks the executive branch’s actions, so that level of balance would be preserved within the legislative branch.

So, for the sake of America and in the spirit of democracy, the Senate should be abolished.

This story was featured in the Volume 37, Issue 3 print edition of The Lion’s Tale, published on November 21, 2019.

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