HCR-2039 An Equal Voice Measure

Many of the readers of my posts here know by now that I am a constitutional scholar and hold in high regard, the framers of our beloved Constitution for the thought that they put into our founding documents. They indeed anticipated a form of tyranny brought to the People by the majority position.

James Madison in Federalist 10 spoke to the very issue before we face today in the form of concentration of power. To check the “tyranny of the masses” I’ve introduced HCR-2039, which if passed out of the legislature, will go to the ballot later his year. What tyranny do I speak of? The tyranny that many see as the so-called, “Great State of Maricopa.” While many say that in sarcastic humor, the feeling that Maricopa County carries far too much weight in the affairs of state is very real in our often marginalized, “rural hinterlands.”

James Madison in his 1787 commentary on factions, opined in part, “When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government.…, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.” The fact is, if we are to have a true representation of the interests of all citizens under the republican form of government that we are guaranteed, every legislative district must have an equal voice in the promotion of voter sponsored legislative initiatives and voter-initiated changes to our State Constitution.

To support this concept, the U.S. Supreme Court opinion known as ARIZONA LEGISLATURE v. ARIZONA INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ET A, (IRDC). In the IRDC Supreme Court Opinion, Justice Ginsburg wrote for the Majority Opinion that, “the People are the legislature,” [paraphrased for brevity]. If that is indeed the case, then shouldn’t the People’s legislative power resemble in the same manner that power awarded to their elected representatives in the legislature?

Justice Ginsburg went on to write, “The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering and, thereby, to ensure that Members of Congress would have, “an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.” The Federalist No. 57, at 350 (J. Madison). In so acting, Arizona voters sought to restore “the core principle of republican government,” namely, “that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

It is logical then, to attach the same republican structural principals to the voter initiative process used when the people act as the legislature. HCR-2039 will offer the People an opportunity to voice their position on how they want voter initiatives to be enacted. Arizona has 30 Legislative Districts, each drawn with boundaries that contain roughly 225,000 people.

The intent of HCR-2039 is that the residents of each legislative district have an equal voice in the passage of statewide measures and amendments to the Constitution of Arizona and that no legislative district has an unfair advantage over another in the decision-making process of the “super-legislature.”

To see how the demographics of Arizona are broken down visit DES.gov

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