New-York Times: Smaller States Find Outsize Clout Growing in Senate - Artikel

The Constitution has always given residents of states with small populations a lift, but the size and importance of the gap has grown markedly in recent decades. It affects the political dynamic of issues as varied as gun control, immigration and campaign finance.
Lawmakers, lawyers and watchdog groups have begun pushing for change. A Lawsuit to control the small-advantage in the Senate’s rules is moving through the courts. The Senate already made changed to rules concerning the filibuster, which has particularly benefited senators from small states.

The power of smaller states is growing. The basic disparity between large and small states is wired into the constitutional framework. Some scholars say that this is as it should be and that the advantages enjoyed by small states are necessary to prevent them from becoming a voiceless minority. Others say the country needs to make changes to preserve its democratic vitality. They have called for an overhaul of the Constitution, as far-fetched an idea as that may be.

Equal representation of the states in the Senate is a consequence of the Great Compromise, the 1787 deal that resolved a seemingly intractable dispute between the smaller states and a handful of large ones like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. But the country has changed. The population is now six times greater than then. Even scholars who criticize how voting power is allocated in the Senate agree that parts of its design play an important role in the constitutional structure. With its longer terms and fewer members, the Senate can, in theory, be more collegial, take the long view and be insulated from passing passions.
But those qualities do not depend on unequal representation among people who live in different states. Legal scholars and political scientists say that the current allocation of power in the Senate does not protect minorities with distinctive characteristics. To the contrary, the disproportionate voting power of small states is a sort of happenstance that has on occasion left a stain on the nation’s history.

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