Open Government Project
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State of Texas
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The Untold Damage Caused by
Reynolds v. Sims
by David Stanowski
25 July 2019
The previous article in this series, Urban Versus Rural; the Great Divide, argued that since Reynolds v. Sims forces state senate districts to be proportional to population, large urban areas will control those states that contain these high-population areas, so their small towns and rural areas will be forced to live under Urban Socialist regimes.
The official definition of a "large urban area" is a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). (List of MSAs)
These MSAs are composed of 37 counties with a population of 20,089,000
The State of Texas is composed of 254 counties with a population of 28,701,845
These five MSAs are represented by 109 House Districts. The Texas House has 150 Districts, therefore, these MSAs control 109/150 = 73% of the votes. This is how it was meant to be; House membership proportional to population.
However, in order to have meaningful power sharing between large MSAs and rural areas, senate districts CANNOT be forced to be proportional to population, because each county needs to be a state senate district. If this arrangement was used, the five MSAs would only have 37/254 = 15% of the votes in the Texas Senate which would give small towns and rural areas meaningful power.
Unfortunately, since Reynolds does NOT allow each county to be a senate district, there are currently only 31 senate districts and 26 of them are contained within these five MSAs! This means that these MSAs control 26/31 = 84% of the votes in the Senate; almost SIX TIMES MORE than they would if each county was a senate district!
If political power was shared between the large-MSA-Urban-Socialist voting bloc and a Rural-Traditionalist voting bloc, they would be forced to find ways to compromise, but since large-MSA Legislators have complete control of the State; they set the agenda. This has allowed Urban Socialism to completely dominate Rural Traditionalism throughout the State.
Many may believe that this cannot possibly be true, because 55% of the House and 61% of the Senate is held by Republicans, but many large-MSA-Republican Legislators give lip service to "traditional values" while actually supporting Urban Socialism. This explains why many voters are routinely disappointed with the "Republican Legislature". Clearly, if the structure of the Texas Legislature is not changed dramatically, the domination of Urban Socialism will only get worse.
People in at least five states (IL, CA, WA, NV, NY) now realize that Reynolds is the primary reason why their states have become controlled by their large MSAs, so they are making serious efforts to end their domination. Will anyone in Texas do the same?
Someone needs to file a lawsuit to reverse Reynolds!
Texas House Districts
Texas Senate Districts
States Working on Reynolds v. Sims:
New York 1
New York 2
Further Manifestation of the Population Density Problem at the National Level:
"The United States contains over 3100 counties and county equivalents.
Overall Trump won approximately 2,600 counties to Clinton’s 500, or about 84% of the geographic United States.
However, Clinton won 88 of of the 100 largest counties (including Washington D.C.). Without these 100 largest counties she would have lost by 11.5 million votes." BrilliantMaps.com
2016 US Presidential Election Map By County & Vote Share:
Trump: Red Counties
Clinton: Blue Counties