The Census, Citizenship, and Hispanic Rotten Boroughs
March 27, 2018, 08:40 AM
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The Trump Administration has announced that the 2020 Census, besides the usual demands to identify by race and ethnicity, will also ask about citizenship.

Democrats are freaking out, of course.

As I wrote in The American Conservative back on October 25, 2004:

An already existing threat to Republican legislators that is almost never discussed is Latino “rotten boroughs.” Non-Hispanic voters of all races are having their votes devalued by the custom of drawing districts according to the total number of residents—including even illegal aliens. This allows Hispanic Democrats to be elected with the dramatically fewer votes cast in their districts.

Latino Democrats accounted for perhaps merely eight percent of the California electorate in the 2002 election. But Latino Democrats won 20 percent of the seats in the Golden State’s Senate and Assembly.

As the illegal immigrant population grows, rotten boroughs are starting to have a sizable impact on Congress, and thus on the distribution of Electoral Votes. For example, in Southern California’s beachfront Congressional District 46 (which is only 17 percent Hispanic), 173,000 voters decided the fate of the surfing Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. (He won again.) Next door in District 47 (65 percent Hispanic) in gritty northern Orange County, prominent Democratic fundraiser Loretta Sanchez triumphed despite just 68,000 votes being cast.

Overall, the eight California congressional elections won by Latinos (all of them Democrats) averaged 80,000 ballots split among all the hopefuls. In the other 45 California races, a mean of 143,000 voters went to the polls. This meant that the average voter in a district that elected a Latino Democrat had a 78 percent greater say in choosing a House member than the voters in the rest of the state.

The fatalistic attitude of Republicans toward rotten boroughs is constitutionally unwarranted. The highest federal court that has ruled rule on their validity, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, outlawed them in the upper Midwest in 1998. The distinguished jurist Richard J. Posner opined, “The dignity and very concept of citizenship are diluted if non-citizens are allowed to vote either directly or by the conferral of additional voting power on citizens believed to have a community of interest with the non-citizens.”

Talk about foreign meddling in American elections …

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