A1HR.org advocates for
the implementation of a public law that establishes a cap of 50,000 persons for
congressional districts, as proposed by the original First
Amendment in the Bill of Rights, known as "Article the First."
Congress possesses the
authority to set limits for Congressional Districts, achievable through a
simple majority vote in both the House and Senate. Options include 50,000
(in accordance with the 1789 House of Representatives cap), 60,000 (based on the1789 US Senate cap), or any smaller number above 30,000. This proposed
Congressional District cap of 50,000 persons aims to restore the collective
wisdom of citizen governance over the House of Representatives, effectively
putting an end to gerrymandering and rectifying the Electoral College
Christopher T. Sununu,
Sherman Packard, Speaker of the House
Joseph Edmund Bradley III, President of the Senate
New Hampshire State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301 January 11, 2024
Re: What would Meshech Weare Do?
The remarkable success of
New Hampshire's House of Representatives represents a potential solution to the
challenges posed by U.S. House apportionment, district gerrymandering, the
Electoral College imbalance and the undue influence of special interest
campaign capital on U.S. House of Representatives elections and legislation. I am reaching out to each of you with the
hope that you might consider highlighting your State as a model of productive proportional
In contrast to New
Hampshire's approach (expanding HR members to 400 to serve a population of 1.4
million), the U.S. Congress has maintained a cap of 435 members for the House
of Representatives, which serves a population of 335 million.[i] Instead of following New
Hampshire’s lead, Congress has increased individual HR member office staff from
two (during Franklin D. Roosevelt's era 1933) to 15 under Joseph Biden (2023), to
meet the needs of constituents. [ii]
Since the 1900 U.S.
Census, where the population was 76,212,168, Congressional Districts have grown
from 194,000 in 1907 (with the addition of Oklahoma) to over 772,000
constituents in 2023.[iii] Consequently, these massive
Congressional Districts have made it nearly impossible for U.S. citizens to run
competitive House campaigns without substantial personal funding or raising
millions from lobbyists et al to reach gerrymandered districts that now exceed
Due to the need for special
interest money to run an effective campaign, candidates[iv] focus on polarizing
issues, leaving moderate contenders struggling for capital and unable to
connect with registered voters during the primary election process. The
extensive size of congressional districts exacerbates this situation, providing
a fertile ground for the practices of cracking, packing, and other
gerrymandering techniques. The ever-growing populations within these districts
enable politicians to fragment or concentrate groups strategically,[v] often navigating around
the safeguards established by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The large congressional
districts have also created an Electoral College[vi] imbalance. New Hampshire,
with a population of 1.39 million, receives four Electoral votes (347,500
inhabitants per vote), while California, with 39.3 million people, gets 54
votes (727,777 inhabitants per vote). The Electoral College imbalance, due to
capping the HR at 435, was not the intended representative outcome envisioned
by the framers of the US Constitution[vii] and the First[viii] & Second[ix] U.S. Bicameral Congresses.
Similar to New Hampshire's constitutional framers, they held a steadfast belief
that preserving small Representative Districts would ensure a robust
connection and accountability of House members to the people.
ratification of a revised Article the First[x]
is not essential for redistributing the House of Representatives. Congress has
the authority to limit Congressional Districts to 50,000 (as per the 1789 HRcap), 60,000 (as per the 1789 US Senate cap), or any smaller number above
30,000 through a straightforward majority vote in the House and Senate.
Should Congress embrace the House of Representatives model of New Hampshire and set the cap for Congressional Districts at 50,000 inhabitants proposed in the 1789 “Bill of Rights” several positive outcomes would result.
First, it would significantly reduce the expenses associated with House of Representatives campaigns, thus diminishing the influence of special interest campaign funds on HR legislation.
Second, it would effectively eliminate the practice of Gerrymandering.
Fourth, it would facilitate a resurgence of political party bipartisanship within the House of Representatives.
Fifth, it would substitute the current 435 Representatives and their 6,680 staff members with 6,700 elected officials who would be intimately familiar with their constituents, akin to the level of engagement found in a small-town mayor's office.
In essence, a
Congressional District cap of 50,000 individuals would reinstate the collective
wisdom of citizen governance over the House of Representatives while effectively
ending gerrymandering and the Electoral College imbalance.
Consequently, I encourage
you to highlight the accomplishments of New Hampshire's House of
Representatives as an effective model for tackling the issues presented by
gerrymandering, special interest influence, and the Electoral College imbalance
within the existing U.S. House structure.
Enclosed is a
contribution of a 1785 "Oath of Allegiance" broadside to the New
Hampshire Republican State Committee. Issued under the New Hampshire State[xii] and Articles of
Constitutions by Meshech Weare,[xiv] this historical document
is offered with the sincere hope that it encourages contemplation of the
potential HR apportionment actions these patriots might take today to shape for
all of us, a more perfect Union.
Stanley Yavneh Klos
cc. US President Candidates and Media
[i] U.S. Census
Bureau projected on 12-28-2023 that the U.S. population will be 335,893,238 at
midnight EST, on Jan. 1, 2024
individual staff in total/435 = 15 as per
= 772,168 - as per
[iv] When it comes
to HR Campaign contributions the old biblical quote "Because thou art
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, ... I shall spew thee out of my mouth"
is the rule and not the exception.
[v] For example, here
in Louisiana, despite the state population being 2/3rds Black, only one of six
congressional districts is majority black.
[vi] Electoral votes
are allocated based on the Census, with each state receiving votes equal to the
number of Senators and Representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegation
[vii] In the 1787
Philadelphia Convention, just before the final signing of the present U.S.
Constitution, Delegate Nathaniel Gorham suggested reducing the size of
congressional districts from 40,000 to 30,000 citizens. A comparable proposal
had been put forward earlier but had fallen short of approval by a single vote.
At this crucial juncture, George Washington, serving as the President of the Convention, voiced his support for smaller districts, marking his sole
substantive contribution to the Constitution's text. Without further
deliberation, the Convention embraced the 30,000 minimum, solidifying its
[viii] In the First
Bicameral Congress, the inaugural House of Representatives passed its
"Bill of Rights," with its "Article the First" or its First
Amendment capping Congressional Districts at 50,000 inhabitants.
Simultaneously, the first U.S. Senate passed its "Bill of Rights"
with its First Amendment establishing a cap of 60,000 inhabitants for
Congressional Districts. It was during
the 1789 House of Representatives and US Senate Bill of Rights Conference
Committees meeting that its members agreed to adopt the HR version of the First
Amendment by replacing the word "less" in the penultimate line
("in the last line but one") with the word “more".
Unfortunately, during the presentation of the Bill of Rights on the House of
Representatives floor, either the HR Clerk or HR Bill of Rights
Committee Chairman James Madison erroneously introduced the wrong verbiage that
struck out the word “less” in the last place, as opposed to changing it in the
penultimate line, in Article the First and substituted it with the word
"more". This mistake resulted
in the incorrect replacement of "less" with "more" in Article
the First, rendering the proposed First Amendment dysfunctional.
Regrettably, this error went unnoticed for the majority of the ratification
process, with eight states, including New Hampshire on January 25, 1790,
ratifying Article the First before Vermont achieved statehood on March 4, 1791.
[ix] In the Second
Bicameral Congress, following the states' failure to ratify the dysfunctional
First Amendment, Congress responded by enacting the Apportionment Act of 1792.
However, this legislative measure was flawed, as it sought to reduce eight
Constitutional Districts below the constitutional population minimum of 30,000
inhabitants. Despite President George
Washington's preference for smaller Congressional Districts and his role in
reducing the minimum size from 40,000 to 30,000, he, after extensive deliberation
with Attorney General Randolph and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson,
exercised the first U.S. Presidential veto. In his statement, he highlighted
that "the Bill has allotted to eight of the States more than one
[representative] for thirty thousand." Today, it remains unclear on
why the Second Congress did not rectify the verbiage error and resubmit Article
the First to the States. It is essential to emphasize that despite the states'
failure to ratify the proposed amendment, the Congressional District 50,000
inhabitant cap endured through the U.S. Censuses of 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, and
1830. In 1840, the Whig Party secured majorities in both the Senate and House
of Representatives, advocating for Congress's supremacy over the Presidency and
endorsing a modernization program that included abandoning the Congressional
District 50,000 Citizens Cap outlined in Article the First. Over the subsequent
decades, the Whigs incrementally expanded Congressional Districts, growing from
53,000 citizens in the 1830s to over 80,000 in the 1840s and exceeding 100,000
citizens in the 1850s. Following the Republican Party's control of Congress in
the 1860s, the Republican majority continued this trajectory, enlarging
Congressional Districts from 135,000 in the 1870s to 200,000 citizens by the
1900s. Finally, in 1929, Congress enacted the Permanent Apportionment Act,
which permanently set the maximum number of representatives at 435.
Additionally, the law established a procedure for automatic reapportionment of
House seats three years after each census resulting in Congressional Districts
now exceeding 772,000 inhabitants.
[x] Article the
First is the Congressional Apportionment Amendment, which was the proposed
first amendment to the United States Constitution in the "Bill of
Rights" and was not ratified. The
amendment addresses the number of seats in the House of Representatives capping
congressional district sizes to 50,000 inhabitants.
[xi] Implementing a 50,000 House of Representatives (HR)
cap addresses the Electoral College imbalance without necessitating a
constitutional amendment. Under this cap, New Hampshire, with a population of
1.39 million, would receive 30 Electoral votes, averaging 46,666 inhabitants
per vote. In contrast, California, with a population of 39.3 million, would
have 788 votes, resulting in 49,873 inhabitants per vote.
[xii] On July 2,1776, in the United Colonies of North American Continental Congress, New
Hampshire was the first Colony to vote for Independence: https://youtu.be/5s-YdvukLmI . On
January 5, 1776, New Hampshire's provincial congress adopted the first state
[xiv] Weare, Meshech
- Dated May 18, 1785, this ornate typeset partially-printed document bears the
signature "M Weare" as (President). The document, measuring 15.75” x
12.75”, is a historic directive ordering the maintenance of peace in Rockingham
County, New Hampshire. Adorned with a large 2.75” paper and wax official
embossed Seal of the State of New Hampshire at the upper left, the document is
boldly signed by Meshech Weare in a deep brown ink, with his signature spanning
approximately 3” in length. This uncommon document, which includes an “Oath of
Allegience” “ appoints several Justices of the Peace and is a valuable
historical artifact from the era. It reads, in part: -- "...punish all persons... who shall
threaten any others in the Persons or in burning their houses ...and if they
shall refute to find such Security, then to cause them to be safely kept in
Prison in Portsmouth or Exeter..."
-- "Know Ye, That you, and each of you, are assigned jointly and
severally Justices to keep the Peace in the County of Rockingham within the
said State of New-Hampshire... and if they shall refuse to find such Security,
then to cause them to be safely kept in the Prison in Portsmouth or Exeter in
said County, until they find such security." -- Notation on the blank reverse noting two
persons having taken the “Oath of Allegience” on May 31, 1785 at Exeter;
Nathaniel Peabody and Joseph Gelman. The broadside is in nice condition with
expected folds, small pinholes and minor fold wear paper loss, and age.
“Printed by Melcher & Osborne, Print. 1785.” All text within ornate typeset
outer marginal border designs