Thought experiment

By James Fallows

What states might look like if, as with Congressional districts, their borders were periodically redrawn to reflect population changes. Click for larger version.

This map is by Neil Freeman from It's based on a division of the country into 50 state units with more-or-less equal population -- 5 to 6 million apiece -- and preserving existing boundaries where possible. (As with the new state of "Missouri.") I love many of the other state names -- Lincoln, Joaquin, Tombigbee. My childhood home would have been along the border of Coronado and Mojave. In a reapportioned Senate each of these units would have two votes.

In the same spirit of "zero-based governance," also consider H. Res. 1018, introduced this week in the House of Representatives, calling on the Senate -- please! -- to drop the recent aberrational practice of applying the filibuster to all legislation, and instead to reserve it for rare, emergency use. Or, as its authors put it, "Requesting the Senate to adjust its rules to reflect the intent of the framers of the Constitution by amending the Senate's filibuster rule, Rule 22, to facilitate the consideration of bills and amendments." Worth a shot!

UPDATE: Please see follow-ups here and here

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