Common Cause Urges “No” Vote on So-Called Equal Representation Act

Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “no” when the so-called “Equal Representation Act” (H.R. 7109) is expected to be brought to the floor later this afternoon. The proposed legislation would impede the U.S Census Bureau from performing its constitutionally mandated responsibility to count the number of persons in the United States each ten years in the Census. The bill also ignores the Constitution.

The letter, sent to every Member of the House, emphasizes that Article I, Section 2  of the Constitution clearly states that all U.S. residents must be counted in each decennial Census. The Fourteenth Amendment mandates that apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives be based on “the whole number of persons in each State.”

The letter also notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote this legislation in our Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.5 million members.

“Americans expect and deserve a fair and accurate Census count free from partisan political abuse like this proposed legislation,” said Keshia Morris Desir, Common Cause Justice & Democracy Program Manager. “The United States Constitution makes it very clear that everyone should be counted in the Census and that those totals must be used for the reapportionment of congressional districts. The addition of a question on citizenship to the census would do real harm to a broad swath of rural and urban communities alike across the nation. When our neighbors aren’t represented and included in all counts, entire communities lose out on funding for Medicaid, economic development, childcare, schools, roads and public transit improvements, home heating assistance for senior citizens, and many more vital services.”

The letter emphasizes that the U.S. Supreme Court and the Justice Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations, have repeatedly confirmed that the Constitution requires an apportionment based on the number of persons living in each state.

To read the full letter, click here.