2009 Was Not the Senate's Finest Year

The U.S. Senate is a very unusual political institution. Revered by members and the political class as the world's greatest deliberative body, it is the only legislative body in the U.S. that violates the principle of one person one vote and is based on the notion of unequal representation. Some states, such as North Dakota are awarded one senator for roughly every 320,000 residents, while larger states such as California get by with one senator for roughly every 18 million residents. This principle is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, but similar principles of basing legislative bodies on representing polities rather than people have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in cases such asGray v. Sanders or Board of Estimate of New York City v. Morris.