Bringing Back the Three-Fifths Rule

September 29th, 2011

Inspired by Texas’s odd electoral map: After helping the state add four seats in Congress, Hispanics gained no new districts (Washington Post9/29/11).


“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” – U.S. Constitution Article 1 Section 2


Texas’s population grew by 4 million, many of whom were Hispanic,

But the increasingly outnumbered white right has no need to panic.


That’s because Texas Republicans made sure their redistricting

Increased representation by Hispanics would be restricting.


Texas will increase its congressional delegation by four,

But Hispanics (or Dems) won’t get even one more.


They could even end up with less,

Which causes Latino politicians distress.


It’s like when you learned in school

About the old three-fifths rule.


Slaves were counted in determining a state’s congressional vote,

But of course those slaves weren’t allowed to vote.


Wouldn’t it be nice if the Texas delegation

Actually included more real representation?


No, I’m not for racially-determined electoral districts. But the Texas redistricting seems to have gone out of its way to reduce Latino influence. And while Latinos inTexashave shown their willingness to vote for non-Latinos, the reverse is not true: white Texans overwhelmingly tend to not cross the color line.



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