On 8 May 2021, the Idaho Republican Central Committee passed Resolution 2021-24, regarding apportionment of the State Legislature. The thought facing them was straightforward — could Idaho face the same socialist fate as California, Oregon, and Washington? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. There is nothing that protects our state from becoming the next stronghold for groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, or Planned Parenthood. However, there is something we can do right away to stop it from happening, but this solution cannot wait.
Our proposal is simple: restore our republican form of government by returning our constitution to what voters approved in 1890. In this system, one senator was elected to represent each county in the Legislature. Much the way our U.S. Senate operates, with each state having two senators regardless of population, our state Senate operated with Ada County having the same number of votes in the Senate as Idaho County or Bonner County. This kept liberal ideas – tax policies, regulations, union control – at bay.
This was true until the 1960s when the U.S. Supreme Court misinterpreted the U.S. Constitution to claim that one senator per county was not constitutional. As a result, today, most of the members of the State Senate come from Ada and Canyon counties. The voices of rural Idahoans are quickly being silenced.
Now that conservatives make up a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, we believe that the time is right to restore our State constitution, restore meaningful rural representation in the Idaho Legislature, and restore the republican form of government throughout the country by amending the state constitution and having the Court reconsider its 1964 decision.
We will need to amend our state constitution to make sure that rural Idaho always has the same political power and is not permanently drowned out by the concentration of political power in Boise, the way San Francisco and Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle have disenfranchised voters who remain stuck in the “Left Coast.”
Doing nothing will mean an end to the Idaho we know and love…it’s just a matter of time. But restoring our State Senate to the one county, one vote principle will mean that politics in Boise, no matter how left of center they may become, will not mean that Idaho’s State government will need to follow suit.