Tag archives: Government

How 2020 State Elections Will Shape the Makeup of Congress for the Next Decade

by Steven Sullivan , Connor Semelsberger

October 8, 2020

With several major companies launching advertising campaigns to “get out and vote,” political parties describing this election as the deciding factor in our country’s future and survival, and politics seeping into daily conversation more than ever, its clear that voting in the 2020 election matters now more than ever. With such high stakes, it is easy to focus solely on the presidential or U.S. Senate races, but did you know that in a census year like this, state elections are just as important?

The U.S. Constitution requires that a census be conducted every 10 years, and the information from the census is used to determine the distribution of U.S. House seats across the states for the next 10-year period. The first step in this process, known as reapportionment, is to divide the 435 Congressional seats among the 50 states based on population. The president determines the amount of seats for each state based on the population numbers from the census and sends a notice to Congress. Congress then communicates the exact number of representatives for each state to the governors. Once the governors are given their total number of seats, the state is responsible for drawing the boundaries of the Congressional districts, a process known as redistricting. Once the districts are drawn and submitted to Congress, the new make-up of Congressional districts will be in effect starting in 2022.

In most states, the legislatures draw the congressional district boundaries which then are approved by the governor. Because the states have so much control over the boundaries, it has become a very political process in which both parties jockey to have partisan control of state legislatures and governors mansions during redistricting in order to draw the boundaries in a way that favors their respective party. What this means is the 2020 state elections not only impact who will represent you in the state legislature but will also have a huge impact on who will represent you and your values in Congress for the next decade!

Between reapportionment and redistricting, there is great chance for a dramatic shift in political power. As our country’s population has shifted from northern and midwestern states like New York and Illinois to states in the south like Texas and Florida, so does the number of congressional seats and the power that comes with it. There are also several large states with close partisan margins that, if flipped, could dramatically change which party is in the driver’s seat for drawing the new congressional lines. Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas are not only battleground states for the presidential election, but also have one or both state legislative chambers that are within 10 seats of changing partisan control.

Among all the noise of the 2020 election, the important role that state governments play in setting up the power dynamics of the U.S. House of Representatives has been vastly overshadowed. As you consider who to vote for in the upcoming election, remember the importance of the down ballot races and gather appropriate information to make sure you support state candidates that reflect a biblical worldview. And as always, remember to pray, vote, and stand.

Connor Semelsberger, MPP is the Legislative Assistant at Family Research Council.

Steven Sullivan is a Policy and Government Affairs intern focusing on federal legislative affairs.

A True Blue Congress

by Worth Loving

March 14, 2019

Without a doubt, life, family, and religious freedom are under an unprecedented all-out assault in our nation. Many left-leaning states are following New York’s lead and further undermining the right to life. Others are embracing various aspects of the radical transgender agenda by forcing it on schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations. And, the fundamental building block of any successful society—the family—is under vicious attack from all fronts.

Despite that reality, Congress is actually more pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom than ever before. Each year, FRC Action releases our congressional scorecard, grading members of Congress on how they vote on a number of bills, nominations, and resolutions related to our core issues of faith, family, and freedom. Members who score 100 percent are named our “True Blue” members and invited to receive an award at our annual reception on Capitol Hill. Our most recent scorecard included votes on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, judicial nominees, and Planned Parenthood, among others.

This year, we set a record for the most True Blue members of Congress ever. A record 276 members of the House and the Senate received a True Blue award for their 100 percent rating on our congressional scorecard. That’s over half of Congress that stands 100 percent for life, family, and religious freedom! On February 28, many of these members joined us at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C. for our annual True Blue reception. Each member had the chance to receive an award and speak with our president, Tony Perkins. FRC Action staff also had the opportunity to talk to each member and thank them for standing with us on the foundational values of life, family, and religious freedom.

At a time when life, family, and religious freedom are being ferociously attacked, it’s refreshing to see so many members of Congress who are 100 percent committed to standing with us and fighting every day for the unborn, the family, and the persecuted. This is further evidence that our election efforts each year are paying off! Check out our scorecard to see if your members of Congress support faith, family, and freedom. If not, contact them and tell them to start standing for our shared values right away. Also, check out our Twitter page to see what our True Blue members had to say about the work of FRC Action and about standing for life, family, and religious liberty at such an important time in our nation’s history.

Constitutionalism of John Kasich

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 31, 2015

I’ve said the (Supreme) Court has ruled and ‎I said we’ll accept it.” These were the words of Ohio Gov. John Kasich at last night’s GOP presidential debate concerning the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage.” This statement is wrong in so many ways. The Supreme Court has no constitutional authority to create rights or, through the judicial process, enact law or eviscerate the Tenth Amendment. That’s what it did in its recent ruling on homosexual unions. Do we just accept it? We did not “accept” Dred Scott or Plessy v. Ferguson‎. We do not accept Roe v. Wade (or do you, Gov. Kasich? Your reasoning last night implies you do). For the sake of children who need a mom and a dad and for the sake of the culture they will inhabit and later shape, conservatives do not accept Obergefell. The Supreme Court is a judicial body - it calls balls and strikes according to its rule book, the Constitution. At least that’s what the “rule book” that constitutes the Court itself says. Those who sit on the highest bench are not a despotism of nine.  Gov. Kasich’s desire to get social contention behind us shows either a profound ignorance of the cultural, religious, and political nexus located in the same-sex marriage/gay “rights” battle or a sweet but naive interest in ameliorating a conflict that is hardly over. And his view of the Court’s role is, if taken at face value, not just troubling but dangerous for the continuance of constitutional government.

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Conservative Values Won Big Across America, Except in Contested Swing States
by Connor Semelsberger (Nov. 20, 2020)

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