Have you noticed the increasing political conflict between urban and rural counties in many states? We watched as many rural county sheriffs in Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and other states refused to enforce certain state laws. We noticed rural counties declaring sanctuaries from certain state laws. Have you wondered why rural counties do not have effective representation at the state level? It's the result of a 1964 Supreme Court decision, Reynolds versus Sims.

Up to 1964, states had senates modeled after our federal senate. For example, California had one senator from each county. As with our federal senate being based on the political boundaries of states, our state senate was based on the political boundaries of our counties. This design prevented urban residents from dictating what laws would be passed without incorporating the needs of rural residents. The Founding Fathers were wise in designing the federal senate this way. There has to be a compromise between the tyranny of the majority and regional needs.

Reynolds versus Sims abolished the state versions. The Supreme Court majority stated that, (condensed version without lawyer language), yes, the Constitution allows the federal senate to be this way, but no, we activist judges don't like that, so states cannot model their senates after the federal version. They claimed that "one man, one vote" dictated abolishing the state senate designs. Those who have studied the purpose of Congress and the Constitution know this is not true. The state senates were never intended to be clones of the population-based state assemblies. And so, due to activist judges, many states are approaching political anarchy 55 years later.

Chris Ewens

Castella