Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Right Angle Club: 2015
The tenth year of this annal, the ninety-third for the club. Because its author spent much of the past year on health economics, a summary of his latest book on the topic takes up a third of this volume. The book I published in 1980 is now selling on Amazon for three times its price when new, so be warned that at one time, the subject used to improve with age. George Fisher

The New Jersey Constitution of 1947

{Privateers}
New Jersey Constitution of 1947

The wording of the 1844 State of New Jersey Constitution concerning its Senate, is short and simple:

Article IV. Legislative.

Section I.

1. The legislative power shall be vested in a Senate and General Assembly..... Section II. 1. The Senate shall be composed of one Senator from each County in the State, elected by the legal voters of the Counties, respectively, for three years.

A century later, the state held another Constitutional Convention, in which the relevant sections in the 1947 Constitution concerning the Senate were revised:

Section II

1. The Senate shall be composed of forty senators apportioned among Senate districts as nearly as may be according to the number of their inhabitants as reported in the last preceding decennial census of the United States and according to the method of equal proportions. Each Senate district shall be composed, wherever practicable, of one single county, and, if not so practicable, of two or more contiguous whole counties.

By amendment effective December 8,1966, an electoral commission was appointed to respond to changes in the census; search engines are currently not explicit about the senatorial redistricting between 1947 and 1966:

Section III

1. After the next and every subsequent decennial census of the United States, the Senate districts and Assembly districts shall be established, and the senators and members of the General Assembly shall be apportioned among them, by an Apportionment Commission consisting of ten members, five to be appointed by the chairman of the State committee of each of the two political parties whose candidates for Governor receive the largest number of votes at the most recent gubernatorial election. Each State chairman, in making such appointments, shall give due consideration to the representation of the various geographical areas of the State. Appointments to the Commission shall be made on or before November 15 of the year in which such census is taken and shall be certified by the Secretary of State on or before December 1 of that year. The Commission, by a majority of the whole number of its members, shall certify the establishment of Senate and Assembly districts and the apportionment of senators and members of the General Assembly to the Secretary of State within one month of the receipt by the Governor of the official decennial census of the United States for New Jersey, or on or before February 1 of the year following the year in which the census is taken, whichever date is later. 2. If the Apportionment Commission fails so to certify such establishment and apportionment to the Secretary of State on or before the date fixed or if prior thereto it determines that it will be unable so to do, it shall so certify to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey and he shall appoint an eleventh member of the Commission. The Commission so constituted, by a majority of the whole number of its members, shall, within one month after the appointment of such eleventh member, certify to the Secretary of State the establishment of Senate and Assembly districts and the apportionment of senators and members of the General Assembly. 3. Such establishment and apportionment shall be used thereafter for the election of members of the Legislature and shall remain unaltered until the following decennial census of the United States for New Jersey shall have been received by the Governor. Article IV, Section III, paragraphs 1, 2, 3 amended effective December 8, 1966.(Emphasis added)

 

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