January 30, 1871
There are two propositions before the committee about reapportionment, and the Dispatch is in favor of both motions. If they complete this action in a way that does not violate the Constitution, they should do so.
Two propositions are before the committee of our General Assembly charged with the consideration of this subject. The one retains the present number of members-40 Senators and 138 Delegates. and was submitted by Senator Penn. It gives to Rappahannock and Fauquier the election of a Senator. The other, on a basis of 40,000, reduces the number of Senators to 33, and Delegates to 105, and makes Loudoun and Fauquier form one of the senatorial districts. As this reduction will not impair the efficiency of our Legislature, and will sensibly curtail expenses, we are inclined to favor it. We are not aware that there is any sound reason why the ratio of representation may not be increased and the number of members diminished. If section 3 be construed according to the intent of its framers and not by its letter, it us a clear violation of the spirit of the Constitution for Senators to hold over for four years from the date of their election. If they had this right under the 3rd section, they were deprived of it under the 4th section subsequently adopted, which repeals under acknowledged rules of construction, all provisions which conflict with it in preceding sections, in the tame manner that a late law repeals whatever is in conflict with it in previous enactments. If there be disposition on the part of the General Assembly to reduce the expenses of the legislative branch or the Government, the mode, is unembarrassing and plain. The people wish the strictest economy to be practiced. Let their will be done,. Warrenton Index.
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“Reapportionment.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1960.