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      07-04-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
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What does Minority Interest mean?!?!?!

I'm doing an essay in my political science class and my professor wanted me to describe how the Constitution insured protection of minority interests (address liberty & equality)....

I'm not sure what my professor is referring to when he says minority interests, and I Googled online and can't find the definition for it!

Does anyone know? I need it in the context of politics, not economics.... Professor is not answering my e-mails.
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      07-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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maybe typo and he means minority's interest? As in visible minorities.
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      07-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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did you search for "minority interest constitution" on google? because it comes up with a journal article about it.

in my experience, you kind of have to piece it together, and not expect the total answer to pop up in your searches.
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      07-04-2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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maybe he's referring to the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution and how laws must meet constitutional muster (strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny or rational basis) if the laws discriminate based on something like race or gender
or fundamental rights?
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      07-04-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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The Framers of the Constitution were concerned about the "tyranny of the majority", also sometimes called "mob rule." If you can get just 50 plus 1, your side gets to decide how to treat the other 49.

Here are a few examples of how they implemented the structure of government to protect minority interests:
1.) All states have 2 Senators, regardless of population. That way a small state like Wyoming has as much influence in the Senate as a very large state like California.

2.) The President is not elected by popular vote, but by the Electoral College. The EC apportions votes based on how many Representatives and Senators a state has. It is true that larger states have more EC votes, but look at the last few elections. Smaller "swing states" like Minnesota and Pennsylvania were the battlegrounds, not states like NY, CA or TX...

The EC even came under fire from the 2000 election where Gore had more popular votes than Bush, but Bush won in enough states to give him the EC win. This of course pisses people off, because they believe we live in a "50+1" democracy (we don't), although the EC is setup as a "50+1". But if all someone had to do to win the Presidency was win the popular vote, I doubt you'd see any campaigning in smaller states. This has the effect of concentrating power and influence. I think California already has too much power and influence over politics because of their population, I sure don't want them to have more.


Anyway, those are just a few of the many protections in the Constitution. The rest are big and pretty easy to spot (ahem, Bill of Rights anyone?) I don't think you should have much problem finding ample subject matter for your paper....
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      07-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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Whoa, that's more answers than I was expecting. Thanks guys. Will take a few minutes to read them and respond.......


Thanks for clarifying Scott, it's helped me identify what my professor meant by "minority interests"... I kept thinking about minority rights such as the rights of the blacks and was utterly confused because no where in the Constitution (aside from the amendments) does it mention rights given to the minority group.

The Bill of Rights definitely addresses the American political cultures of liberty and equality, but are there any other minority interests that bases its foundation on the two fundamentals of the American political culture?
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Last edited by Boba; 07-04-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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