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Classes of United States Senators: Wikis

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The three classes of United States Senators are currently made up of 33 or 34 Senate seats, with the groups staggered so that one of three classes is up for election every two years.

A senator's description as junior or senior senator is not related to his or her class. Rather, a state's senior senator is the one with the greater seniority in the Senate. This is mostly based on length of service.

Contents

Historical division

Respecting the members of the Senate, Article I, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution specifies that:

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year.

This was actually achieved several weeks after the first Senate assembled. From the Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1793:

Thursday, May 14, 1789. The committee appointed to consider and report a mode of carrying into effect the provision in the second clause of the third section of the first article of the Constitution, reported:

Whereupon, Resolved, That the Senators be divided into three classes:

That three papers of an equal size, numbered 1, 2, and 3, be, by the Secretary, rolled up and put into a box, and drawn by Mr. Langdon, Mr. Wingate, and Mr. Dalton, in behalf of the respective classes in which each of them are placed; and that the classes shall vacate their seats in the Senate according to the order of numbers drawn for them, beginning with number one: And that, when Senators shall take their seats from States that have not yet appointed Senators, they shall be placed by lot in the foregoing classes, but in such manner as shall keep the classes as nearly equal as may be in numbers.

And from the Journal of Friday, May 15, 1789:

The Senate proceeded to determine the classes, agreeably to the resolve of yesterday, on the mode of carrying into effect the provision of the second clause of the third section of the first article of the constitution, and the numbers being drawn, the classes were determined as follows:

Lot No. 1, drawn by Mr. Dalton, contained Mr. Dalton, Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Elmer, Mr. Maclay, Mr. Read, Mr. Carroll, and Mr. Grayson, whose seats shall, accordingly, be vacated in the Senate, at the expiration of the second year.

Lot No. 2, drawn by Mr. Wingate, contained Mr. Wingate, Mr. Strong, Mr. Paterson, Mr. Bassett, Mr. Lee, Mr. Butler, and Mr. Few, whose seats shall, accordingly be vacated in the Senate, at the expiration of the fourth year.

Lot No. 3, drawn by Mr. Langdon, contained Mr. Langdon, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Morris, Mr. Henry, Mr. Izard, and Mr. Gunn, whose seats shall, accordingly, be vacated in the Senate, at the expiration of the sixth year.

Upon the expiration of a senator's term of any length, someone starts a new six-year term as senator (based on election by the state legislatures until the Seventeenth Amendment required direct popular election of Senators). When a new state is admitted to the Union, its two senators have terms that correspond to those of two different classes, among the three classes defined below. Which two classes is determined by a scheme that keeps the three classes as close to the same size as possible, i.e., one that avoids the largest class differing by more than one senator from the smallest class.

This means at least one of any new state's first pair of senators has a term of less than six years, and one term is either two or four years shorter than the other.

Should a 51st state be admitted to the Union, it would receive senators in Classes I and II, at which point all three Classes would have 34 senators.

Classes

Map shows the classes in each US State:
     Classes 1 and 2      Classes 1 and 3      Classes 2 and 3
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Class I

Class I consists of

  • the 33 current senators whose seats are scheduled for re-election in November 2012, and whose terms end in January 2013; and
  • earlier senators with terms ending in 2007, 2001, 1995, 1989, 1983, 1977, 1971, 1965, 1959, and back to 1791

States with a Class I senator: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Class II

Class II consists of

  • the 33 current senators whose seats were scheduled for re-election in November 2014, and whose terms end in January 2015; and
  • earlier senators with terms that ended in 2009, 2003, 1997, 1991, 1985, 1979, 1973, 1967, 1961, and back to 1793

States with a Class II senator: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Class III

Class III consists of

  • the 34 current senators whose seats are scheduled for re-election in November 2010, and whose terms end in January 2011; and
  • earlier senators with terms that ended in 2005, 1999, 1993, 1987, 1981, 1975, 1969, 1963, and back to 1795

States with a Class III senator: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

List of current United States Senators by Class

In the 111th United States Congress:

State Class I Class II Class III
Alabama Jeff Sessions Richard Shelby
Alaska Mark Begich Lisa Murkowski
Arizona Jon Kyl John McCain
Arkansas Mark Pryor Blanche Lincoln
California Dianne Feinstein Barbara Boxer
Colorado Mark Udall Michael Bennet
Connecticut Joe Lieberman Chris Dodd
Delaware Tom Carper Ted Kaufman
Florida Bill Nelson George LeMieux
Georgia Saxby Chambliss Johnny Isakson
Hawai'i Daniel Akaka Daniel Inouye
Idaho Jim Risch Mike Crapo
Illinois Dick Durbin Roland Burris
Indiana Richard Lugar Evan Bayh
Iowa Tom Harkin Chuck Grassley
Kansas Pat Roberts Sam Brownback
Kentucky Mitch McConnell Jim Bunning
Louisiana Mary Landrieu David Vitter
Maine Olympia Snowe Susan Collins
Maryland Ben Cardin Barbara Mikulski
Massachusetts Paul G. Kirk John Kerry
Michigan Debbie Stabenow Carl Levin
Minnesota Amy Klobuchar Al Franken
Mississippi Roger Wicker Thad Cochran
Missouri Claire McCaskill Kit Bond
Montana Jon Tester Max Baucus
Nebraska Ben Nelson Mike Johanns
Nevada John Ensign Harry Reid
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Judd Gregg
New Jersey Bob Menendez Frank Lautenberg
New Mexico Jeff Bingaman Tom Udall
New York Kirsten Gillibrand Chuck Schumer
North Carolina Kay Hagan Richard Burr
North Dakota Kent Conrad Byron Dorgan
Ohio Sherrod Brown George Voinovich
Oklahoma Jim Inhofe Tom Coburn
Oregon Jeff Merkley Ron Wyden
Pennsylvania Bob Casey, Jr. Arlen Specter
Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse Jack Reed
South Carolina Lindsey Graham Jim DeMint
South Dakota Tim Johnson John Thune
Tennessee Bob Corker Lamar Alexander
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison John Cornyn
Utah Orrin Hatch Robert Foster Bennett
Vermont Bernie Sanders Patrick Leahy
Virginia Jim Webb Mark Warner
Washington Maria Cantwell Patty Murray
West Virginia Robert Byrd Jay Rockefeller
Wisconsin Herb Kohl Russ Feingold
Wyoming John Barrasso Mike Enzi
Class I Class II Class III
     Democratic 22 20 16
     Republican 9 13 18
     Independent 2 0 0
Total 33 33 34
Last election 2006 2008 2004
Next election 2012 2014 2010

External links


Simple English

The three classes of United States Senators are made up of 33 or 34 senators. Each class gets re-elected every 6 years.

Contents

Classes

Class 1

Class 1 is made up of the 33 senators who are up for re-election in 2012.

States with a Class 1 senator: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.[1]

Class 2

Class 2 is made up of the 33 senators who are up for re-election in 2014.

States with a Class 2 senator: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.[2]

Class 3

Class 3 is made up of the 34 senators who are up for re-election in 2010.

States with a Class 3 senator: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.[3]

References


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