Very few people were eligible to vote in the early days of the U.S., so there was clearly a disconnect between the number of eligible voters and the number of people. Proportional representation was based on population, not voting eligibility.
I'm surprised this case even made it up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The unanimous verdict indicates that this probably wasn't even a matter of serious dispute.
However, your statement:
Very few people were eligible to vote in the early days of the U.S., so there was clearly a disconnect between the number of eligible voters and the number of people.
is also troublesome.
Shouldn't your sentence end with "...and the number of citizens."?
Otherwise, we have to assume the Founders intended that the rest of the world who happened to have some presence within our borders was entitled to representation equal to that enjoyed by voters. (Today's "dilution" argument.)
Even then, such a view would have sounded an alarm to both the Founders and those expecting to be eligible to vote, of a potentially disastrous imbalance.
The question of whether illegal aliens should be present in large numbers is completely separate from the Constitutional issue of what representation means. The former is a political question, not a judicial one, and is one of the key issues in the current election cycle. Pray we choose wisely.
Precisely. To vote, one had to be free, white, male, 21, and a landowner. There were large numbers of people who were counted as population who were not eligible to vote.
We do need to eliminate the illegal aliens from the equation, though. They are not supposed to be here in the first place.