Senate Passes DC Voting Bill
Steven Taylor and I are basically of the same mind on the recent passage by the Senate of a bill to give voting representation in the U.S. House of Representatives to residents of the District of Columbia. I’ve written numerous times over the past six years, so one can consult my DC category archives for much more.
With respect to this particular attempt, my main gripe is that our representatives seem to have totally abrogated their obligation to follow the Constitution. Whatever one’s views on the merits of DC citizens having voting rights in Congress, it’s inarguable that the Constitution reserves that privilege to residents of the several states; that’s why we amended the Constitution to give DC three Electors for presidential elections.
One amusing side effect of this charade could be to give Utah and extra vote. The Supreme Court will surely strike down the Member for DC for reasons already stated. But the bill in question gives Utah an extra Member so as to assuage Republicans worried about adding a safe Democratic seat to the legislature. Unless there’s a non-severability clause in the bill, then, the short-term impact could be to add a Utah seat and not one for the District.
Photo by Flickr user Daquella Manera under Creative Commons license.