I feel for D.C. residents. Really, I do. It is a shame that in our Republic the citizens of its capital city are not represented in its legislative bodies.
This week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would give one vote in the U.S. House to the representative of the District of Columbia. Currently, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton has the right to speak, among other actions, but has no vote.
But the Senate-passed bill is likely unconstitutional:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
~U.S. Constitution, Article I, Sec. 2.
There’s no doubt in my mind, at least from what I understand from the reading above, that the Constitution is clear: The members of the House of Representatives must be elected by the people of a state. The District of Columbia is not a state.
Through the harrowing, frightening eight years of the Bush Administration, progressives and Constitution-lovers cringed at the various presidential actions that served to only shred our founding documents. It is a shame that Democrats, now in majority power, seek to do the same thing.
The best way for the citizens of D.C. to gain a vote in Congress is to petition the Congress for statehood. Either that, or seek an amendment to the Constitution allowing a voting member from the capital district. That makes the most sense and it is the most constitutional, ethical and moral means to achieving the goal of fair representation of the District of Columbia’s residents.
[Ed. Note — Paul McNeal has a great guest contribution below. I’m encouraging him to become a regular InterstateQ.com contributor. I’m sure you’ll like his stuff and hope you encourage him to join the club, too! — Matt]
“When I am president of the United States, Gays and Lesbians will have somebody who will fight for equal rights for them, because they are our brothers, and they are our sisters…” — Barack Obama
In this video, Barack Obama eloquently discusses his vision for a United States of America. Growing up in a socially conservative environment, it was a struggle to talk about my feelings and emotions as a Gay Christian. To take it a couple of steps further, a Gay African American Military Christian Man –- try that one on for size. (smile)
What I am starting to notice, since my departure from the military (2001) is a cultural shift. I would call it an awakening but we have not really been asleep on the issues I will discuss, it’s actually been in discussion for quite some time.