Friday, March 16, 2007

D.C. Voting Rights Advances; Still Unconstitutional

The House Judiciary Committee voted 21 to 13 to send the D.C. voting rights bill to the House floor. The bill would give the District a vote in the House of Representatives (and in a Missouri-compromise-like provision, also add a seat for Utah, so Democrats and Republicans would each advance by one). It looks like the bill might actually pass the House, although its prospects in the Senate are less clear. It's an exciting moment for the District, where our lack of representation in the Congress has long been a national disgrace.

Unfortunately, as I explained here and here, the bill is blatantly unconstitutional. The Constitution limits representation in Congress to states. The District is not a state. That's really a problem. I know some heavy hitters (including Viet Dinh, Ken Starr, and my former boss, Judge Patricia M. Wald) have endorsed the constitutionality of the bill, but I just don't buy it. Sorry -- I agree that the status of the District is scandalous, but we have to obey the Constitution as we fix it. Maybe it can't even be fixed without a constitutional amendment.

1 comment:

KipEsquire said...

Ken Starr is a hired gun these days. Watch him argue against gay marriage in California (hired by R.C. & LDS churches as intervenors). You can see in his face he doesn't believe a word of what he says.