Friday, February 27, 2009

Representation for D.C.

The senate voted overwhelmingly to give D.C. representation in the House while stripping away gun control measures. Frankly I don't think those gun measures in the end will derail the measure. The federal courts will, particularly since the justices at the Supreme Court would have to find away around the language expressly limiting representation to states.

D.C. residents may have to press for a constitutional amendment granting it legal representation or plead for statehood.

Note the language and the words I emphasized:

"Section 2. 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."

There is yet another measure which might be challenged but I am not sure if this was decided already:

The senate, in its effort to expedite constitutional challenges, says the measure will be directly appealed to the Supreme Court, thereby circumventing the Appeals Court. I don't know if this potential separation of powers issue has been settled. Then again, even if it was settled it might no longer be if such a ruling was made when different justices were on the bench.

Stay tuned.

For the record I have no problem with sections 202 and 203 or Title II of the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009. Sections 204 and 205, however, should be removed in conference.

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