.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

DC Voting Rights: Unconstitutional Unless Done So Through Amendment

Earlier this week a subject came to our attention that has us a little peeved. It seems that certain members of Congress have decided to push for voting rights for the District of Columbia. For those unaware of this, it is an attempt to give DC a permanent, sitting vote in the House:

If you've visited the District of Columbia, you may have seen the license plates declaring "taxation without representation." This isn't a gripe about taxes, which they love in D.C. It's a complaint about the District's lack of seats in Congress. The rest of the country might have more sympathy if D.C.'s politicians were seeking representation according to the U.S. Constitution.

That isn't true of legislation poised to pass the House that would provide the 580,000 District residents with official representation in Congress. (They currently have a "Delegate" who has full committee rights and can vote on floor amendments as long as it doesn't change the outcome.) Supporters claim the vote is about "democracy," with Republican co-sponsor Tom Davis from nearby Virginia going so far as to suggest that residents of Baghdad have more rights than D.C. residents.

Mr. Davis hatched this deal with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton under which GOP-leaning Utah and the Democratic District would each get a House seat, bringing the total number to 437. More than a few Republicans have bought into the idea that one new seat for each party is fair. Meantime, they're getting media praise for voting to remedy what supporters call a "civil rights" issue.

Over at The Liberty Papers,Doug Mataconis has done an excellent job of explaining this issue. In short, this has nothing to do with "civil rights." This is an underhanded attempt to usurp the Constitution, namely Article I, Section 2 and 3, which explicitly state:

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.

Section 3 states the same for the Senate, with the exception that senators are no longer chosen by State legislatures, but by the people, as the 17th Amendment enumerates. The point being is that STATES have representation in the House and Senate, not districts or territories. As the WSJ points out above, DC does have a delegate, but they do not have the same privileges or rights a sitting member of Congress has.

The argument being perpetuated by DC voting-rights supporters is that in Article I, Section 8, Congress has the exclusive authority to legislate for the capital what it deems necessary, and they believe that to mean granting them a seat in the House. Unfortunately, the Constitution is explicit -- only States have representation in Congress.

To grant DC a siting vote, an amendment would have to be passed by Congress and by the States granting them that right. Congress cannot simply pass a piece of legislation, and make their desire come true. Additionally, the White House has expressed it's opposition to the bill believing that the Constitution is clear on the matter.

As of right now, the bil has been recommitted to the Oversight and Government commitee. Regardless, this bill must be stopped. While we have faith in the Supreme Court and its ability to determine what is and is not constitutional, we would rather not see them rule on this matter. There are too many apprehensions that they may end up screwing this decision up.



Post a Comment

<< Home

weight loss product