Friday, February 27, 2009
District of Columbia representatives: an Entirely Unconstitutional Process.
This country continues, at breakneck pace, to destroy its Constitution and eviscerate the Rule of Law. Under Bush, it was done in the name of "National Security." Under Obama, it's done in the name of Populist Mob Rule.
The House of Representatives has voted to permit the non-voting representative from Washington, DC to have full voting rights as a member of Congress. It is argued that it is unfair that the District of Columbia's 592,000 people have no voice of their own in Congress.
I do not argue that point. However, granting these citizens a Representative requires more than Congressional Mob Rule in a fit of moral outrage: it requires a Constitutional Amendment.
Article I, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution states:
"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."
The Constitution is clear that STATES have voting representatives in Congress. Not Districts, Not cities, Not territories.
If Washington DC, with 592,000 people, why not New York City with 8.3 million people? Why not Puerto Rico, with 4 million people?
When the District of Columbia sought the right to vote in Presidential elections, everyone understood that the Constitution only permitted Electors from the States to cast ballots for President. Appropriately, the nation adopted a Constitutional Amendment (the 23rd Amendment) in 1961 to permit DC residents to vote for President.
This is no different. If the residents of DC want to be represented in Congress, there is a clear process: Amend the Constituion, don't just ride roughshod over it.