Too Clever By Half: The Constitutional Argument Against the Current Voting Bill for the District of Columbia

The current legislation to give the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives has no shortage of passion behind it. Indeed, after testifying repeatedly that this legislation is unconstitutional, I have felt my share of that passion turned to anger. It has been an ironic position for me, because I strongly believe that District residents should be allowed to vote in Congress and I have many close friends on the other side of this debate. Indeed, I supported greater (and permanent) representation — as opposed to his partial representation plan. To that end, I have published a lengthy law review article below explaining why I believe that the law is flawed and why there are better option for the city.

The article in our law review can be found here.

I still hope that we can have a civil and informed discussion of these constitutional issues as well as the alternatives to this legislation. This is really not a debate between those who want representation for residents and those who do not. It still matters how we do things and not just what we do. This approach was selected for political convenience after prior constitutional amendments failed. However, to secure the legislation, supporters have studiously avoided textual and historical sources contradicting their claims. It is neither necessary nor wise to do so — particularly when constitutional alternatives are readily available.

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