The Democrats have finally pulled the plug on the D.C. Vote bill — citing an amendment that would strip the city of its gun control laws. While D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) previously stated (here and here) that there was an agreement to pass the amendment as the cost for the D.C. vote, House leadership decided yesterday to pull the bill.
I testified at the prior congressional hearings (here and here and here) and written columns (here and here) on why I consider the bill to be flagrantly unconstitutional. I have also written a long academic piece explaining why this means of securing the vote would face a likely court challenge and, in my view, such a challenge would be successful. I have long supported D.C. residents gaining a vote and proposed alternative and constitutional means to secure such a result.
As I have stated in four or five congressional hearings, we could have secured a vote for D.C. years ago if this ill-conceived plan had not been adopted. Ironically, it was adopted out of pure political convenience to trade off a seat for Utah. This is a case of path dependence where past investment in one approach now makes it difficult to admit that another approach is better. However, that state is now likely to get the seat in the current census. While I am doubtful, I only wish that the leadership would now reconsider and work on a constitutional option.
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23 thoughts on “Congress Pulls D.C. Vote Bill”
By that reasoning, Lexicon would find it hard to feel sorry for the people who moved to the 13 American colonies, where the rules had been established prior to their arrival.
So that puts Lexicon on the side of King and Parliament in the American Revolution.
When the federal district was established in 1800 it was a town of 5000 people. It’s hard to feel sorry for people who moved to a district where the rules had been established prior to their arrival.
The definition of “colonialism” is :
1. The control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
2. The system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence.
3. The state or condition of being colonial.
4.an idea, custom, or practice peculiar to a colony.
DC fits the classic definition of the term. Its “people” are subject to the governing influence of a nation which they have no voice in selecting.
The “territories” of the US are classic colonies, also with no voice in their government.
Colonialism is inconsistent with the founding principle of the nations, that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The US started in a colonial revolution against rule by King and Parliament. As the new nation grew for the next century, it absorbed all new land and people into its national government.
It became a beacon for colonial peoples around the world.
But the country took a wrong turn. It acquired colonial possessions itself, and today maintains the largest remaining colonial empire in the world. It reneged on the promise to end colonialism.
So it is time for the nation to examine its roots in the concept of self determination.
It has to reclaim the principle that its just powers over all people subject to its jurisdiction are subject to the consent of the governed.
All who say that DC and the territories should have no voice in the selection of the government that rules them must consider that this position ignores the founding principles of the nation,
They can believe in the Declaration and the consent of the governed.
They can still maintain that peoples subject to its powers should remain unrepresented.
They just can’t do both.
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