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Old February 26, 2009, 08:27 PM   #26
kirpi97
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The District already has a recognized and seated member of Congress. This will only give her voting rights in the House. Something Eleanor has been fighting for for years. I had to listen to Eleanor Holmes Norton for years while living in the District. To think she may actually have a vote to go with her voice is alarming. It should be noted that she was rated the 19th most influential and 16th in legislative power during her stint with the 110th Congress. She did that with no vote.

This bill fell three votes short of the 60 in the senate last year. I wonder what has changed? The gun laws being scrapped???

I hold no promise for the DC District Court to use the Constitution in its ruling of the bill should it become law. So the Supreme Court will have to be the ones to deny millions of their voice in government. Jessie and Al will be out on the front lines for this one.
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Old February 26, 2009, 08:30 PM   #27
Shane Tuttle
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Any way you try to read this, the Constitution requires a Representative or a Senator to be a resident of the State from which he was chosen.
I haven't seen this as an issue yet. Have they already picked a rep if this goes through?
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Old February 26, 2009, 08:57 PM   #28
gc70
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In S.Amdt. 585, Senator Kyl proposed a substitution for the Voting Rights Act that would have given the District (except for a core of federal buildings around the Mall) back to Maryland.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:05 PM   #29
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I haven't seen this as an issue yet. Have they already picked a rep if this goes through?
I imagine it would still be Norton. Not that it's relevant, as it will never happen.

There is simply no way whatsoever that this can be Constitutional. Here's hoping the Supreme Court honors this simple fact.


I can say that I doubt that when D.C. was established it was predicted that it would become more populous than some states (well, one for now). I think at some point something will need to be done regarding this, because having a half a million people paying federal taxes with no representation in Congress is probably more reprehensible to me than completely ignoring the text of the Constitution.

Still, this is not the way. Amend, or figure something else out, but this is no good at all.

A better solution would probably be to give D.C. residents voting rights in Maryland or Virginia (probably Maryland). Let them vote in federal elections through a proxy state, leave the rest as-is.

Of course, this kinda screws them in the Electoral College, but absent an amendment it seems like the best solution that actually recognizes the existence of the Constitution.

EDIT: Then again, this would probably require the consent of Maryland. Which is unlikely.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:07 PM   #30
bob.a
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I don't think Maryland wanted it back.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:15 PM   #31
johnwilliamson062
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The fact that residents of DC have NO representation at the national level is pretty scabrous.
The founding fathers didn't want people to spend a lifetime in politics. They didn't want "politician" to be a job. DC shouldn't get a vote b/c no one worth a damn should be sticking around long enough to need one.

Azhred beat me to the punch, but I can't believe more peopl;e don't feel this way.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:25 PM   #32
JuanCarlos
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The founding fathers didn't want people to spend a lifetime in politics. They didn't want "politician" to be a job. DC shouldn't get a vote b/c no one worth a damn should be sticking around long enough to need one.

Azhred beat me to the punch, but I can't believe more peopl;e don't feel this way.
This would make sense if a city full of non-politicians hadn't sprung up there.

Basically they should have made the district smaller. Oops.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:34 PM   #33
gc70
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having a half a million people paying federal taxes with no representation in Congress is probably more reprehensible to me than completely ignoring the text of the Constitution
Senator Coburn proposed S.Amdt. 581 to eliminate federal income taxation for permanent residents of the District. No taxation - no representation.
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Old February 26, 2009, 10:38 PM   #34
JuanCarlos
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That's another perfectly reasonable alternative, I suppose. Though really I think finding a way to give them voting representation is preferable.
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Old February 26, 2009, 11:18 PM   #35
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The specific intent of the consitution was to have the national capital distinct from any state and not a state itself. When the constitution was written the capital was never considered a permanent place for people to live. It was inteded as the seat of government and nothing more. It was a place for the federal government to conduct it's business and not be dependent upon a state government for it's safety and security. It was probably assumed that those who worked or did business in the district would live and vote in a state.

Why don't we just shrink the size of the district? It was done in the past when Alexandria was given back to Virginia.
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Old February 27, 2009, 12:29 AM   #36
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I don't get it. Some of you seem to think it reprehensible that those who choose to live in a federal enclave, receive no federal representation. Why?

Because the people that live there are ignorant or illiterate? Those are both curable conditions. Even assuming the schools there are as bad as I've heard (or even worse), the finest public library in the nation is located in D.C. So that can't be the reason.

Instead of ranting and raving about this, if you cared, really cared, you would be working for a Constitutional Amendment... I doubt such would pass, but there you are.

Sorry. I have no sympathy at all for the self-inflicted plight of these people. They live where they live out of either choice or sloth. If they wanted representation, they would move.
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Old February 27, 2009, 12:49 AM   #37
vranasaurus
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I don't get it. Some of you seem to think it reprehensible that those who choose to live in a federal enclave, receive no federal representation. Why?
I agree.

No one is forcing them to live in DC.
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Old February 27, 2009, 09:55 PM   #38
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Still Unconstitutional

It should go to SCOTUS.

Getting another House member for Utah means what? They actually will have 437 members total, that doesn't make any sense.

What about with the Obama Admin having control (some, or alot?) of the Census Bureau, so that Utah House seat could magically go away.
Why would they need to even be involved in that at all unless they were going to lie about something in the numbers.
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Old February 28, 2009, 01:26 PM   #39
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What about with the Obama Admin having control (some, or alot?) of the Census Bureau, so that Utah House seat could magically go away.
^^^ Here is wisdom and forethought.

Too bad you're not a Senator... All of ours (well, at least 61) are stupid or deliberately intent on gerrymandering themselves a permanent incumbency.
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Old March 3, 2009, 08:41 PM   #40
gc70
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Firearm Provision Blows Up D.C. Voting Rights Bill

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For the second time in as many weeks, the House has had to postpone action on a major bill important to Democratic leaders.

The House Democratic leadership Tuesday decided to delay a plan to grant a seat in the House to the District of Columbia. Since it is not a state, Washington, D.C., does not get a vote in Congress.

The Senate approved a similar bill to give the District voting representation. And approval in the House seemed all but assured. But an amendment attached to the Senate version of the legislation by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., created problems in the House.

Ensign's amendment would give Washington residents better access to firearms. The Supreme Court last year ruled that the District's 32-year-old ban on firearms was unconstitutional.

Passing the District of Columbia legislation was supposed to be easy in the House compared to the Senate. But the National Rifle Association signaled it could make a procedural vote on the issue a test case for lawmakers' Second Amendment voting records.

Nearly every piece of legislation that comes to the House floor must receive what's called a "rule." The rule establishes the guidelines for how lawmakers will handle the measure on the floor. Everything from time allotments to amendments are contained in the rule.

However, the Democratic leadership faced a potential revolt from moderate and conservative Democrats on the vote to approve the rule if the leadership failed to include Ensign's firearms provision.

The House cannot debate a bill if the procedural vote on the rule fails.

So this conundrum forced the Democrats to punt on representation for the District of Columbia for now.

This episode mirrors a scenario two years ago when Republicans forced Democrats to yank a similar bill for Washington, D.C. off the floor when they attempted to make pro-Second Amendment lawmakers to either vote for the legislation or against gun rights.

Last week House Democrats had to postpone a vote on a bill designed to ease the nation's housing crisis. Democrats intended to approve a plan that would grant bankruptcy judges the right to lower mortgage rates and interest payments for struggling homeowners. Concerns about whether there were enough Democrats to support the plan made the leadership delay a vote on that plan until later this week.
It appears that some Democrats are concerned about their Second Amendment voting records.
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