I’m no legal scholar, but I don’t see how they can ignore the plain language of Article 1, Section 2 of our basic law: “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.”
Democratic leaders seem to think this can be negated by citing Article 1, Section 5: “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…” Does that justification seem even remotely plausible? I think not. (If it is, the same argument could be used to give representation to other non-states, like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, etc.)
And the Republicans? They’ll accept the deal if the District’s gun laws are gutted! (“D.C. Weighs Price of Securing Vote in Congress”; The Post, March 21st). What a travesty, to say in effect: we’ll go along with violating Article 1 if you accept our view of Amendment 2 (the right to bear arms). Neither side seems to have any respect for the Constitution itself.
When and if this passes (with or without the gun provision) I hope and expect that the Supreme Court will strike it down. And then perhaps we can do the job right: support a constitutional amendment giving DC a vote in Congress. While the push to make the District a state failed, I think that giving them one House seat would be widely seen as only fair.