On January 30th, The Daily Caller posted an article about the possibility of Washington, D.C., becoming a state. The article asks the question as to whether or not statehood for Washington, D.C., requires a Constitutional Amendment.
On Friday Breitbart reported that the House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on whether or not to make Washington, D.C., a state.
The article reports:
The House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on whether to make Washington, D.C., a State.
The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), voted the bill, H.R. 51, out of committee by a vote of 25-19 to create D.C. statehood Wednesday.
Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs has stated that the move is unconstitutional and simply a partisan power grab.
The article reports:
Biggs’ view is supported by legal scholars, who opposed D.C. statehood’s feasibility without a Constitutional amendment to the 23rd Amendment. The Office of Legal Counsel in 2007 believed it was unconstitutional, the Justice Department under former President Reagan and former President Carter stated the transformation was unconstitutional, and so did Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, when he sat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Additionally, twenty-two state Attorneys General sent a letter Tuesday to President Joe Biden and Congress arguing Washington, D.C., cannot transition into a state via legislation, but only through the method of a Constitutional amendment.
The primary arguments against D.C. statehood are:
- Our nation’s capital was always meant to be unique. The Framers established in the Constitution’s District Clause that the nation’s capital is a federal district, existing beyond the borders or influence of any state.
- H.R. 51 is doubly unconstitutional, violating both the plain meaning of the District Clause as well as the necessary implications of the Twenty-Third Amendment.
- Even those who support D.C. statehood admit district residents enjoy special benefits due to where they live and would enjoy an outsize influence in Congress.
The Founding Fathers purposely avoided making Washington, D.C., a state. If our current legislators want to change that, they need a Constitutional Amendment (which can be difficult to do–further proving that our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing). If this is passed, I suspect court cases will quickly follow. I would feel better about that if I trusted the courts.