In the latest of many cynical and highly political actions, the House of Representatives last week passed a measure that would transform the District of Columbia and make it 51st.
"DC", as locals often abbreviate it, is already a "state". It is a state of corruption, crime and dysfunction.
The only reason Democrats are in favor of the nation's capital becoming a state is that it would win two senators, who would surely be Democrats, and its "delegate", Eleanor Holmes Norton, could vote in the House. Currently, you can only participate in committee hearings with the permission of the president.
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The Founders specifically banned the District from becoming a state, but who listens the most when protesters deface and tear down some of its statues, and liberal judges rewrite the Constitution to fit the spirit of the day?
As Time magazine pointed out: "… the lack of statehood for the capital is enshrined in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the document says: & # 39; Congress will have power to … exercise a exclusive legislation in all cases, in any District (not exceeding ten square miles) that, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the United States ".
It was James Madison, says Time, who explained the reasoning behind this provision in Federalist 43. The language is rigid, but updated simply means that the national government must have exclusive power over land purchased from the states. These would be the same powers extended over the created federal district, later called the District of Columbia. House legislation would change the name to Douglass Commonwealth in honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The Constitution prohibits what House Democrats are trying to achieve. The language and intention of the Founders could not be clearer.
"No tax without representation" is the slogan printed on the city's license plates. It refers to a cry that fueled the American Revolution when people protested paying taxes to the English king without having a say in the government, or how the money was spent.
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If people knew a lot of history these days, it could be a powerful argument, but as noted, the Constitution prohibits what House Democrats are trying to accomplish. The language and intention of the Founders could not be clearer.
Also, no one is obligated to live in the District. Maryland and Virginia border the city, which was created "ten square miles" from land donated by both states for the specific purpose of establishing a federal capital with provisions on how it would be administered.
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The city has a Home Rule, which means it can vote for mayor, city council, and school board members, among other positions, giving residents some control over how their city taxes are spent. However, Congress can still override any local legislation that it does not like, as required by the Constitution.
Given recent riots and property damage in DC, the Senate is even less likely to accept the House measure to make the city a state, and even if it did, President Trump would certainly veto it. The possibility of DC becoming the 51st state could be added to the list of President and Republican reasons why Democrats should not win the White House, or a majority in the Senate in the upcoming election, now only four months away.
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