Senate Thumbs its Nose at Constitution

The Senate voted today to give Washington, DC at vote in the House.  To balance the presumed Democratic vote, Utah is also given another representative.  The House is expected to pass it as well.

This is spectacularly unconstitutional.  Remember the constitution?   The one we don’t use much anymore?  Let’s see what it says.

Article I, Section 2, Clause 1 says

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.

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 says

[Representatives] shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers

Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 says

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies

Notice how often states get mentioned?  It’s all over the place.  I don’t see how you can possibly argue that giving a vote to a non-state is in anyway constitutional.

But let’s say for the sake of argument someone counters that the Founders never conceived of a situation where U.S. citizens were living in U.S. controlled territory that wasn’t in a state.   As it turns out, they did anticipate such a thing.

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 says

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States

In other words, the Founders were well aware that the U.S. was likely to be have non-state territory under its control.  They chose not to give those territories a vote in the congress.

That’s the end of the story as far as I’m concerned.  Don’t like it?   Then change the constitution or, more to the point, incorporate Washington into Maryland.  I doubt that would happen though because Congress would lose its little play toy.

Leave a Reply