Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Senator Hatch Sells Out for a Short-Lived Seat

The Macaca Post reports on the unconstitutional effort to legislate a seat for DC in the House of Representatives:

A prominent Republican senator, Orrin G. Hatch, threw his weight behind the D.C. voting-rights bill yesterday in what supporters called a possible breakthrough in getting the legislation approved by that chamber.


The legislation is a political compromise that would pair a new House seat for the heavily Democratic District with another seat for Republican-leaning Utah. Hatch's state just missed getting a fourth representative after the last census.

The next census is a mere 3 years away, which will cause any new Utah seat to be moot by 2012 - after a mere two terms. The unconstitutional DC seat, however, would continue to exist.
Even if the legislation passes the Senate, the White House has threatened a veto.
Rightly so.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated his opposition to the measure, however. Asked whether Hatch's move would change Republican minds, McConnell said: "Well, it doesn't change the Constitution. And the Constitution's really quite clear on it."

Critics of the D.C. vote legislation say it violates the constitutional requirement that House members come from states. The bill's supporters argue that the Constitution gives Congress sweeping powers over the District, which would allow for giving it full representation in the House.

By the supporters' logic, Congress can unilaterally amend the Constitution in any situation. After all, it is in the District.

Background: Congressional Research Service: DC Vote Plan Unconstitutional

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