Friday, November 09, 2012

District of Columbia Statehood

Statehood for the District of Columbia is a terribly stupid, unconstitutional idea that is the worst possible solution to a much-more-easily solved problem.

Congress created the District of Columbia in 1791, and for the next 10 years its residents continued to function as citizens of Maryland or Virginia. They had congressmen and senators. It wasn't until the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that the residents were disenfranchised.

Acts of Congress can be repealed by acts of Congress. Undo the Organic Act and the problem goes away.

Completely retroceding the land to Maryland violates the constitutional requirement that the seat of government be separate from the states. Cutting the District into the Capital Service Area and the remainder, with the idea of retroceding the remainder, doesn't account for the fact that Maryland doesn't want to touch that crap with a ten-foot pole. But repealing the Organic Act would keep the residents out of Maryland while still giving them representatives and senators and presidential electors (through Maryland, not their own).

For the past five Congresses, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has introduced a bill to do substantially this. This correction of a serious civil rights problem can't get out of committee, but every damn post office in the land can get an honorary name.

How do I know this bill will also die in the 113th Congress? Because it's sensible and appropriate, and we've seen that Americans don't understand such things anymore. (Wait, I said I wasn't going to talk about it.)

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