Issa: No Rep for D.C. 

We already know that liberals don’t believe in voting right for D.C., because they pulled the voting rights bill rather than allow non-criminal Washingtonians to carry guns.

Today, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., makes the constitutional case against D.C. voting representation in Congress in Roll Call. That case was originally based on fears that otherwise, Southern interests would dominate the federal government:

Article 1 of the Constitution states unambiguously that “the House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states.” Moreover, Congress has the power to “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever” over the District of Columbia.

The “enclave clause,” as it has come to be known, forged an agreement between the Federalists – led by Alexander Hamilton – and the Anti-Federalists – led by Thomas Jefferson – to locate the federal city in the South while ensuring federal control of the territory, not to exceed 10 miles square. In 1800, the federal government officially moved to Washington, D.C.

Through the years, the courts have consistently upheld federal control of the District and rejected claims that the nation’s capital is “like a state” and therefore due the rights of statehood, including voting representation in Congress. As Chief Justice John Marshall wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court in Loughborough v. Blake (1820), “although in theory it might be more congenial to the spirit of our institutions to admit a representative from the district, it may be doubted whether, in fact, its interests would be rendered thereby the more secure.”

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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