So the news is full of reports that H.R.5803 – Washington, D.C. Admission Act passed in the House. Didn’t think about it much until I saw that it passed on a 232-180 vote. Then I started scratching my head. Because that’s a fail vote.
The “District” which is the “Seat of Government of the United States” was established constitutionally; Article I, Section 8. It’s presidential electors were granted by the 23rd Amendment. To shrink the federal District down, and granted the remaining area of the District a state requires a constitutional amendment.
By Article V, amendments have to be approved by “two thirds of both Houses. They needed 290 pro-statehood votes, not a simple majority. It failed.
Reading the resolution makes it clear: they aren’t amending the Constitution; they’re trying to do this purely by legislation. Constitution; what’s that? We don’t need no steenkin’ constitution.
But let’s say that they can constitutionally shrink the District. In fact, they’ve done that before. But the precedent established that the “retroceded” land goes back to the state that had ceded it to the federal government originally. That would be Maryland in this case.
But if they’re going to make that diamond-with-a-bite-out-of-it into a state, Article IV, Section 3 comes into play.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
That gets a bit complicated. I figure already-blue Maryland would go along with it, to boost the Dems in DC, but the process does have to be followed.
Instead, these idjits are using the precedent of admitting federally administered territories that were never part of a state in the first place.
I almost wish Yertle McConnell would let this pass the Senate, just to watch the constitutional/precedential/judicial shit show that would ensue. I’d demand that every judge seated in the District recuse themselves as being a party to the dispute, including every sitting Supreme Court Justice.
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