House Democrats’ latest D.C. statehood scheme is far from their first attempt to achieve statehood for the district, but it does share a commonality with the efforts that came before it: they’re all unconstitutional.
When the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives first rejected the idea in 1960, they settled on a compromise and created the 23rd Amendment which grants D.C. votes in the Electoral College as if it were a state. If D.C. were to be granted statehood without the 23rd Amendment being repealed, these three Electoral College votes would be granted to a small enclave consisting only of the first family, a reality former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy described as “inconceivable” and one that would “produce an absurdity.”
In fact, Robert Kennedy wasn’t the only Democrat voicing concerns about the constitutionality of achieving D.C. statehood through legislation. Every Justice Department for the past 60 years has come to the conclusion that D.C. cannot be granted statehood without a constitutional amendment. Even current House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), voted against legislation in 1993 that would have done exactly what his own party is considering this week.
So what’s changed?
Put simply, Democrats have made D.C. statehood about consolidating power and enacting radical policies.
Democrats would have you believe that their argument is based on simply expanding voting representation for district residents, but several alternatives to statehood exist for D.C. to obtain voting representation in Congress and Democrats aren’t interested in any of them.
What they really want are two more Senate seats, so they can jam through radical policies like enacting the Green New Deal, eliminating the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, and defunding the police.
And Democrats aren’t hesitant to voice this position out loud. Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was recently quoted saying, “[T]here’s a national political logic for [D.C. statehood], too, because the Senate has become the principal obstacle to social progress across a whole range of issues.”
That doesn’t exactly support their ‘representation’ argument.
Make no mistake about it, H.R. 51 is just Democrats’ latest attempt at a power grab. This unconstitutional bill is a façade to give President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer the power to further intrude into Americans’ daily lives and push their radical policies through Congress.