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Testimony on Constitutionality of DC Voting Rights Bill:
The Washington Post article cited below on the constitutionality of the DC Voting Rights bill references DOJ testimony in 2007 by John Elwood, then a Deputy at OLC. You can find the testimony here; it seems quite persuasive to me. For the contrary view, see Ken Starr's 2004 testimony here.

  UPDATE: My colleague Jonathan Turley as also written an article on this that was published last year in the George Washington Law Review: Too Clever By Half: The Unconstitutionality of Partial Representation of the District of Columbia in Congress.
TerrencePhilip:
Indeed that is some persuasive reasoning. I look forward to the reasoned discussion it, by disputants consistently employing the rhetorical postures they assumed during the last administration . . .
4.1.2009 2:28pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
Why would one think people would change their view on D.C. representation because of the change of administration? Then as now, D.C. is solidly Democratic. Then as now, the proposal is to bundle this together with an extra representative for Utah, which, then as now, is solidly Republican. So the goal was to do something politically neutral.

On to the merits, it sounds like D.C. representation is unconstitutional under a textual/originalist reading; but I'm somewhat impressed with the precedents Ken Starr marshals where the Supreme Court has said that D.C. can be treated as a state for constitutional purposes, e.g. for diversity jurisdiction. So if we're looking at whether representation is constitutional under current doctrine, I'm not at all sure that the answer is a clear-cut "no."
4.1.2009 2:37pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Apparently, there isn't unanimous support for this WaPo: A Split At Justice On D.C. Vote Bill, Holder Overrode Ruling That Measure Is Unconstitutional

It will be interesting to see how often the Holder Justice Department goes back to get a second opinion on the Constitutionality of various things, when it doesn't like the first answer it got. Also, this seems a bit hypocritical, from those who complained about the Yoo, et al. torture memos.
4.1.2009 2:40pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
On to the merits, it sounds like D.C. representation is unconstitutional under a textual/originalist reading; but I'm somewhat impressed with the precedents Ken Starr marshals where the Supreme Court has said that D.C. can be treated as a state for constitutional purposes, e.g. for diversity jurisdiction. So if we're looking at whether representation is constitutional under current doctrine, I'm not at all sure that the answer is a clear-cut "no."
Let me suggest though that in the case of diversity, the diversity jurisdiction is not as well documented in the Constitution, its supporting documents, and 200+ years of jurisprudence and legislation.
4.1.2009 2:44pm
Abdul Abulbul Amir (mail):

Then as now, the proposal is to bundle this together with an extra representative for Utah, which, then as now, is solidly Republican. So the goal was to do something politically neutral.



Neutral? Fat chance. Utah will have an extra seat until the next census, but DC will have one forever. That may be good packaging and salesmanship but it is in no way politically neutral.
4.1.2009 2:47pm
Hannibal Lector:
That Congress created the legal fiction that DC is one of the States for purposes of interpreting federal legislation has no bearing on the current matter. The Constitution gives Congress the power to do pretty much anything it wants with DC. But giving DC voting powers in the Congress requires making DC a state and the Constitution lays out the procedure for doing this.

However, that the party which tried to destroy the Union for political advantage in 1861 should be trying to destroy the Constitution for political advantage in 2009 should surprise no one.

There is a simple, expedient, and constitutional precedent for giving the residents of what is now DC representation in Congress: Return the parts of DC that were once Maryland to Maryland just as the parts of DC that were once Virginia were returned to Virginia. The only argument against this is the partisan one that it would not gain the Confederate Party an additional Congressional vote.
4.1.2009 2:52pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
My question about this, is it actually a real issue? I can see that the DNC would love it, but have a hard time believing they think they can succeed in this manner.

Are they hoping to create such an outcry that an amendment would pass? Actually, maybe making DC a state wouldn't be all that bad, remove Congress' plenary power and let DC continue to wallow, show that it's not just national indifference.
4.1.2009 3:03pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
I do not find the testimony persuasive that it would not be constitutional to retrocede to Maryland the citizens of DC for purposes of voting in Maryland for federal and state offices, while retaining exclusive jurisdiction over the ground of DC (and people while present there). This is the practice for many military bases, where the people residing on-base are considered citizens of the ceding state for voting for state and federal office.
4.1.2009 3:11pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):
@Hannibal

At first I was confused,then I realized it was april fools. ahaha
4.1.2009 3:11pm
IPLawyer:
I would gladly forgo the congressional seat in exchange for a reprieve from federal income taxes.

What is the likelihood a bill like that would pass?
4.1.2009 3:19pm
Lior:
I'm not a lawyer, so could someone explain the following: if Congress can grant DC a representative based on its "plenary power" over DC, what prevents Congress from granting DC more than one representative (say, 436)? In other words, if the authority for this new representation does not come from Article I, then why should the apportionment rules of Article I apply to it?
4.1.2009 3:29pm
ShelbyC:

if Congress can grant DC a representative based on its "plenary power" over DC, what prevents Congress from granting DC more than one representative (say, 436)


Or two or more senators?
4.1.2009 3:31pm
Lior:
Prof. Volokh: regarding diversity jurisdiction, can't Congress pass "Laws of the United States" (in the sense of Art III Sec 2) under which DC residents could sue residents of other states? Similarly, Starr discusses the power to "regulate commerce", but if Congress can both "regulate commerce among the several states" and exercise plenary power over DC, surely it can regulate commerce between DC and the States?
4.1.2009 3:38pm
Lior:
Or two or more senators?

How about just one? Then the VP wouldn't be needed to break ties ...
4.1.2009 3:40pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
As a Democrat (really more an anti-Republican) and supporter of the rights of DC residents to be represented in Congress, I cannot see how the DC voting bill is constitutional. Before reading the testimony, my superficial take was that it was unconstitutional. After reading the testimony, I'm even more convinced of it. Although, like Sasha, I am a little impressed with the precedents that Starr was able to muster. I won't call the arguments for the bill's constitutionalily frivolous, but it's borderline to me.

Democrats should just introduce a constitutional amendment to give DC a repressentative(s) in the House as if it were a state. Republicans would look like partisans and/or racists to oppose it.
4.1.2009 3:42pm
jackson:
DC deserves representation in both the House and Senate because, as is self-evident, government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Full representation would correct an injustice. The easiest constitutional path is to redefine the District's boundaries to include only the unpopulated monumental core and make the rest a state.
4.1.2009 3:56pm
Oren:

Return the parts of DC that were once Maryland to Maryland just as the parts of DC that were once Virginia were returned to Virginia.

We've been over this in the previous thread -- MD doesn't want that cesspool and will never consent to taking it back.
4.1.2009 4:13pm
Sagar:
The easiest constitutional path is to redefine the District's boundaries to include only the unpopulated monumental core and make the rest a state.

... and make the rest "a part of whichever State it originally belonged to"
4.1.2009 4:17pm
Gump:
If you give us back DC we're taking Delaware.
4.1.2009 4:31pm
Roy C (mail):
DC deserves representation in both the House and Senate because, as is self-evident, government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Full representation would correct an injustice. The easiest constitutional path is to redefine the District's boundaries to include only the unpopulated monumental core and make the rest a state.

Then why not cede it back to Maryland?

Also I see so by that grounds Guam and the Virgin Islands also both each deserve such representation (something I am not personally averse to) Why no outcry for the Chamorros?
4.1.2009 4:35pm
Anderson (mail):
but I'm somewhat impressed with the precedents Ken Starr marshals

Reluctantly, I agree w/ Ken Starr. Not that I have much of a dog in this hunt.

I would like to see the Electoral College abolished, but it won't happen under the present Constitution, which guarantees equal representation for small states in the Senate.
4.1.2009 4:42pm
Brett Bellmore:

Democrats should just introduce a constitutional amendment to give DC a repressentative(s) in the House as if it were a state.


That would at least be constitutional. But if you're going to do that, why not make them a real state, instead of leaving them under the Congressional thumb?

But I think Congressional Democrats are more interested in setting a useful precident, than getting residents of DC the vote. Once they've established that they can hand out House seats to non-state territories, the sky is the limit for manufacturing new, reliable Democratic seats. And Senate seats would certainly be next.
4.1.2009 4:46pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Brett Bellmore: You're right, of course. It's all a conspiracy!
4.1.2009 4:54pm
KeithK (mail):

Democrats should just introduce a constitutional amendment to give DC a repressentative(s) in the House as if it were a state. Republicans would look like partisans and/or racists to oppose it.


An amendment requires ratification by 38 states to take effect. Ratification is an active step - states aren't required to vote or even consider amendments. Even if Democrats could use the specter of racism to get a DC amendment through the House and Senate (not trivial) it wouldn't be that hard to kill it at the State level.

DC should't be a state. The Constitutiona specifically and rightly calls for the seat of government ot be outside of any state. The logical solution is to return the excess land (pretty much everything residential) to Maryland.
4.1.2009 4:57pm
Brett Bellmore:
That, I think, is the appropriate solution. Maryland doesn't particularly WANT D.C. back, but it's not like the federal government is unaccustomed to bribing states to do something, I'm sure Maryland has it's price.
4.1.2009 5:04pm
PubliusFL:
Gump: If you give us back DC we're taking Delaware.

Couldn't we have worked that out before Senator Biden's last re-election??
4.1.2009 5:06pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:

That would at least be constitutional. But if you're going to do that, why not make them a real state, instead of leaving them under the Congressional thumb?


A fair question. First, I don't really like the disproportional nature of the Senate and it strikes me as deeply unfair for DC to get two Senators. I know DC's population is about the same as some other states, but just because the Senate is not perfect doesn't mean we should make it even more unrepresentative. Second, I find the original intent behind having the capital in a federal district under Congressional authority persuasive. See the testimony of Elwood on the history of this. Third, does DC really qualify as a state? It seems like a nothing more than a city to me. I wonder whether making DC a state would create complications I haven't even thought of. This one is not really an objection to DC statehood as much as something I would want to think about. Fourth and finally, as a practical matter, statehood does not seem politically feasible to me. There just doesn't seem to be the votes in congress, especially enough to end a filibuster in the Senate.
4.1.2009 5:22pm
switch (mail):
If Congress can give DC a Representative, can it later take it back? That is, could a Republican Congress revoke the Representative later?
4.1.2009 5:22pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
An amendment requires ratification by 38 states to take effect. Ratification is an active step - states aren't required to vote or even consider amendments. Even if Democrats could use the specter of racism to get a DC amendment through the House and Senate (not trivial) it wouldn't be that hard to kill it at the State level.
4.1.2009 5:25pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
Sorry about the premature post above.


An amendment requires ratification by 38 states to take effect. Ratification is an active step - states aren't required to vote or even consider amendments. Even if Democrats could use the specter of racism to get a DC amendment through the House and Senate (not trivial) it wouldn't be that hard to kill it at the State level.


Would Republicans really fight that hard to block an amendment giving DC a single representative in the House? Of course it would be a sure Democratic seat, but one seat in the House is not that important. It's certainly no where near as important as two Senate seats.

The only argument I've heard from Republicans against the DC voting rights bill is that it is unconstitutional. An amendment obviously moots that argument. I'm sure Republicans could come up with some pretext to oppose an amendment, but I think it would be seen for what it would be--a highly partisan effort to keep Democrats from gaining a single House seat at the cost of betraying a basic idea of America that everyone should have the right to vote for their representatives. And that's not even considering the racial undertones of opposing an amendment to give DC's mainly black citizens the right to vote. I may be naive on this, but I actually think there are enough Republicans of good faith and who care about America's ideals that such an amendment could get the necessary state ratification.
4.1.2009 5:33pm
Anderson (mail):
_ Ralph _ has a point -- a rep but no senator(s) would actually be a compromise, from the GOP point of view.
4.1.2009 5:38pm
Oren:

Maryland doesn't particularly WANT D.C. back, but it's not like the federal government is unaccustomed to bribing states to do something, I'm sure Maryland has it's price.


I don't think there is any inducement possible that would cause Maryland to consent to retrocession.
4.1.2009 5:45pm
Pro Natura (mail):
I don't think there is any inducement possible that would cause Maryland to consent to retrocession.
Perhaps if Virginia were to agree to take Prince Georges County.....
4.1.2009 5:53pm
Seamus (mail):

I don't think there is any inducement possible that would cause Maryland to consent to retrocession.


I'm sure if we could persuade people that their refusal was motivated by racism, they'd come around. After all, use of that strategy is the reason that the D.C. voting rights campaign has had as much success as it has so far.
4.1.2009 6:44pm
DG:
I am also someone who supports this IDEA but can't see how it passes constitutional muster.
4.1.2009 6:47pm
CDR D (mail):
As some have mentioned in this and the other thread, I don't see why the DC residents couldn't be given their own congessional district within the Maryland delegation for purposes of representation. There doesn't have to be a "retrocession", DC could still be a semi-autonomous municipality under the federal congress. The analogy to many military bases seems reasonable. Maryland wouldn't have to provide public services, but would get an additional representative.
4.1.2009 7:04pm
PubliusFL:
CDR D: As some have mentioned in this and the other thread, I don't see why the DC residents couldn't be given their own congessional district within the Maryland delegation for purposes of representation. There doesn't have to be a "retrocession", DC could still be a semi-autonomous municipality under the federal congress. The analogy to many military bases seems reasonable. Maryland wouldn't have to provide public services, but would get an additional representative.

The federal government could continue exercising territorial jurisdiction and providing services as though DC were one giant military base, but DC's residents would have to be considered Maryland citizens for more than just purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, or they wouldn't be "the people of" the state of Maryland per Art 1 Sec 2.
4.1.2009 7:17pm
MarkField (mail):
Everyone keeps talking about a constitutional amendment to make DC a state. It's not at all clear that an amendment is required. The annexation of Texas established that a joint resolution of Congress sufficed.
4.1.2009 7:21pm
Lior:
MarkField: you are confusing "DC the tract of land" (can be made a State by a joint resolution) with "DC the seat of government" (cannot be a state since the Constitution says it isn't).
4.1.2009 7:37pm
PubliusFL:
Lior: MarkField: you are confusing "DC the tract of land" (can be made a State by a joint resolution) with "DC the seat of government" (cannot be a state since the Constitution says it isn't).

To play devil's advocate, the Constitution doesn't actually say that the seat of government must not be located in a state, it says that it MAY not be a state. It talks about "such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as MAY, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States." As a matter of fact, the federal government was based in Philadelphia for the first several years, and I don't think that was considered unconstitutional, just inadvisable. Mark may have a point.
4.1.2009 7:55pm
geokstr:

My Middle Name Is Ralph:

I don't really like the disproportional nature of the Senate...

Really? Then what would you propose, that we have 435 Senators as well? Then what's the point of having a Senate at all, since if they too were proportional to population, isn't it likely the party breakdown would end up the same as in the House? Or is that the goal you'd like to see anyway, since your preferred party is now in charge?

I believe that the founders set up the non-proportionality quite deliberately to prevent the larger states from running rough-shod over the smaller ones, and to keep populism in check.

Smart guys, for being DWEMs.
4.1.2009 8:10pm
ll (mail):
Oren

<blockquote>
We've been over this in the previous thread — MD doesn't want that cesspool and will never consent to taking it back.

I don't think there is any inducement possible that would cause Maryland to consent to retrocession.
</blockquote>

Two questions.

1. Does Maryland get a chance to consent?

2. Why wouldn't Maryland accept the population for purposes of House representation, which would give it more Electoral College power as well as more power in the House?
4.1.2009 11:09pm
Oren:


1. Does Maryland get a chance to consent?

2. Why wouldn't Maryland accept the population for purposes of House representation, which would give it more Electoral College power as well as more power in the House?

1. Unclear, certainly unprecedented.

2. Can't be counted for the state unless you live in the state. Otherwise, what's to stop them from saying that, say, all the airmen on Diego Garcia actually live in Chicago for the purposes of voting in house elections (not that this wouldn't improve the quality of our representatives, mind you ...)
4.1.2009 11:15pm
Mark in Colorado:
Ralph wrote: I may be naive on this, but I actually think there are enough Republicans of good faith and who care about America's ideals that such an amendment could get the necessary state ratification.

Nice to see how open minded you are.
4.1.2009 11:38pm
ll (mail):

Otherwise, what's to stop them from saying that, say, all the airmen on Diego Garcia actually live in Chicago


Certainly they wouldn't count in Chicago, but don't they count for their US base of origin even though they are in Diego Garcia? e.g. the various tank and infantry from Fort Hood in Texas but doing a tour of duty in Iraq are counted for Texas.
4.1.2009 11:39pm
Dawnsblood (mail):

Certainly they wouldn't count in Chicago, but don't they count for their US base of origin even though they are in Diego Garcia?

Not exactly. Soldiers get to choose "Legal Residence,". That is where they count for voting purposes.
4.2.2009 12:23am
Cornellian (mail):
I don't know why Republicans would prefer returning DC to Maryland and Virginia rather than giving DC a seat in the House. Adding that many registered Democrats to Virginia's population would probably do far more damage to Republicans than adding one more seat in the House, even a guaranteed Democratic seat.
4.2.2009 12:31am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
If Congress can give DC a Representative, can it later take it back? That is, could a Republican Congress revoke the Representative later?
Don't see why not. For the most part, one Congress cannot bind a later one with laws it passes. (Heck, the probably can't even bind themselves not to repeal laws they pass).
t
4.2.2009 1:21am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
I don't know why Republicans would prefer returning DC to Maryland and Virginia rather than giving DC a seat in the House. Adding that many registered Democrats to Virginia's population would probably do far more damage to Republicans than adding one more seat in the House, even a guaranteed Democratic seat.
Except that Virginia got their part of the original district in 1846. The original shape of the District can still be seen today with the boundaries of Arlington County combined with those of the current Wash., D.C. forming a 10 mile by 10 mile square (excluding the part of the original District that is in Alexandria).
4.2.2009 1:40am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Why couldn't Congress simply prohibit everyone from making the District their legal residence? Each inhabitant of the District, like a soldier on a military reservation, would then be allowed to declare legal residence in whatever State he or she pleases for voting purposes.

Do the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Number One Observatory Circle declare these as their legal residences, and if so do they lack voting rights?
4.2.2009 4:03am
ReaderY:
If a simple majority in Congress could create a new member for a federal territory that is not a state, why couldn't If one can do it for any arbitrary federal territory or territories?

And if it can't do it for an arbitrary federal territories, why not make the office of each representative in the majority a seperate federal territory entitled to its member of Congress; it would need a single resident who would have to be a staffer of the existing representative and sleep in the office from time to time; such a staffer could be the sole Elector and the new representative for the territory.

Voila! Instead veto-proof super-majority.

If Congress can create a representative for one federal territory, why not 5,000?

Of course it can create 5,000 states if it wanted as well. But Congress can't destroy states or strip them of their representation, a permanence which (so far) has tempered efforts to gratify immediate expediency. But it can unmake federal territories and strip them of their representation at will, rendering them ideal instruments for manipulating the composition of Congress to suit the temporary expediency of its current leadership.
4.2.2009 4:06am
Oren:

Each inhabitant of the District, like a soldier on a military reservation, would then be allowed to declare legal residence in whatever State he or she pleases for voting purposes.

Most states require you to reside within their state for some number of days per year. Or is Congress overriding those laws to?

I can already imagine the conversation each year:
"Hi bob, what state are you going to register in for this election. I'm thinking NV since my pollster says it's going to be a real nail-biter. Plus I really want to vote against Harry Reid!."
"Nah, I'm going with PA so I can vote in the Senate race!"
4.2.2009 4:09am
Oren:


Otherwise, what's to stop them from saying that, say, all the airmen on Diego Garcia actually live in Chicago

Certainly they wouldn't count in Chicago, but don't they count for their US base of origin even though they are in Diego Garcia? e.g. the various tank and infantry from Fort Hood in Texas but doing a tour of duty in Iraq are counted for Texas.

At least those people have some connection to the State of Texas. A resident of DC (let's suppose she grew up there too) does not have any other state that she can reasonably claim as residence -- setting aside any notion that Congress can force the States to accept her as a citizen for the purposes of voting.

Or can she only vote in Federal elections, even though she is voting in Maryland with the rest of the townies? Will they give here half a ballot? Will they make her pinky swear not to vote for governor?
4.2.2009 4:14am
Brett Bellmore:

If Congress can create a representative for one federal territory, why not 5,000?


Precisely, it's all about establishing the precedent, to use later. And not just a precedent that they can hand out seats in the legislature; They can do that now, by granting statehood.

It's a precedent that they can hand out seats in the legislature to areas which still are under Congress' thumb, not having the least increment of independent power. D.C. with a House seat, (And later a Senator or two.) is still ruled by Congress, not itself, with home rule a gift that can be snatched at any time that Rep votes the 'wrong' way.
4.2.2009 6:55am
PubliusFL:
Mike G: Why couldn't Congress simply prohibit everyone from making the District their legal residence? Each inhabitant of the District, like a soldier on a military reservation, would then be allowed to declare legal residence in whatever State he or she pleases for voting purposes.

As Oren alludes to, military personnel can't just declare residency in whatever state they want, though the requirements are usually not briefed very well by the finance personnel. The hallmarks of state residency are usually physical presence and intent to permanently reside in that state. If you declare a state to be your state of residence while you're outside it, it's supposed to be because you have more connections to that state than to any other and are only temporarily outside it. The criteria that allow a soldier, sailor, Marine, or airman to declare a state of residence while outside that state cannot be met by the vast majority of DC residents. A lot of politicians and bureaucrats can maintain residence in another state by affirming their intention to return their after their "temporary" public service, but your average citizen born and raised in DC and never having lived anywhere else can't plausibly claim residence in any state.
4.2.2009 1:36pm
PubliusFL:
"intention to return THERE after their." oops.
4.2.2009 1:37pm
trad and anon (mail):
I believe that the founders set up the non-proportionality quite deliberately to prevent the larger states from running rough-shod over the smaller ones, and to keep populism in check.
It was indeed an unprincipled compromise the smaller states were able to demand due to the one-state-one-vote rule of the first constitution. Of course, the effect today is to arbitrarily give lightly populated areas and small cities vastly more or less representation depending on whether or not they happen to be located in a state with large cities. It's great for the people of Wyoming and bad for rural Texas and rural California.

I don't know what the one-state-two-votes rule has to do with "populism"; I think you're thinking of the staggered 6-year terms.
4.2.2009 2:16pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:

Why couldn't Congress simply prohibit everyone from making the District their legal residence? Each inhabitant of the District, like a soldier on a military reservation, would then be allowed to declare legal residence in whatever State he or she pleases for voting purposes.


Except, I'm pretty sure, soldiers don't get to declare their legal residence in whatever state they please. They have to have some real connection to the state such as having had their residence there and intending to reside there in the future.
4.2.2009 2:31pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:

Mark wrote: Nice to see how open minded you are.


Do you feel my faith in Republicans is misplaced? Would Republicans really stand united to oppose a constitutional amendment giving DC only a voting rep in the House just because the rep would almost certainly by a Democrat?
4.2.2009 2:39pm
CDR D (mail):
Publius: The federal government could continue exercising territorial jurisdiction and providing services as though DC were one giant military base, but DC's residents would have to be considered Maryland citizens for more than just purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, or they wouldn't be "the people of" the state of Maryland per Art 1 Sec 2.


Okay. How about Indian Reservations? I think the residents are allowed to vote for State reps so long as the State agrees, and they enjoy at least some degree of sovereignty like DC. Is that right?

If so, maybe that would be a better analogy than the Military reservation.
4.2.2009 6:02pm
ll (mail):
Oren


Or can she only vote in Federal elections, even though she is voting in Maryland with the rest of the townies? Will they give here half a ballot? Will they make her pinky swear not to vote for governor?


I don't quite see what the problem is, but maybe it is because you live in DC. Out here, ballots contain candidates for different state lege house, state lege senate, US house, local justices of the peace, judges, constables, etc. etc. city council districts and seem to keep it all straight even though all those are voted for on the same day.

I suspect even Maryland has elections like that, and keeps them all straight with voters getting only the ballots for the races they are supposed to get.

Why do you feel election officials would not be able to differentiate between DC residents as voting only for US Senate - MD and US Houst - MD district on the one hand, and Maryland state offices on the other?
4.3.2009 12:17am
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
ll

How is it legally possible that residents of the state of Maryland (which is what we're proposing to make the current residents of DC be so that they could have a voting rep) would not be entitled to vote for the governor and other statewide officials of their state? I think the answer is that it's not. And, if the argument is that current DC residents would get to vote for MD senators, governor, and other statewide office holders, then, as a practical matter, no one currently in MD would agree to the plan, which makes this idea DOA.
4.3.2009 12:40am
Oren:

Why do you feel election officials would not be able to differentiate between DC residents as voting only for US Senate - MD and US Houst - MD district on the one hand, and Maryland state offices on the other?

It's not a technical problem, it's a conceptual problem. You have created a category (resident-of-MD-for-voting-purpose-but-not-all-elections) that makes no sense.

Residence in a state is binary -- you live there or you don't.
4.3.2009 2:03am

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