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  • Washington D.C. should be granted statehood.

    14 19.72%
  • Washington D.C. citizens should have the same voting rights as citizens of actual states.

    26 36.62%
  • Voting rights in D.C. should remain the same.

    26 36.62%
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Thread: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

  1. #21
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    No, it can become a state at any time through the same process as any other state.
    Two problems with that...

    Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17 -- which lists the powers of Congress

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over 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, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
    So, for the status of DC to change, this clause would need to be changed, which can only be done through Constitutional amendment

    Also, as DC was a part of Maryland, MD would have to sign off on it to. MD surrendered the territory to the federal government for the purposes of being the national capital, NOT for it to become a state.


    Article 4 Section 3 Clause 1

    New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States 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.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    I don't think the U.S. will ever add another state. Solely because it would mess up the balance of red states and blue states in the Senate.
    (avatar by Thomas Nast)

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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    link

    You may not like the source, but this is a good read on the topic...


    In The Federalist No. 43, James Madison explained the need for a "federal district," sub*ject to Congress's exclusive jurisdiction and sep*arate from the territory, and authority, of any single state:

    The indispensable necessity of compleat authority at the seat of Government car*ries its own evidence with it. It is a power exercised by every Legislature of the Union, I might say of the world, by virtue of its general supremacy. Without it, not only the public authority might be insult*ed and its proceedings be interrupted, with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the general Government, on the State comprehending the seat of the Government for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the Government, and dissatisfactory to the other members of the confederacy.

    Madison's concerns about insults to the "public authority" were not speculative. In June 1783, several hundred unpaid and angry Conti*nental soldiers had marched on Philadelphia, menacing Congress in Independence Hall itself. Pennsylvania refused all requests for assistance and, after two days, Congress adjourned. Its Members fled into New Jersey.

    The incident made a lasting impression. The Framers referenced it over and again in defend*ing their provision for a "federal town," which Anti-Federalists persisted in visualizing as a sink of corruption and a potential nursery for tyrants. In fact, however, the need for a territo*ry in which the general government exercised full sovereignty, not beholden to any state, was probably inherent in the federal system itself.
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Two problems with that...

    Article 1 Section 8 Clause 17 -- which lists the powers of Congress

    So, for the status of DC to change, this clause would need to be changed, which can only be done through Constitutional amendment
    That clause gives Congress the POWER to exercise exclusive legislation over a district. It doesn't specify where the district is located, nor does it mandate that Congress exercise this power at all.

    Also, as DC was a part of Maryland, MD would have to sign off on it to. MD surrendered the territory to the federal government for the purposes of being the national capital, NOT for it to become a state.

    Article 4 Section 3 Clause 1
    DC is no longer part of Maryland; the original reason it was surrendered to the federal government is irrelevant. This clause doesn't matter because DC is not located "within the jurisdiction of any other state."
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krhazy View Post
    I don't think the U.S. will ever add another state. Solely because it would mess up the balance of red states and blue states in the Senate.
    Puerto Rico will likely be the 51st state at some point in my lifetime...
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    That clause gives Congress the POWER to exercise exclusive legislation over a district. It doesn't specify where the district is located, nor does it mandate that Congress exercise this power at all.
    But as that district has been created and it is currently under the authority of Congress, there is no territorial legislature to draft a Constitution for the territory to propose for statehood. I would like to see a judicial opinion on this, but I don't think it would fly. There is still some Constitutional controversy over the ceding of Alexandria county back to the state of Virginia.

    DC is no longer part of Maryland; the original reason it was surrendered to the federal government is irrelevant. This clause doesn't matter because DC is not located "within the jurisdiction of any other state."
    I disagree. The reason is very important. These two clauses combined make a legal argument for DC statehood without Constitutional amendment tenuous at best. Again, a Supreme Court opinion would be nice, but we aren't going to get one and there is no DC territorial legislature to push for it, either.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    But as that district has been created and it is currently under the authority of Congress, there is no territorial legislature to draft a Constitution for the territory to propose for statehood.
    We have an elected council and an elected mayor?

    I would like to see a judicial opinion on this, but I don't think it would fly. There is still some Constitutional controversy over the ceding of Alexandria county back to the state of Virginia.
    If there is, it's merely an academic point and no one seriously questions it. I've lived here for a few years and I've never heard anything about it.

    I disagree. The reason is very important. These two clauses combined make a legal argument for DC statehood without Constitutional amendment tenuous at best.
    The clause you cited says "no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State." So the first question to ask would be "is DC located within the jurisdiction of any other state?" Since the answer is no, I don't see how this can possibly be construed as relevant.

    Again, a Supreme Court opinion would be nice, but we aren't going to get one and there is no DC territorial legislature to push for it, either.
    DC has a legislature, just like every state or protostate has. The only things that are required for DC (or any other protostate) to become a state is for it to create a constitution with a republican form of government, to petition the federal government for statehood, and an act of Congress. The first two steps have already been done, we're just waiting on the federal government.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 06-18-11 at 10:23 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    We have an elected council and an elected mayor?
    I knew you guys had a mayor, not sure about the nature of your council as the Congress has the right to make laws for DC.

    If there is, it's merely an academic point and no one seriously questions it. I've lived here for a few years and I've never heard anything about it.
    Thanks... I only spent a couple of summers there as a page for one of NHs Senators, so I am not all that familiar with the local politics of DC.


    DC has a legislature, just like every state or protostate has. The only things that are required for DC (or any other protostate) is for it to create a constitution with a republican form of government, petition the federal government for statehood, and an act of Congress.
    I disagree. There needs to be a Constitutional Amendment. And as such, I would still oppose it. I see no need why the national capital of the country needs to be a part of any state. There are several other federal countries that have a similar arrangement. I see no reason why it needs to change.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The federal government could still retain control over the National Mall, and turn the rest of the District over to the people. Many of the federal agencies are in suburban Maryland or Virginia anyway, so federal funds are already going toward specific states to fund the operations of the federal government. And let's not even get into all the military bases that are located around the country, thus funding the economies of those various states.

    Besides, the federal government is already sending a certain amount of money to this part of the country, regardless of whether you call it a "state" or a "district" or whatever else. So if it's a question of fairness it isn't like the other 50 states would suddenly be worse off.
    DC receives far more. It isn't a self sufficient city by any means. Maryland didn't want it because of the cost. I think it's best staying as a territory of the federal government subject to Congress. It's the federal city home to congressional buildings, the capitol, and many other important federal agencies. It's better off being run and funded by the federal government and not turned into an independent state that now houses the branches of the federal government.
    Maryland doesn't want DC back, which is why DC should become a state. It's ridiculous that we have no representation in Congress despite the fact that we have MORE at stake in congressional decisions than any state does, since Congress can and does veto the actions of our city council for their own political whims.
    So how will DC be paid for as a state? As I said, the main reason is the sheer cost of the city. DC should not become a state. It's best for the country to have it remain as a federal territory under the jurisdiction of Congress. I think it's important that Congress keep ultimate power over DC and not have it turn into an independent state run by an independent state government. Maryland gave up its land to the federal government to create a federal district, not to create a new state.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Should Washington D.C. become a state?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    DC receives far more. It isn't a self sufficient city by any means. Maryland didn't want it because of the cost. I think it's best staying as a territory of the federal government subject to Congress.
    Why is the cost relevant? Federal money is coming into this city regardless of whether you call it a state or a district.

    It's the federal city home to congressional buildings, the capitol, and many other important federal agencies. It's better off being run and funded by the federal government and not turned into an independent state that now houses the branches of the federal government.
    I wouldn't be opposed to letting the federal government keep jurisdiction over the National Mall (e.g. the Capitol, White House, various monuments, some of the federal agencies), but the District of Columbia is a lot bigger than just the Mall. The people who live in the District should have control over their own government just like everyone else does.

    As for housing the various arms of the federal government...well, there are plenty of federal agencies located in Maryland and Virginia too, yet that doesn't seem to be a problem regarding their statehood.

    Maryland gave up its land to the federal government to create a federal district, not to create a new state.
    The reasons that Maryland gave up land 200 years ago are not relevant to whether the people of DC should have a representative democracy today. Especially since Maryland doesn't want it back.
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