Saturday, April 21, 2007


It might soon be time for DC to change its license plates

Car license plates in Washington, DC, used to display the slogan, “Nation's Capital”, but for the past few years they've had a different one, one that harks back to the American revolution: “Taxation Without Representation”. That's because, while each of the 50 fully fledged states has two members in the Senate and at least one in the House of Representatives, the autonomous district that houses our federal government has no senators and one non-voting representative. That makes some 600,000 residents (about 60% non-white), nestled along the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, with no representation in the federal legislature.

Well, that might be changing, but let's not open the champagne yet. Congress has just passed a bill to give DC's representative a vote, and it passed with a handy margin. But passage in the Senate isn't certain, and there's talk of a presidential veto (questioning the constitutionality of it).

Indeed, it could start demands to do the same thing for places like Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. And, deity knows, we would never want those people to have votes in congress, would we?

Interestingly, the bill is bundled with a provision that gives Utah a fourth representative. Since they just missed qualifying for one outright, the fourth congress-Utahan would represent the state at large, and not have a specific district — a unique situation, if it should stand, and constitutionally questionable too.

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

It makes me laugh to hear this president worry about the constitutionality of anything.