Notes From Babel

Who Cares About the Constitution? Not Eric Holder

with one comment

In another Obama administration affront to the rule of law, Attorney General Eric Holder is reportedly rejecting the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that the controversial D.C. voting-rights bill pending in Congress is unconstitutional. This despite our Constitution’s clear prohibition of that bill under Article I, Section 2, which states “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.” (Emphasis added.)

As Andy McCarthy points out,

None of this means it is a bad thing to want Americans who live in D.C. to have representation in Congress. There are ways of accomplishing that: amendment of the Constitution, the grant of statehood to D.C., or retrocession to Maryland (part of the District having already been ceded back to Virginia). Aside from being legal, those methods would not create the host of problems that would result from the current legislation (e.g., Why only a member of the House but not two in the senate? Why voting rights for D.C. but not Puerto Rico, American Somoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands?).

But pushing through a constitutional amendment or a grant of statehood would be hard, even for Obama. Trampling the rule of law has proven much easier.

[P.S.: If there is any doubt that I am more concerned with constitutional fidelity than politics, what in heavens would I care that D.C. residents get a measly representative in the House? I should probably be ashamed, but I do not even know the representative for my district, or how in blazes he has been voting lately.]

[Update: Volokh has updates here and here.]

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Written by Tim Kowal

April 3, 2009 at 11:20 pm

One Response

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  1. […] a comment » I noted before that Eric Holder didn’t seem to care much about the Constitution.  After his stuttering and […]


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