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April 2009

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Holder Refuses To Adhere To Constitution

Written by , Posted in Liberty & Limited Government

Left-wing advocates of granting Washington DC a seat in Congress were heartened by the election of president Obama, a strong supporter of such a move.  The problem?  It’s blatantly unconstitutional.

Article 1, Section 2 says, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states.”  It further states, “No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”

There is no ambiguity here.  States are represented in the House.  The District of Columbia is not a state.  It cannot be represented in the House.  Moreover, no individual meets the qualifications above to represent D.C., as one cannot reside in the state in which one is chosen if one is not chosen by a state.

But this isn’t stopping Attorney General Eric Holder.  When his own lawyers at the Justice Department concluded that proposed legislation to grant a House seat to D.C. would be unconstitutional, Holder basically told them to shove off.  He then took the time-honored, corrupt approach of asking the same question of different people until he got the answer he wanted.  This is disgraceful.

But the disgrace does not all belong to the administration.  Some RINO’s and misguided Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. The support of Republican Senator Orrin Hatch has been essentially bought with the inclusion of an extra seat for Utah.  He and many others from the state felt that Utah should have received an additional seat in the last census, so they are willing to support a blatantly unconstitutional measure in exchange for this redress.  But any seat would only last 2 years until the next census and apportionment, where Utah would likely have gained the seat anyway.

Others, such as Susan Collins, support the measure despite her own misgivings over its constitutionality.  Her reasoning for supporting it?  “I believed then, as I do now, that this question is best resolved by the courts and not by this committee.” This attitude reflects a gross negligence of her duties, as she is as equally bound to uphold the Constitution as the courts. That was the view of James Madison when he addressed the first Congress.  He said, “[I]t is incontrovertibly of as much importance to this branch of the Government as to any other, that the Constitution should be preserved entire.”

Whether it be Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Orrin Hatch or Susan Collins, all members of our government have an equal duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Passing blatantly unconstitutional laws, with the attitude of “let the courts sort it out,” is a repugnant abdication of that responsibility.