Friday, February 13, 2009

Constitution? What Constitution?

Does the U.S. Senate know we have a Constitution that is the supreme law of the land? Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 11-1 to give the District of Columbia a full seat in the House of Representatives. The bill now moves on to the full Senate.

One problem with the legislation: it's blatantly unconstitutional.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides in part that the House "shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature. 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. * * * The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies."

You may be asking, "What about D.C.?" Stop asking -- it's not in there! The members of the House come from the states and nowhere else.

The one vote against this measure? John McCain. Frankly, I'm shocked by that, but pleasantly so. It's nice to see him stand up to something that is so popular in the Senate. What a maverick!

The Republicans who voted for it: Susan Collins (Maine) and George V. Voinovich (Ohio). Yes, that Susan Collins, the co-sponsor of the Senate stimulus compromise. The Maine state motto ("Dirigo") is Latin for "I direct" or "I guide." Would someone please guide Susan Collins to a clue? And take Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter along.

[Side note: why do Collins, Specter, and Snowe look like each other?]

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