House Democrats have been on a roll recently.
House Resolution 1: For the People Act passed the House in early March with all Republicans voting nay and even one Democrat joining Republicans.
If you’re not aware of the specifics of the bill it essentially federalizes elections by mandating states have no-excuse mail-in voting, automatic voter registration, and removing any voter ID requirements (amongst a slew of other provisions also equally bad).
Today, they passed House Resolution 51: Washington, D.C. Admission Act which would admit Washington DC as the 51st state in the union. Once again, there was not a single Republican vote for this legislation.
As Democrats love to do, they couched the new bills in the condescending moral overtone of self-righteousness and piety. These are after all – for the people (c’mon on, man – it’s even in the name).
How could anyone not want to make it easier to vote?
Why are you against everyone having a voice?
People that live in Washington DC don’t have fair representation and that’s not fair!
Why are you so against voting rights?!
In reality, everyone (including Democrats) understand this is simply a brazen power grab for one party rule by Democrats by making it easier to cheat in elections and to add two more senators that are almost guaranteed to be Democrats.
No more pesky 50/50 Senate!
It gets worse, though, as both of these bills in their current form are almost certainly unconstitutional.
With respect to HR 1 - Article 1, Section 4 states “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof”.
The Founders being the Founders did leave a loophole so that Congress could “at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations” but H.R. 1 is a clear violation of the spirit of the text. The principal rules for elections are meant to be created by state legislatures and not run from the Federal level.
With respect to D.C. Statehood - Article 1, Section 8 clearly makes Washington DC a district and not a state nor can it be treated as a state.
The lack of representation for district residents was (sort of) dealt with when the 23rd amendment was ratified which gave DC residents the right to vote in presidential elections and participate in the Electoral College.
If Democrats actually cared that Washington DC voters didn’t have a voice they’d cede the land where residents live to Maryland and shrink the size of the district. But like everything else with Democrats, if it doesn’t help them politically then they could care less about actually helping the residents of DC to have fair representation.
Democrat leadership knows that these bills have no shot at actually becoming law as the legal challengers would begin instantly and odds are they would get nuked on arrival at SCOTUS but it’s still extremely disturbing that they’re displaying such crass disregard for the fundamental document that our nation was founded upon and has been governed by for over 200 years.
The Constitution is an extraordinary document that ensconces our freedom and our rights. They don’t care about that anymore. That’s both sad and scary at the same time.
It’s also sad to see such a legislative version of performative virtue signaling.
They know that there are Democrats out there that truly would want these changes passed even though Democrat leadership knows they won’t pass. It just showcases what an extremely hollow and empty version of politics that they engage in which are morally bankrupt unconstitutional power grabs they’d take if they could but also knowing that have no chance of passing either legislatively in the Senate or by the judiciary at SCOTUS.
But hey – at least they threw some red meat to their base, amirite?
Democrats gonna Democrat.