Tue, 26 Oct 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against giving District of Columbia residents a voting member in the House of Representatives, affirming a lower court's ruling against eleven Washington residents who filed the legal suit.

The Washingtonians argued that the Constitution already stipulates Congress has the power to grant voting representation in the House, so they applied the legal theory to the perennial question of representation for those in the U.S. capital.

Earlier this year, the plaintiffs told the Supreme Court that "Residents of the District of Columbia are the only adult U.S. citizens paying federal income taxes who lack voting representation in Congress, except for felons in some states."

But last year, a three-judge panel rejected their argument, referring to a similar case from 2000, when a federal court rules that the Constitution stipulates House members are chosen "by the people of the several states."

As Washingtonians do not live in a "state," the lower court rejected their argument, which was upheld by the Supreme Court at the time.

In the current case, the plaintiffs highlighted instances when voters were permitted to cast ballots, despite not living in a state, such as military voters stationed overseas, but the lower court said this was not relevant.

Some Washingtonians, for decades, have advocated statehood for their district, which is fiercely opposed by Republicans since more Democrats would be added to Congress. A DC statehood bill cleared both chamber of Congress for the first time last year.

The city is currently represented in the House by non-voting Democrat Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

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