Bench Memos

A Minor (But Telling?) Detail

It has been pointed out to me, in connection with my article today on congressional representation for D.C., that Kenneth Starr and Patricia Wald, in the op-ed I criticize, only refer to D.C. residents getting “full voting representation in the House,” not in both the House and the Senate (I had referred throughout my article to “Congress” as a whole).  Fair enough, but hardly a distinction that helps the argument made by Starr and Wald.  If anything, a bill that gave D.C. voters representation in one house of Congress and not both would be even worse than what I described, for it would be a frank admission that one is playing monkeyshines with the status of the District under the Constitution.  Not a state, not even a “quasi-state,” not retroceded to Maryland—just a whole-cloth invention of a new House constituency, contrary to the Constitution.