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25th February
written by Sean Noble

The WSJ has a great editorial today about the Senate moving to add two seats to the U.S. House.  The bill to give D.C. a Member of Congress and to give Utah a Member of Congress passed a cloture vote yesterday.  The five Republicans who joined bill sponsor Orrin Hatch (R-UT) were Sens. Cochran (MS), Collins (ME), Lugar (IN), Murkowski (AK), Snowe (ME), Specter (PA), Voinovich (OH).


For me, the surprises were Murkowski and Cochran and Lugar.  I’ve given up on the ladies from Maine and Specter from PA. I do believe that this will become known as Hatch’s Folly.


Here is the conclusion of the editorial:

More important, the legislation runs afoul of the plain language of the Constitution, which provides that House members shall be chosen “by the People of the several States” and stipulates that the District of Columbia is not a state.

In 1960, Congress proposed a Constitutional amendment giving residents of the capital the right to vote for President. The 23rd Amendment was ratified the following year. The District already sends a nonvoting delegate to the House, but if Congress wishes to grant it full representation, it should do so by amending, not ignoring, the Constitution.

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  1. Andy

    so what happens if/when this is declared unconstitutional ? Does Utah keep their extra seat ?

  2. Woody

    What is the justification for Utah to get an “extra” seat? Sounds like a Missouri compromise to me, give the Republicans a bone in conservative Utah to let a guaranteed liberal into the house, saying it nets the same balance. It will probably be just as effective as the M.C., with places like Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, etc. all waiting for the door to crack open and flood the House with welfare state representation, and groups willing to do whatever it takes to get representation or independence. Bombs have gone off in Congress over these issues before, it can happen again. Hatch knows better.

  3. Andy

    There are a few reasons for Utah to get another seat. The short answer is to keep the balance and hope some Reps support it.

    Utah was just short (by less than 10K) of an extra seat in the 2K census and arguably did get screwed by rules set by the commerce dept. Citizens out of the country on a church sponsored mission are not counted in the census. This affects Mormons the most (and in Utah).

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