Wednesday, March 22, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Nuclear Weapons in South Asia

Federal Court Rejects Congressional Representation for District of Columbia

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

A federal court panel ruled Monday that District residents do not have a legal right to a vote in Congress, dealing a blow to a coalition of community leaders and political activists who hoped their arguments about fairness and democratic principles would help overturn 199 years of federal tradition.

In its 2 to 1 decision, the panel acknowledged that it is an "inequity" that D.C. residents may not choose voting members in Congress as residents of the 50 states do. But the court majority said that the Constitution and Supreme Court have created a precedent for that inequity and that those seeking voting rights for the District should turn to the political process, not the courts.

Well, the issue of D.C. Congressional representation and home rule has made its way into the presidential election season. In a TV interview last month, Texas Governor George W. Bush expressed his position against full voting rights and statehood for the District. "I remained concerned about the District’s education system and the fact that many of its agencies continue to remain under the supervision of the courts," Bush said. He added that "Because I respect the design of the Framers of the Constitution that our nation’s capital remain independent of any individual state, I do not support statehood for the District of Columbia."


  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate from the District of Columbia. She has been involved with the case Alexander et al. v. Daley et al., which wanted the court to order Congress to find a way to let D.C. residents to elect full Senators and Representatives. Call: 202.225.8050.
  • George Laroche, lawyer for Adams et al. v. Clinton et al., which wanted the court to make it possible for D.C. residents to choose statehood or unite with another state such as Maryland.

Related link:

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news