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Around the Web: Senate Vote Reactions

Blogs of all political stripes are chattering about the Senate's 62-34 vote to invoke cloture and move to a final vote on the passage of a bill giving the District a full voting member of the House of Representatives (the probable Democrat would be balanced with an added member from Utah, a conservative state that is next in line to gain a seat),

The Huffington Post reports that former Maryland Lieutenant Gov. and current GOP Chairman Michael Steele will lobby his fellow Republicans to support the measure when it comes for a vote. "Asked if he'd be urging his party's senators to get behind the bill, he said, 'Very much so. I think it's an important civil right for the residents of this city, and like I said, having grown up here, I know how important it is to them,' " the blog reported. "Steele said that the GOP bows to no party when it comes to advocacy of civil rights. 'We've always, as a party, been on the right side of that history so, hopefully, everybody will be there again.' "

The conservative Hot Air blog, founded by Michelle Malkin, says the measure is unconstitutional because Congress doesn't have the authority to enlarge itself, particularly as any measure to increase the size of the body dilutes the influence of those members already there. Post writer Ed Morrissey argues that states themselves would be the best to bring a constitutional challenge against the measure. "Perhaps that challenge would come first from Texas, but I'd prefer that a few states jumped in together to make the point even more clear," he writes.

Local news blog DCist, in its live blog coverage of the vote this morning, lampooned Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl's assertion that the District is represented by all 435 members of the House and all 100 senators. "Let Jon Kyl know what he can do for you, D.C. He's just announced on the Senate floor that he has 'the jurisdiction and indeed the obligation to provide for the general welfare of the residents of the District of Columbia.' Let's take him up on that promise! Are there any potholes that Jon Kyl can take care of for you?"

The Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog argues that D.C. cannot get voting representation in Congress without a Constitutional amendment, and notes that "liberal Constitutional scholars" like Jonathan Turley agree.

The Corner at National Review Online examines ways to block the bill through the courts, focusing on who might have standing to file a lawsuit.

Washington City Paper's City Desk warns Eleanor Holmes Norton not to hold her breath while waiting for the legal details of the proposal -- like changes to District election law -- to be worked out.

The Plank, the blog for The New Republic, questions those who criticize the D.C. vote as opening doors to votes for U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and Guam. "Color me ignorant, but is this a bad thing? Or do we really want to maintain our oh-so-proud legacy as a colonial power?" writes Clay Risen.

-- Carolyn Phenicie

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 24, 2009; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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