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D.C. Council to Senate: No Gun Amendments to Voting Rights Bill

The good news is that the Senate seems poised to approve a historic bill that would give the District a seat in the House of Representatives. The bad news is that opponents of the bill are trying to load it down with amendments equally controversial, including one to repeal all of the city's gun control laws.

Now comes the response from D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chair of the Committee on Public Safety. In a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), the council members pleaded with them not to allow the gun amendment into the bill.

"It would be ironic in the worst sense that on the eve of this historic vote speaking to representation in the national legislature that an amendment would simultaneously strip away the local legislature's authority to enact laws to control gun violence," they wrote in the letter.

By David A Nakamura  |  February 26, 2009; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  Gun Ban Case , Voting Rights  
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Next: From the Senate Floor


Apparently, DC and its denizens only "belong" to the United States in the sense of chattel property, "in all cases whatosever"; not in the sense of being full and equal citizens. "If this be not slavery, then is there no such thing as slavery upon the earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."

Google this last quote; and for context, compare the District Clause and the Declaratory Act of 1766...two national legislatures unwarrantedly arrogating to themselves Absolute Power over an unrepresented minority of the nation.

Posted by: citizenw | February 26, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

DC Council is right. Senate should not interfere with local authority to enact laws needed to protect citizens in D.C. There is no evidence that easing the gun regulation will be the best solution to crime fight. Voting bill and gun regs are two separate issues.
Politicians should be ashamed of themselves to push their political agenda and views on others.
Why Sen. Ensign thinks that he has a right to tell residents of D.C. about local gun regulations? He should mind his business with Nevada residents who need his help in this bad economy.

Posted by: yusifaze | February 26, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Senate to DC Council: Obey the Decisions of the Supreme Court as the Law of the Land.

What DC residents don't seem to grasp is that you can't selectively pick and choose when to be a legal entity like one of the States. You have to take the Constitution as a whole, as defined by Federal case law including the decisions of the SCOTUS, both the parts you happen to agree with as well as those parts you don't agree with at all. The DC Council position on their so-called "laws to control gun violence" is ludicrous. In Heller, DC had the arrogance to argue, among other things, that the Second Amendment applies only to the "several States" and not to the Federal capital city. As if the rest of the Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom from unlawful search and seizure somehow do apply (although Chief Lanier has demonstrated here of late that she may not be certain that the Fourth Amendment is binding on the District).

Get real, DC. If you want to argue for equal rights with the States, then you have to be willing to behave lawfully like the States with regards to the Constitution. You come off with Congress as being a tempestuous child who wants to eat his cake and have it too.

Posted by: hisroc | February 26, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

End home rule now! If you want the rights conferred upon the citizens of the various states, try moving to one. Bumper sticker of the day: "DC's not a state- get over it."

Posted by: ews25 | February 26, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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