Congress may not be overflowing with constitutional scholars these days - but you'd think at least some of its members could read.

The Senate this week voted to grant the District of Columbia full voting membership in the House of Representatives - a measure expected to win quick approval both from the House and President Obama.

It was probably to be expected, of course, that the Democrats would try to grow their margin in Congress as much as possible: DC is heavily Democratic - and the extra seat given to Republican Utah in the same bill would potentially be reapportioned after the 2010 Census.

Their only problem is the plain language of the US Constitution:

"The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states," reads Article I, Section 2.

And Article 1, Section 8, clearly defines DC as "the seat of the government of the United States" - that is, not a state. Plus, the 23rd Amendment grants DC the presidential electors "to which the District would be entitled if it were a state."

Case closed.

Whether DC should have representation, of course, is another matter; that's why the Constitution also contains an amendment process.

What it certainly doesn't allow is the gutting of its clear meaning whenever transient majorities in Congress think it's time for a change.

Adding to the outrage, experts are uncertain whether anyone has standing to sue to overturn this abomination.

Let's just hope this isn't how Obama and his allies plan on treating the rest of the document.

Original Article

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