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Author Topic: Utah likely to get another Electoral Vote  (Read 15341 times)
zorkpolitics
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« on: November 22, 2006, 01:50:14 pm »
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The LA Times reports that the lame duck Congress is likely to grant DC a voting representative and, as part of the deal, give Utah an extra Congressman (Utah just missed an extra seat after the last census).  Although the motivation is to give DC a representative (obviously a Democrat) and balance that with likely Republican (Utah), it will add one Electoral Vote to Utah (but not DC), and eliminate the possibility of a 269:269 Electoral college tie.

This idea has been kicking around for several years and the Constitutionality of giving DC a vote in Congress is controversal.

See:
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-dcvote22nov22,1,6204229.story?coll=la-headlines-politics
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 02:08:59 pm »
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I agree with Turley. 

The law would be directly unconstitutional, because by no means has DC ever been considered a "state" for constitutional purposes and Art. I, Sect. 2, Cl.3 specifically says that representatives must be apportioned "among the several states".  The 22nd amendment uses the language that DC will be given electors equal to the number of Senators and Representatives "if it were a State".  This clearly implies DC is not a state, and certainly isn't one under constitutional design.
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zorkpolitics
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 02:23:04 pm »
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I tend to agree this seems to be unconstitutional, but Article 1, section 5 does state ‘each House shall be the judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members’ so one can rationalize that the House has the right to give the current DC delegate voting rights equivalent to other Members.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 03:43:25 pm by zorkpolitics »Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 02:42:55 pm »
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Depends on how they word it.  Before the Republicans took control of the House in 1995, the delegates and the Resident Commissioner were part of the Committee of the Whole House where most business takes place.  It would be constitutional to add Eleanor back to the Committee of the Whole House, but as a Representative, no way it passes constitutional muster given Article 1 section 2 "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States," since D.C. is not a State, they cannot elect a Representative.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 02:58:28 pm »
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Depends on how they word it.  Before the Republicans took control of the House in 1995, the delegates and the Resident Commissioner were part of the Committee of the Whole House where most business takes place.  It would be constitutional to add Eleanor back to the Committee of the Whole House, but as a Representative, no way it passes constitutional muster given Article 1 section 2 "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States," since D.C. is not a State, they cannot elect a Representative.

Yep, I had forgotten about the Committee.  But we agree about the rest.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 03:32:27 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 03:35:10 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.

No, bad idea. Smiley

They should just pass a constitutional amendment giving DC voting rights.
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2006, 03:37:29 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.

No, bad idea. Smiley

They should just pass a constitutional amendment giving DC voting rights.

Why is that a bad idea?
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 03:38:39 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.

No, bad idea. Smiley

They should just pass a constitutional amendment giving DC voting rights.

Why is that a bad idea?

Because then D.C. would stop getting so much federal money.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 05:44:15 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.

This is the only really constitutional solution. I find it amazing that a Canadian can see this but many of the American posters do not. Are Canadians really that much smarter than Americans? Wink
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2006, 05:45:07 pm »
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I still feel that they should just let DC residents vote in Maryland's elections and extend Maryland's congressional districts into DC.

This is the only really constitutional solution. I find it amazing that a Canadian can see this but many of the American posters do not. Are Canadians really that much smarter than Americans? Wink

A constitutional amendment isn't constitutional?
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Bleeding heart conservative, HTMLdon
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2006, 06:09:23 pm »
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Since when has the Constitution ever stopped Congress from doing anything?

I'm all for "civil rights" giving us an extra electoral vote Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2006, 10:51:09 pm »
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Why don't they just make D.C. a state and settle this thing once and for all?

Doggone, everyone. If I was from D.C., I'd be really, really, REALLY mad right about now about never having proper representation in Congress or the Electoral College.

I don't think it even requires a constitutional amendment to make D.C. a state.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2006, 11:03:33 pm »
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Why don't they just make D.C. a state and settle this thing once and for all?
The problem is D.C. wants to both be a State and still live off the Federal dole.  Without the Federal largess, D.C. has too small a tax base (because of all the government property in D.C.) to make it on its own.  What they ought to do is retrocede most of D.C. to Maryland, but even the Democrats in Maryland aren't that dumb as to take up that burden.
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2006, 01:13:58 pm »
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Since when has the Constitution ever stopped Congress from doing anything?

I'm all for "civil rights" giving us an extra electoral vote Smiley

And I'll take it too, since we gain an extra House seat for free, and there's no guarantee the extra electoral vote will still be Republican beyond 2008 after the next reapportionment.

Plus, as a practical matter, I think it's desirable to have an odd number of electroal votes so that there can't be a tie. This assures the election can never be thrown into the House unless a 3rd party candidate wins electoral votes.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2006, 03:08:23 pm »
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Since when has the Constitution ever stopped Congress from doing anything?

I'm all for "civil rights" giving us an extra electoral vote Smiley

And I'll take it too, since we gain an extra House seat for free, and there's no guarantee the extra electoral vote will still be Republican beyond 2008 after the next reapportionment.

Plus, as a practical matter, I think it's desirable to have an odd number of electroal votes so that there can't be a tie. This assures the election can never be thrown into the House unless a 3rd party candidate wins electoral votes.

You do realize that problem wasn't created until the 22nd amendment passed, right?
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Nym90
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2006, 09:37:14 pm »
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Since when has the Constitution ever stopped Congress from doing anything?

I'm all for "civil rights" giving us an extra electoral vote Smiley

And I'll take it too, since we gain an extra House seat for free, and there's no guarantee the extra electoral vote will still be Republican beyond 2008 after the next reapportionment.

Plus, as a practical matter, I think it's desirable to have an odd number of electroal votes so that there can't be a tie. This assures the election can never be thrown into the House unless a 3rd party candidate wins electoral votes.

You do realize that problem wasn't created until the 22nd amendment passed, right?

Yes.

At the time, it was one potentially bad thing about the amendment, albeit outweighed overall by the positives of that amendment. Now, the positive effects are congruent with an otherwise positive change. Smiley
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2006, 10:08:36 pm »
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I guess.  Perhaps you should read Federalist 143.
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2006, 11:57:46 pm »
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It would be a shame for Utah to spend all that money to hold an election for a Representative that never will be seated.  When the bill is struck down because of the D.C. provision the extra Utah representative goes bye-bye as well, since the bill explictly says the provisions are not severable.
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Haley(R) Gov.
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Hammond(R) Sec. of State
Diggs(D) Att. Gen.
Herbert(D) Comptroller Gen.
Spearman(R) Supt. of Education
DeFelice(American) Commissioner of Agriculture
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2006, 10:11:27 am »
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DC should be joined to Virginia, it would be even things out more.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2006, 11:17:38 am »
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DC should be joined to Virginia, it would be even things out more.

If the Republicans ever let that happen I would be angry beyond belief.
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2006, 11:57:49 am »
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DC should be joined to Virginia, it would be even things out more.

I disagree.  I don't think that sort of thing should be decided on a political basis, and there is really no other basis that I can think of for picking Virginia over Maryland.
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2006, 12:43:25 pm »
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The better basis for Maryland is that all of present-day DC was ceded to the federal government from Maryland.

The part of DC that was ceded from Virginia was given back to Virginia in 1847 anyway, and the Potomac River forms a nice, natural boundary between the two states.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2006, 01:49:27 am »
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Why don't they just make D.C. a state and settle this thing once and for all?

Doggone, everyone. If I was from D.C., I'd be really, really, REALLY mad right about now about never having proper representation in Congress or the Electoral College.

I don't think it even requires a constitutional amendment to make D.C. a state.

It does in fact require a Constitutional Ammendment as was attemted on August 22, 1978 when the District of Columbia Voting Rights Ammendment was passed by Congress.  However it failed to be added to the Constitution because it had only been approved by 16 state legislatures when the 7 year deadline for ratification expired.  The states that ratified the ammendment were: New Jersey on September 11, 1978; Michigan on December 12, 1978; Ohio on December 21, 1978; Minnesota on March 19, 1979; Massachusetts on March 19, 1979; Connecticut on April 11, 1979; Wisconsin on November 1, 1979; Maryland on March 19, 1980; Hawaii on April 17, 1980; Oregon on July 6, 1981; Maine on February 16, 1983; West Virginia on February 23, 1983; Rhode Island on May 13, 1983; Iowa on January 19, 1984; Louisiana on June 24, 1984; and Delaware on June 28, 1984. 

Can you imagine the disappointment in DC when after a year of being up for consideration only 6 states had ratified the ammendment?  It boggles my mind how the state legislatures could have let this go by.  Maybe now that the Dems control a majority of them DC will have a chance again.

It appears unlikely that 109th will get to the current voting rights act but Democratic leaders have indicated it will be a top priority in the 110th.
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2006, 11:20:09 am »
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Maybe now that the Dems control a majority of them DC will have a chance again.

And we shall fight it to the death.

(unless we can work out a few more EV's for Utah to balance it out) Smiley
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