The ACLU submitted this written testimony in support of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (“H.R. 51”) to the House Oversight and Reform Committee for its Sept. 19 hearing on D.C. Statehood. H.R. 51 would grant statehood to the residential areas of the current District of Columbia as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.
The testimony covers two points. First, D.C. residents deserve full representation in our national government. Decisions on policies that impact D.C. residents’ rights, liberties, health, and welfare are routinely made by Congress—a body that neither represents their interests nor is politically accountable for its decisions regarding the District. D.C. residents pay taxes, serve on juries, fight in wars, and contribute to our country’s prosperity, and are deserving of equal representation in the federal government. Second, in granting statehood through an act of Congress, H.R. 51 is a valid and defensible exercise of congressional power, complying with the District and Federal Enclaves Clause, the Admission Clause, and the Twenty-Third Amendment.”
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