The ACLU submitted this written statement in support of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act (H.R. 51) to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for its March 22 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 statement includes our legal analysis finding H.R. 51 to be a valid and defensible exercise of congressional power, complying with the District and Federal Enclaves Clause, the Admission Clause, and the Twenty-Third Amendment. 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. District residents pay taxes, serve on juries, fight in wars, and contribute to our country’s prosperity, and deserve equal representation in the federal government.
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