Monday, April 23, 2007

DC Seat is Unconstitutional & Unwise

The current compromise plan to create new congressional seats for the District of Columbia and the state of Utah is a disastrous proposal. It is bad for America, and it is bad for Utah. Our representatives should do all in their power to oppose it.

Why is it bad for America?

The answer to this question goes to the heart of how a person believes the Constitution should be interpreted. Generally, people in Utah subscribe to the belief that this sacred document should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers.

Others, however, believe that in order for the Constitution to be a "living document" the courts should be granted flexibility to interpret it differently according to the needs of each generation.

The problem with this last idea is that once our nation officially adopts such an approach, the words of the Constitution lose all meaning. All that would matter, then, is what some unelected group of judges happen to believe is best for the country at a particular moment in time. That kind of government is what is known as a dictatorship.

Besides, the framers of the Constitution already provided a provision to ensure that the Constitution remain a "living document." It is called the amendment process. Thus, if we truly want to secure representational justice for the District of Columbia, we should do so by seeking a Constitutional amendment.

The position of the Salt Lake Tribune on this issue represents the classic mistake of advocating the "WRONG thing for the RIGHT reasons." But, as the saying goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." This is true because, whether or not one claims to seek that which is right, if he does that which is wrong to get it, he is still doing that which is wrong.

Fortunately, the Deseret Morning News, former Congressman Jim Hansen, conservative syndicated columnist George Will, the Salt Lake County Republican Party, the Presidential Administration of George W. Bush, and many other responsible individuals have all come out against this terrible proposal.

Why is it bad for Utah?

In a few years, Utah will automatically obtain its rightful fourth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, without having to grant an unconstitutional seat to the District of Columbia. Gradually, many Utahns who at first supported the DC/Utah compromise are now coming to change their mind. The lure of our state getting an additional seat in congress a few years earlier than normal is now being seen for what it is--the bait in a trap that would prove our undoing.

Without the compromise legislation, Utah gets an additional voice in Congress automatically. With the compromise, Utah's new voice would simply be nullified by a new and unconstitutional DC voice. How is that in our state's interest?

But, it gets worse. Once this terrible precedent is set, the District of Columbia would then unconstitutionally seek two new liberal Senators who would nullify Utah's existing conservative voice in that body as well. Are we really so foolish that we can't see this? Hopefully, our representatives in Congress will work tirelessly to oppose this terrible DC/Utah compromise.

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4 Comments:

At Monday, April 23, 2007 1:54:00 PM, Blogger Reach Upward said...

Part of the reason Utahns bought into this earlier was that there was a sense of having been unfairly dealt with. It seemed like a quick fix to that issue. But like many quick fixes, many supporters had not fully thought through the implications.

The longer it takes to get this legislation passed, the lesser its advatanges seems. The more Utahns become informed about the implations of this deal, the less advantageous it seems.

Thanks to veto power, this legislation will not become law during this Congress. When it is revisited in 2009, Utahns will be less likely to support it because they will get a fourth district just three years later with no deal at all.

But the issue will not die with the 2010 census. I suspect supporters of an end run around the Constitution will simply go to whichever state barely fails to pick up another seat and ply their wares there. It probably won't be Utah, but it will still be a bad deal.

 
At Monday, April 23, 2007 2:15:00 PM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Scott,

you are absolutely correct. That is why I would like our congressional delegation to actually be the ones who pre-empt this by introducing a Constitutional amendment designating DC residents as citizens of the state of Maryland for federal election purposes.

District of Columbia residents would receive representational justice in both houses of congress. And, the nation preserves its federal district as prescribed by the framers of the Constitution. Everybody wins except a handful of greedy liberals who want to lock-up Democratic control of the Senate for the next generation.

Let's hope the wise prevail on this one.

AW

 
At Monday, April 23, 2007 9:58:00 PM, Blogger Natalie said...

Thank you for being the voice of reason on this one. I wholeheartedly agree.

 
At Monday, April 23, 2007 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Hi Natalie, Thanks for dropping bye! It was fun to hear from you!

A.W.

 

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