March 26, 2021

Why DC Statehood Is a Constitutional No-No

Republicans note that HR 51 is all about Democrats accumulating more power.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing Wednesday on HR 51, a bill that would advance the District of Columbia on a path toward statehood. Democrats have long touted this action under the guise of finally providing “representation” for the city’s residents, but the truth is far more partisan — the overwhelmingly Democrat District would grant the party a full voting member in the House and two more Senate seats. But there’s actually a bigger problem for Democrats than pure politics: the Constitution, specifically Article I, Section 8.

Veteran political analyst David Harsanyi sums up the issue: “There are numerous principled reasons to oppose D.C. statehood. But, really, no arguments are more applicable than the ones offered by the Founders, who created a federal district for the distinct purpose of denying it statehood. First, because they were concerned about the seat of federal power being controlled by a hostile or intrusive state government. Second, because they knew that if the capital were in a state — much less its own state — the people would vote to grow and accumulate federal power. Both situations were incompatible with the proper separation of powers and state rights.”

Democrats want to undo our Founders’ vision? Who knew?

Even if the Democrats were able to push through a DC statehood bill, that would do little to ensure that DC becomes a state. To make DC a state would require a constitutional amendment passed with two-thirds approval of both chambers of Congress and ratified by three-quarters of the States. The prospect of that happening is highly unlikely, to say the least.

Still, Republicans are taking the Democrats’ partisan power play seriously. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) warned, “DC is a pawn being used by congressional Democrats to gain power, all without regard to the constitutional and practical issues that making the district a state presents.”

The National Review editors observe, “Washington, as it now stands, has already accumulated far more political power than any city in the nation. Transforming the seat of this authority into a state would create voters who are almost wholly incentivized to grow the power and size of the federal government at the expense of other states.”

While Democrats love to argue that the 670,000 residents of DC lack the same congressional representation enjoyed by residents of the 50 states, it’s telling that they are unwilling to consider less politically contentious solutions. If representation is really such an issue, why not shrink the district and seek to have many of the residents of DC incorporated into the state of Maryland? In other words, there are more workable solutions that won’t run counter to the Founders’ purpose in placing the capitol outside of any one state.

Correction: The ratification threshold has been corrected.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.