Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Prediction for 2009

The Washington Post reports today that a voting rights bill for District residents may be on a fast track. In fact, on the very first day of the 111th Congress, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Senators Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, re-introduced the D.C. House Voting Rights Act.

It seems that the combination of gains in Democratic seats in Congress (particularly the Senate), Obama's support in the White House, and continued support from some prominent Republicans gives the legislation, which would expand the House of Representatives by two seats providing an additional seat to Utah and a vote to the District, a good chance of passage.

My prediction:
  • The bill passes both the House and Senate, obtaining the 60 votes needed to end debate, and is promptly signed into law by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House with Congresswoman Norton, the Mayor, and Members of the D.C. Council present.

  • Before the District casts its first vote on the House floor, a group of Republicans who voted against the bill challenge the law in federal court. The court issues an immediate injunction. D.C. never casts a vote.

  • The D.C. Court of Appeals, considered a conservative court, in an expedited decision issued by a 3-judge panel, deals a harsh blow to the law, striking it down as unconstitutional in its entirety (Utah loses its additional vote as well).

  • The U.S. Supreme Court, in a surprisingly unanimous and short decision, affirms the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Then it's back to square one.

Let's see if I call this one correctly.


Anonymous said...

Depressing read. I think in the first week of the 2009 I much prefer snow to rain.

citizenw said...

"6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for publick uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the publick good."

Virginia Bill of Rights, June, 1776
Washington DC has been "Governed Without Consent" since 1801