by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kylee Zempel explains in a Federalist column why the nation’s capital should not become the 51st American state.
In their latest leftist power-grab, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted last week to admit Washington, D.C. as the 51st state in the union, tossing the measure to the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle. That’s because, as even some Democratic senators know, conferring statehood on the District of Columbia is a horrible idea — and not just because the founders wouldn’t approve.
Washingtonians who have ever bothered to crack the Constitution (likely a minority of them) know D.C. statehood is unconstitutional. Article I of the Constitution grants the federal government the power of “exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district … as may, by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States” even before the location of the district had been decided. As last summer’s mayhem and rioting illustrated, not only would granting statehood to D.C. give this one state a disproportionate amount of power, but it would also prohibit the federal government from eliminating threats and disorder there.
“Lawlessness in capitals poses a unique danger to a nation, which is among the reasons the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over the federal district,” wrote Kyle Sammin here at The Federalist. “[A]llowing D.C. to become the 51st state would enable one local government to hold the nation hostage through inaction — or even endorsement — of riotous disturbances.”
But the biggest reason never to admit the District of Columbia as a state isn’t that it would violate our treasured founding documents. D.C. lawmakers gave those up long ago, anyway.
It’s that Washington, D.C., despite its stately marble halls and rich history, is a Third World country. That’s right: America would be better off giving statehood to Somalia. At least we could try fracking it. D.C. is no fracking good at all.