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Statehood for District of Columbia?

The following is a copy of an article by Rob Natelson.

Why the District of Columbia Should Not Be a State?

Commentary

In June 1783, the Confederation Congress was meeting in what is now Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Continental soldiers surrounded the building demanding back pay. They were peaceful, but the intimidation was plain.

Congress asked Pennsylvania authorities to clear away the demonstrators. Pennsylvania authorities refused to do so. Congress accordingly left Philadelphia for Princeton, New Jersey, thereby making that town the national capital for a short time.

This incident confirmed the American Founders in their opinion that the national capital should not be at the mercy of any state. The Founders also knew that in European countries, national office holders could be held hostage by mobs that local authorities were unwilling, or unable, to control.

In July 1783, therefore, Congress began to lay plans for a capital district outside of any state, and under direct federal authority. An independent capital district became a top congressional priority.

When the Constitution’s framers met in convention in 1787, they accomplished this by adding the Enclave Clause to the document. The Enclave Clause reads in part as follows:

“The Congress shall have Power … To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States …”

Securing the national capital from capture was one reason for locating it outside the boundaries of any state. But there were other reasons as well. The founding generation believed that for republican government to survive, decision makers (including voters) should be free from the undue influence of others. They had to be able to make decisions freely, based on full consideration of the evidence. Decisions made by people heavily dependent on others would reflect merely the will of the masters. It was like giving the masters extra votes.

Many participants in the debate over the Constitution expressed concern that residents of the capital district, who would consist largely of government employees and their families, would reflect solely the interests of the government upon which they were dependent. They did not want dependents of the federal government unduly influencing state or national elections.

The Founders also recognized that denying the vote to residents of the capital district would not leave them without influence. On the contrary, prior history showed that those residents would have an outsize influence—partly by reason of their proximity to federal institutions and partly because many would be government officials or employees. Allowing them to participate in national elections would unfairly magnify their power further.

The Constitution reflected all these concerns by making no provision for the capital district having seats in Congress or participating in presidential elections.

In 1788, the Maryland legislature formally offered to cede to the federal government jurisdiction over land for a capital district. Virginia did so the following year. In 1791, Congress accepted Maryland’s and Virginia’s offers. The District of Columbia was established formally 10 years later. The federal government later returned Virginia’s portion to that state, so all of what is now the District of Columbia is former Maryland territory.

In 1960, Congress proposed the 23rd Amendment, which the states ratified the following year. It permitted residents of the District of Columbia to choose three presidential electors. In 1973, Congress passed the Home Rule Act, permitting local self-government for the District.

As currently proposed, the new state would consist of all of D.C. except tiny strips of territory remaining under federal control. It would be called “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth”—presumably meaning the City of Washington in the Commonwealth of Douglas. Many of the arguments over this proposal center on such questions as whether the District is large or self-sustaining enough to be a state.

But those arguments are unnecessary. The history I’ve just recited and the modern implications should be enough to squash the idea.

As demonstrated by the 1783 incident in Philadelphia, D.C. statehood would put the federal government at the mercy of local state officials. “Douglas Commonwealth” officials could refuse to restrain rioters threatening federal institutions. They could threaten or intimidate federal officials to obtain political ends. One obvious tactic might be for Douglas police to harass members of Congress with traffic tickets until Congress passed a particular law or granted the Commonwealth more federal aid.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

The terms of Maryland’s 1788 offer of cession also present objections to D.C. statehood. The Constitution authorizes Congress to assume jurisdiction over a portion of a state only if the state cedes it. As another part of the Enclave Clause makes clear, cession represents the consent of the state to loss of some of its territory.

But Maryland’s consent to cession, as well as Congress’s acceptance, was clearly based on the land being used as a national capital. The 1788 Maryland law provides that cession is to be of a “district in this State not exceeding ten miles square, which Congress may fix upon and accept for the seat of Government of the United States.” Maryland did not consent to the creation of another state out of its territory. Doing so would have required action under an entirely different part of the Constitution (Article IV, Section 3).

In other words, Maryland’s consent was effective for creating a federal “enclave” to be used as a national capital, but not effective for creating a new state. Turning all or part of D.C. into a state would require either a new agreement with Maryland, or a constitutional amendment.

Another objection arises from the results of the 23rd Amendment. Those results have vindicated fully the Founders’ concerns about allowing District residents to vote in federal elections. As the record shows, in presidential contests D.C. voters do not seriously weigh the merits or demerits of presidential candidates. The District is a dependency of the federal government, and its electorate invariably votes for the party that offers more government—the Democrats. D.C. residents have cast ballots in 15 presidential elections. They have voted the same way each time, and by huge margins: In 2020, Joe Biden took 92 percent of their vote.

These results—disturbing to any but the most rabid Democrat partisan—suggest that rather than admitting the District as a state, we should be discussing repeal of the 23rd Amendment.

Nor has the 1973 D.C. Home Rule Act been a success. In 2012, the Washington Post published a column by a long-time D.C. journalist. Its title tells you all you need to know about government there: “How D.C. became a District of Corruption.” America does not need more corruption in its national councils.

Robert G. Natelson, a former constitutional law professor, is senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver. He is the author of “The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant“ (3rd ed., 2014).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author of the piece and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times from which it was copied. While I find the article informative, I had no prior knowledge of the subject nor was I involved in the research or the discovery of facts pertaining to it.

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Riddle News: Election Mess

11 10 2020

Welcome to Riddle News. This is a Special review of the 2020 election.

Do you Remember the Debates?

I do. And if my memory serves me right the Democrats continually said that Trump would not accept election results even though there was no evidence supporting that charge. Isn’t it odd that the prophecy came true?

Do you suppose the Democrats knew something we didn’t know?

Think about it. Evidence is piling up that a major effort to steal the election has been uncovered. When you are talking about thousands and tens of thousands of votes, that tells me that the Democrats had or were already developing these ballot dumps or whatever they are called.

If that was so, then they knew that the irregularities would show up. But it appears that they did not consider the legal challenges available to the Republicans. Either that or they were so desperate to get rid of Trump that they were willing to risk getting caught! I think it was the latter and they did get caught. And now we have a mess on our hands.

But surely they had to know they’d get caught.

Do criminals think they are going to get caught? No. They are too smart to get caught – until they do. Politicians of both parties often think that way. And when these politicians don’t believe in absolutes like sin, they get to define what is right and wrong. In this case, they believe that whatever it takes to get rid of President Trump is right.

Was the Media involved?

It wasn’t necessary back prior to the debates or when the debates started, and they certainly wouldn’t admit it now. But any reporter worth his or her salt should have noticed the irregularities and impossibilities of Biden’s sudden overnight surge. Especially when the counts for Biden were so unusually high and statistically unbelievable.

However, the media is certainly involved now. A real reporter would start digging if there was the slightest hint of wrongdoing. There is more here than a mere hint, yet the media either ignores it or dismisses it with their famous, “no evidence”.

What will the courts do?

I don’t have a great deal of confidence in the state courts. In many states these are partisan, and in the states where the irregularities are showing up the courts tend to be Democratic. At the same time, it is important to file in the state courts to create a judicial path that can be shown in the higher courts, meaning federal courts.

Many of the nations federal courts have conservative or, better yet, constitutionalist judges. These are judges who will go by what the constitution says, not Pelosi’s version of the constitution, but the one our forefathers wrote. And that being the case, we can expect such voter fraud to be discovered and properly litigated!

Should Trump concede even though legal challenges are being made?

No!

In researching this issue, I discovered that if he concedes it opens up taxpayer money to the Biden/Harris camp. This is money for the President-elect to use for transition purposes and is perfectly legit. But other than the media crowning of Biden/Harris as President-Elect there is no President-Elect yet. That remains to be seen and won’t be known until around December 14, 2020 when the Electoral College votes are tabulated or more accurately January 6, 2021.

However, to answer the question if Biden/Harris is certified as President-Elect then President Trump should concede. But the current recounts are seeing the gap between Trump and Biden/Harris narrowing. With the outstanding votes yet to be recounted there is a strong possibility that the battleground states, at least some of them, will turn red. So, he is wise in waiting right now.

What is Congress’s Role?

On January 6, 2021 Congress meets to certify the election results. This will be a joint session involving both the House of Representatives and the Senate. From what I have been able to find it is pretty cut and dried. This is the final and official certification of the election.

What will I Do if Biden/Harris win?

You may have noticed that I continually use Biden/Harris throughout this blog. That is because I do not expect that Joe Biden will be President very long if he is elected. I sincerely doubt he will last the first year let alone the full term. Pelosi and company may give him the first 100 days, but they are biting at the bit to get Kamala Harris into office through the 25th amendment.

Therefore, if Trump loses, I will identify the President-Elect as Biden/Harris. She is also the power behind Biden. He takes his cue from the far left as long as he can remember what he’s supposed to say. I am 77, about the same age as Biden, and sometimes forget things. Even though it is not constant like his, I would not be fit for such a high office.

But we’ve all seen him stumble. He forgets where he is and who he’s talking to and that would be disastrous for a President. Moreover, the President can’t hide in his basement. By the nature of the office he is very public. Every word, every action, and even the way they dress is analyzed more than any other government office. I doubt Joe Biden could stand up under that kind of scrutiny.

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Riddle News: Certified?

11 05 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the 2020 election.

Claim: Election goes to Pelosi controlled House within days of election.

As with anything there are always facts that have to be dealt with. The next step in the election is quite often called certification. Votes need to be verified and counted. Let’s take a closer look.

State certification.

Each state has their own laws and state constitutional requirements. These can vary from as couple days after the election to weeks and even into December. During this time all the ballots will be counted and verified. Verification usually means checking the postmark (if a mail-in), proper signature, proper marking of ballot, and eligibility (i.e., is the person a registered voter in the particular state).

However, legal challenges can impact the process. And it is safe to say there will be legal challenges. I believe some have already been filed.

 Because of Covid-19 the process is further messed up. Some states mailed out ballots to people irrespective of whether they asked for one or not. This raises serious mail fraud questions that will likely have to be settled in court.

But the counting of ballots is not the whole story.

Electoral College

Contrary to liberal thought, the President is not elected by popular vote. Within a state, yes. But each state has Electoral College electors. The number of electors differs by state and often are chosen by the parties. The winning party’s list of electors would then be chosen.

These electors then meet and vote for the President. In theory they vote according to the popular vote count, but it is possible to vote for someone else. The U.S. constitution does not require electors to vote according to their state’s popular vote. On the other hand, some state’s have laws binding the elector’s to vote as they ‘pledged’. (Pledged simply means if they are part of the Republican electoral list they will vote for the Republican, and if on the Democratic list they will vote for the Democrat.)

NARA

NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) is an independent government agency responsible for preserving historical records. In a national election they are also responsible for transmitting the electors (Electoral College) votes to Congress where they will be counted. Electors cast their votes on December 14, while Congress counts the votes and declares a winner on January 6th.

Congress

On January 6th Congress will convene and the votes will be counted state by state. In the end there will be a final tally and the President will be announced. There is the possibility of a tie, but I am not going into that.

Lawsuits

This is a long drawn out process. And because of lawsuits it will be more drawn out. But when you have evidence indicating voter fraud (and it certainly appears so) then the legal challenges must go forward.

Elections are serious business and when an individual, a group of individuals, or a party attempts to ensure their candidates election by suppressing votes or adding votes it requires a legal investigation.

Are There Instances of Voter Fraud?

Don’t expect an honest answer from the media. But, yes, there have been reports of improper actions to suppress or alter votes. One such accusation involved certified vote watchers being denied the ability to watch the count in disregard to a court order. I wasn’t there and didn’t see it, but such accusations deserve to be explored by a legal authority (i.e., court).

Also, the practice of some states to send out ballots to all people living within their states, regardless of whether they were citizens or not, or registered voters is reprehensible and needs to be investigated.

Supreme Court

Yes, it is possible this will go to the Supreme Court. In fact, I will go so far as to say it is likely. Assuming we now have a court that esteems the Constitution, then I welcome it.

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News 09 04 20

Today’s Issue: Really!

Welcome to News & Views which is published every Monday and Friday.

Let me get this straight. A person who is 3rd in line to be President, wields great power, and a millionaire was set up by a hair salon or a stylist. Really!

Setup or Just Arrogant?

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has enormous power. She has people available who not only monitor but are in control of where she goes, etc. The U.S. Capitol Police protect her, but as the next in line after Vice-President Pence, she apparently has Secret Service protection as well.

My point is that whatever agency protects her would have the ability to “scout ahead” to find out if it is safe. They would also have known of any state or local regulations that would or could impact her travel. In this case, they would have known that salons were not yet allowed to open up.

In my mind, Nancy Pelosi cannot blame the salon owner or the stylist. Her people would or at least should have known about any and all circumstances surrounding her appointment. Further, not wearing her mask for a brief time is completely on her. I don’t go to salons, but I am quite sure that in these days wearing a mask is required by most store owners, not to mention local government.

So, being setup is a non-starter. If her people didn’t inform her, then she has a personnel problem. But commonsense tells all of us wearing a mask when entering a facility is usually required. And having it around her neck is not what is meant.

What’s her Problem?

There’re no term limits for legislators. So, she has been serving in Congress for 33 years, including 7 years representing the 12th District. In that amount of time a person acquires a lot of political power.

She’s been Speaker of the House for 17 years. That makes it very hard to get rid of her as either Speaker or Minority Leader (if Republicans win majority).

However, I think she is slipping. Not talking mentally, although one could argue that. But politically she has suffered defeats. The Impeachment fiasco should never have happened. In case you forgot, she went from saying “impeachment is so divisive” to pushing it through. And it was not because of overwhelming evidence. They had a lot of innuendos, fake manifesto, and political skills on their side, but not much in the way of real evidence.

But for the first time in her career she felt fear. She sees these younger strident women coming into Congress and found she couldn’t control them. I believe to this day that she never supported impeachment but did so because of the loud voices of a few. Now she is stuck with it and will forever be linked to it.

I think we’re seeing the demise of her leadership role. I’m not celebrating, because the Party is selling out to the Far Left. She may linger on for a while yet, but I think the die is cast and she will be replaced by someone further to the Left.

I believe her response of blaming others for her own actions is just a symptom of what is going on. We may see a lot more in the future.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices