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Salt Lake Tribune covers the D.C. Colonist
|| 9/17/2006 || 7:45 pm || Comments Off on Salt Lake Tribune covers the D.C. Colonist || ||

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Much of Thursday’s hearing focused on the district’s fight for representation in the House, and several people in the audience wore stickers with the number “51,” referring to their hopes to make Washington the 51st state.

One resident even donned a Revolutionary period costume, complete with tri-corner hat, to protest the district’s lack of representation. Nikolas Schiller said he wore the purple garb to “highlight the fact that D.C. residents are still living in a colony,” because they are being taxed by the government without representation.

read the rest of the article:

source:
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_4341756

Utah, D.C. inch closer toward gaining seats

House Judiciary subcommittee

Utah, D.C. inch closer toward gaining seats
House Judiciary subcommittee
By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON – Utah crept closer Thursday to getting a fourth U.S. House seat and the District of Columbia nearer to having its first vote in Congress.
The House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee heard legislation to permanently add members – two of them – to the chamber for the first time in nearly 100 years. It now heads to the full Judiciary Committee.
But the bill could yet be torpedoed without a compromise satisfying majority Republicans that there will be equal representation and minority Democrats that they won’t lose their only elected party member from Utah.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., in his first testimony before Congress, lobbied the subcommittee Thursday to grant the state a fourth seat that it barely fell short of getting after the last Census.
The bill, increasing the House by two members to 437, would “promote democratic values inherent in our Constitutional system,” Huntsman said. He added Utah has been “hurt” by not having a fourth representative, losing federal money and stretching the resources of current congressional offices.
“The state of Utah and its 2.5 million residents deserve and welcome the chance to have an additional seat in the House of Representatives,” Huntsman said.
The Republican governor said he would prefer the legislation’s proposed at-large House seat over having to redraw voting districts to carve out a fourth but said the state would welcome any move to get another seat.
That at-large provision, which would expire after the next Census and make the fourth district subject to normal redistricting procedures, is a deal-killer for Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner.
“The current version gives, with the at-large seat, Utah residents two House members as representatives,” says Sensenbrenner spokesman Jeff Lungren. “Everyone else in the country [has] one.”
But Utah’s lone Democratic congressman, Jim Matheson, signed onto the legislation last week only because of the at-large provision for a fourth seat. And Democratic colleagues are likely to follow his lead on whether to support the bill.
After the 2000 Census, Matheson’s district was redrawn by the Republican-controlled state Legislature into a much more Republican one. Still, the Democrat narrowly won the next election.
The legislation is aimed at granting the District of Columbia, a Democratic stronghold, a voting member in the House and balancing that seat with another seat for Utah, which is Republican-dominated. The district currently has a nonvoting delegate.
While witnesses testifying Thursday all agreed the district should have a voting member of Congress, two Constitutional scholars argued the current bill may violate the nation’s founding document.
“Despite the best of motivations, the bill is fundamentally flawed on a constitutional level and would only serve to needlessly delay true reform for district residents,” said Jonathan Turley, of George Washington University Law School. “It is the equivalent of allowing Rosa Parks to move halfway to the front of the bus in the name of progress.”
John C. Fortier, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said the Constitution, not Congress has determined the House is made up of representatives of states, and states alone.
“Congress can no more change the Constitution on this matter by simple legislation than it could repeal the First Amendment or allow 16-year olds to serve as president,” Fortier testified in prepared remarks.
But lawyer Adam Charnes, who co-wrote a legal brief outlining the legality of similar legislation, testified that courts would uphold the measure because the Constitution grants Congress broad power over the district.
Much of Thursday’s hearing focused on the district’s fight for representation in the House, and several people in the audience wore stickers with the number “51,” referring to their hopes to make Washington the 51st state.
One resident even donned a Revolutionary period costume, complete with tri-corner hat, to protest the district’s lack of representation. Nikolas Schiller said he wore the purple garb to “highlight the fact that D.C. residents are still living in a colony,” because they are being taxed by the government without representation.



Post Title: Salt Lake Tribune covers the D.C. Colonist
Post Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in: Activism, Colonist, Green, In The News, News, Salt Lake Tribune
Last edited by Nikolas Schiller on 11/10/2009 at 11:18 pm



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