Keith Ellison Hunger Strike: DC Occupiers Want Advantages of Statehood for Federal Territory

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn) stood in “solidarity” with three D.C. occupier’s on a hunger strike for since December 8th. Ellison tweeted that he would go hungry for 24 hours. The protesters are hungry for “democracy” for the District of Columbia but D.C. is not a state, it’s a federal territory. It is the seat of the U.S. Government and as such, other states ceded land for that purpose. The U.S. Congress largely decides the fate of the City, giving it an unusually low rate of unemployment. The District has three electoral votes in Presidential elections, but no vote on the House or Senate floors. Only U.S. States have voting right.

…the question [of D.C. having full House and Senate representation] becomes whether the law is unconstitutional because it violatesArticle I, Sec. 2 of the Constitution — which states:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.”It would seem pretty plain that the District of Columbia cannot have a voting member in the House for the simple reason that the D.C. is not a “state,” as that term is used throughout Art. I. Moreover, Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 17 discusses Congress’s power to create D.C. from land ceded to the U.S. by other “states.” D.C., in terms of the Constitution’s internal structure, would not appear to be a “state” for purposes of Art. I, Sec. 2. …

Moreover, in District of Columbia v. Carter, the Supreme Court said very clearly that the District of Columbia is not a “state” for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment. Sec. 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of course provides that “No state shall . . . abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”  Source: Is That Legal 

The good news is, those not eating are allowed 5 calories a day. Nevertheless, 5 calories a day isn’t keeping them hail and hearty. Some are moving around the Capitol in wheelchairs. Ghandi is the inspiration:

This means that if these 20-something activists continue to refuse food they will survive either a few more days or a few more weeks — and the hunger strikers know this, but they are determined to continue their fight.

They told us they will see a doctor soon, but they plan to continue to refuse food until Congress gives Washington, D.C., residents the same rights as other Americans — including the right to have a voting representative in Congress.

“These guys are about to die,” Jed told us when he returned to the office this evening. “They are still able to move around, but I don’t know if they will make it back tomorrow.” Source: Glitterazzi

So we have three occupiers drinking only water to fix the problem they believe to be unfair. And we have Progressive Congressman Ellison joining forces with the original three which has now grown to a few more, in an unbelievable act of sacrifice – partaking of nothing but water for 24 hours.

At it’s founding, Washington D.C. was intended to be only 10 square miles in size, but today covers 68 square miles. Obviously, our Government cannot contain itself. I suggest we go back to 10 square miles, and give the land back to the states where it originated, and make it illegal to live permanently within the 10 square miles.

Can you imagine the confusion, if the seat of the U.S. Government becomes a state in it’s present location? Wouldn’t it be just a tad unfair? Why not South Carolina, or Oklahoma or Wyoming or….or….or….

Linked by Grumpy Opinions – thank you!

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook

One Pingback/Trackback