Off the radar but inside the corridors of the U.S. Capitol an attempt to give the nation’s capitol city, Washington, D.C., voting representation in Congress has been raging. Supporters of voting representation in the House of Representatives for the Americans living in D.C. fall into two camps: those who seek full statehood for the District of Columbia with all of the rights statehood would provide, and those who just want a Congressman of their own to represent D.C. interests in the House. The latter group have enlisted the help of a somewhat unlikely ally in the form of the State of Utah.
The challenges of granting statehood for the District of Columbia are tremendous as the U.S. Constitution places some very tough requirements for adding an amendment and there are only four ways that a constitutional amendment can be added:
- Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
- Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
- Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
- Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)
The Founding Fathers made it difficult to amend the U.S. Constitution because they wanted to ensure that such additions were made only when the greatest numbers of people agreed, thereby safeguarding the Constitution as much as possible from immediate, but short-lived, political concerns.