In his article Dozens of Constitutional Scholars Tell Congress It Has Power to Make D.C. a State (24 May 2021), Kapur presents a bold statement made by constitutional experts. Several representatives of respected universities such as Harvard, Berkeley and Michigan Law Schools claim in an official letter to the U.S. Congress that its leaders have a legal authority to proclaim Washington, D.C. a 51st state. Their main argument, as the author offers, is that the U.S. laws propose no constitutional objections against the District becoming a new state, and the legal procedure has already been performed with other states. Kapur inquires that, with Joe Biden as the new President, and his positive statehood politics, scholars might get their chance if they manage to put their legislation onto Biden’s desk. Currently, the Democrats actively support the claim, after passing the D.C. Admission Act which explains in detail how this legislation would work.
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However, the author states that there are quite the limitations for the letter to be approved by the Senate. The D.C.’s statehood supporters represent a minority in the Senate, and they need to propose a constitutional rectification for their claim. Moreover, they have a strong opposition in the face of Republicans who insist that the legislation goes against the Constitution and that the Democrats only wish for more Senate representatives with it. Nevertheless, claiming the case of West Virginia as an example of congressional resolution, the scholars’ letter highlights that D.C. only takes the already paved way to becoming a state. With his article, Kapur offers an objective and precise view of the situation, realistically identifying the Democrats’ chances on passing the Act as moderately hard to achieve. The author also carefully picked up all the relevant citations and statements to support his evidences, which makes the article reliable and factually correct.
Kapur, S. (2021). Dozens of constitutional scholars tell Congress it has power to make D.C. a state. Web.