FW: Representation for District of Columbia
7barksda at jmls.edu
Tue Apr 3 18:04:26 PDT 2007
I have to send this again - like many of my messages, it turned out
to be too big to be sent, with the previous messages attached.
From: Barksdale, Yvette
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 8:01 PM
To: 'Earl Maltz'; Scarberry, Mark; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Representation for District of Columbia
Sorry for the delay in responding to this - I have been away from most
email for the last several days - so I've just read your message. I am
not trying to revive the thread, but there do seem to be differences in
the creation of the Northwest and Southwest territories than in the
creation of the District of Columbia.
According to my quick internet search on their creation -
(correct me if these facts are wrong) - there are significant
distinctions between the cession the Northwest territories Southwest
territories and the cession of DC.
1st Neither of the territories appear to have been politically
organized as part of the a State, even before states ceded their claims
regarding these territories to the federal government. The Northwest
territory was ceded to the United States by Britain, and was the subject
of competing claims by many states. But it does not appear as if the
residents of these territories (whomever they might be) were considered
be voting citizens who were part of the political community of any
state. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.
Similarly with respect to North Carolina, although North Carolina's
original claim to the territory was clear, they never actually organized
these areas into the voting, political community of their state. Rather,
these areas were unorganized territories claimed by the State.
So, you don't have the situation in which the cession of claims to the
federal government would have deprived voting citizens of their ability
to vote in state government. Instead, the analogy here, seems to be
more of a purchase of outstanding claims to largely unsettled, mostly
So, perhaps the proper characterization of these territories is as
property of States - rather than the political community of States.
DC is different, because it is clear that the territory ceded was in
fact part of the political community of the States of Virginia and
Maryland, and thus part of the political community of the original 13
states which formed the federal government.
Thus, unlike the cession of the other territories, only the DC cession
raised the issue of whether the cession of the territory would deprive
members of the political community of the two of the original 13 states
of what otherwise would have been their automatic membership in the
national political community.
Given this, shouldn't the default position be to assume that anyone who
was a member of American Political community under the Articles of
Confederation (original 13 colonies), continued to be so, absent some
clear indication to the contrary in the cession documents, etc. , which
appears not to be the case, because the question is still being debated
Professor Yvette M. Barksdale
The John Marshall Law School
315 S. Plymouth Ct.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 427-2737 (phone)
(312) 427-9974 (fax)
From: Earl Maltz [mailto:emaltz at camden.rutgers.edu]
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 12:42 PM
To: Barksdale, Yvette; Scarberry, Mark; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Representation for District of Columbia
There was no "land grab." The land was ceded to the federal government
the governments of the states of Virginia and Maryland. Once again, the
cession of the land in the Old Northwest and the Old Southwest (although
was done under the Articles) was precisely analogous.
At 05:34 PM 3/30/2007 -0500, Barksdale, Yvette wrote:
>Mark Scarberry writes:
>I don't understand how that can be when the document itself explicitly
>contemplates formation of the District by cession of land from states;
>any event that is the argument.
>Doesnt this fact cut as well in the opposite direction? The District
>Columbia was originally part of the original states which formed the
>union. Thus, the federal governments land grab deprived the DC
>of representation (and of voting rights for representatives), that they
>otherwise would have had. This makes them different from other
>territories that were never states, and could never be states, until
>were admitted to the union. Because the federal governments action was
>taken solely for its own selfish purposes (to take the federal seat of
>government out of the control of states, question should the
>necessarily be construed to also give the federal government, by that
>token, the power to deprive the citizens of D. C. of representation
>they otherwise would have had. Wouldnt you want clear evidence of this
>intent, to make such a judgment particularly when the citizens of DC
>have part of the people who themselves ratified the constitution. Would
>they have agreed to deprive themselves of representation in the federal
>Moreover, even if that was the intent of the adopters question whether
>framers would have had the authority to deprive the citizens of the
>original states of their membership in the union which they formed?
>Military bases are inapposite because the people who reside on the
>military bases are citizens of other states, arent they, and thus have
>voting rights in those states. Thus they are not deprived of their
>representation in Congress (although they may be deprived of their
>Given this, at a minimum, it would seem that Constitution at a minimum,
>would permit Congress to legislatively to return to the citizens of DC
>representation that they otherwise would have had, but for the selfish
>of the federal government in taking over their territory.
>Professor Yvette M. Barksdale
>The John Marshall Law School
>315 S. Plymouth Ct.
>Chicago, IL 60604
>(312) 427-2737 (phone)
>(312) 427-9974 (fax)
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