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60 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 160 (1991-1992)
Constitutionality of D.C. Statehood

handle is hein.journals/gwlr60 and id is 168 raw text is: The Constitutionality of D.C. Statehood
Peter Raven-Hansen*
Abstract
The constitutional issue presented by D.C. statehood is not
whether Congress may turn the District of Columbia into a state,
but whether it may reduce the District's size and admit the balance
as New Columbia. The District Clause in the Constitution gives
Congress plenary legislative authority which it has already used
twice to change the District's size. Downsizing the District again
would not fundamentally impair its constitutional function. Mary-
land's consent to statehood is not required because its original
grant of land for the District was unconditional. New Columbia
would therefore be formed from federal, not Maryland lands.
D.C. statehood would moot the Twenty-third Amendment with-
out formal repeal because the amendment's purposes would be
accomplished by allowing residents of the downsized District to
vote as if they were citizens of New Columbia, and because no one
would have standing to complain of the amendment's resulting
obsolescence. Finally, New Columbia would satisfy the only con-
stitutionally imposed prerequisite for statehood-a republican
form of government.
* Professor of Law, National Law Center, The George Washington University. I
wish to thank my colleague Professor Stephen Saltzburg, for his comments, and Stephen
C. Knight, Andrew C. Mergen, Corby Sturges, and Amy H. Weiser, former and present
National Law Center students who assisted me in my research. A short version of this
article was presented as a speech to the 1990 Annual Meeting of the American Political
Science Association.
November 1991 Vol. 60 No. 1

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