Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford recently offered resolutions of disapproval, a rarely used legislative tool that would overturn two laws recently passed by the District of Columbia. There actions drip irony and hypocrisy as of two proponents of local control over local affairs are attempting to impose their will on a jurisdiction that they are not form nor have the people here played a role in electing them. We in the District know full well that the Constitution and our own Home Rule Act allows this type of move by Congress but just because Congress has the authority to do something it does not mean they should. Sadly, the power of politics trumps their allegiance to principles in this case.
As a self-proclaimed Constitutional conservative it’s also quite troubling that Senator Ted Cruz seems have malleable principles when it relates to the District of Columbia. We are not a state, and yes we would like to be one, but we function as a state in almost every way shape and form. We have our own elected leaders, our own local government that serves as a city, county, and state government, and the vast majority our budget is raised through local taxes. What makes us different is that we pay federal taxes, over $20 billion in 2012, yet we are denied representation in Congress and our local laws all must pass through Congress first. We are the last vestige of taxation without representation on American soil and surely this is something true blooded conservatives should oppose.
If Senators Cruz and Lankford were truly principled constitutional conservatives they’d understand Article III of the Constitution that grants the judicial branch of government the power and authority to determine whether laws are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The District is once again being used as a prop for politicians who we didn’t elect to grandstand from in order to pander to their base and fundraise from. If our laws are unconstitutional courts should determine that not unelected legislators from elsewhere. Since these two Senators care so much about the local laws of the District of Columbia I encourage them to register and vote here so they too could understand the pain and injustice of living under the last remnants of pre-Revolutionary America.
Maybe it’s time our Council passes a disapproval resolution of Senators Cruz and Lankford like this draft: CruzDisapprovalResolution