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appropriate approach to ending the tyranny of taxation without representation within the Nation's Capital.
Some will claim that the U.S. Constitution is a barrier.
To argue that the very document that gives us our rights, denies them to some, seems obviously contradictory.
Some will claim that Maryland retains rights over the land that is Washington, DC.
To those I would say, "Read the documents of conveyance."
Still others will argue that the 23d amendment stands in the way. That argument falls under the weight of logic.
If Congress exercises exclusive legislative authority over the District, then it can do with the District what it wishes, including creating a State out of it.
Exclusive is exclusive. It cannot be anything less.
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THIS IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES OF AT LEAST FOUR HEARINGS THIS SUBCOMMITTEE
INTENDS TO CONDUCT ON THE ISSUE OF STATEHOOD FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
AT OUR FIRST HEARING, WE HEARD FROM MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE.
AMONG THOSE WHO PRESENTED TESTIMONY WERE SENATORS KENNEDY, SPECTER AND
ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMENTS WE HAD RECEIVED FROM OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS,
FORMED THE BASIS FOR WORK PERFORMED BY AN INFORMAL TASK FORCE TO PERFECT
THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE DISTRICT'S REQUEST FOR
THE RESULTS OF THIS EFFORT BY THE TASK FORCE, AFTER LABORING FOR
A FULL YEAR, CAN BE FOUND IN D.C. COMMITTEE PRINT S-2.
THE AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY THE TASK FORCE FORMED THE BASIS FOR OUR SECOND
HEARING. THE MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT, THE COUNCIL CHAIRMAN AND THE DISTRICT'S
STATEHOOD PARTY REPRESENTATIVE ON THE D.C. COUNCIL OFFERED TESTIMONY. WE ALSO
HEARD FROM A PANEL OF PERSONS WHO HAD SERVED ON THE STATEHOOD CONSTITUTION
TASK FORCE, INCLUDING MR. CHARLES CASSELL, THE PRESIDENT OF. THE D.C.
STATEHOOD CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION; MS. JOSEPHINE BUTLER, CHAIRPERSON OF THE
D.C. STATEHOOD COMMISSION; AND ATTORNEY JOSEPH SELLERS, A MEMBER OF THE
TODAY, WE WILL HEAR FROM SEVERAL DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS OF THE LEGAL
PROFESSION ON THE ACADEMIC SIDE AS WELL AS ON THE PRACTICIONER SIDE, WE HAVE
ASKED SOME OF OUR WITNESSES TO RESPOND TO SEVERAL KEY LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL
ISSUES THAT HAVE EMERGED IN CONNECTION WITH D.C. STATEHOOD, OTHERS OF OUR
WITNESSES HAVE BEEN ASKED TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION. AT LEAST
ONE OF OUR WITNESSES WILL COMMENT ON THE LEGAL AND CONSTITIONAL ISSUES AS WELL AS THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION.
BEFORE WE CALL OUR WITNESSES, I THINK IT IS USEFUL TO SHARE AN OPINION EXPRESSED VERY EARLY IN THIS CENTURY BY ANOTHER PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, PROFESSOR FRANK PERRY. IN A 1920 ARTICLE
WRITTEN FOR THE GEORGETOWN LAW JOURNAL, PROFESSOR PERRY STATED,
"FROM A STUDY OF THE WORDING OF THE CONSTITUTION AND OF THE
ORIGINAL GRANTS OF THIS TERRITORY FROM THE STATES OF
MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA; FROM AN EXAMINATION OF THE DECISIONS
OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES; AND FROM THE
ACTION OF THE POLITICAL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT IN
RETROCEDING A PORTION OF THIS AREA TO THE STATE OF VIRGINIA;
IT MUST BE CONCEDED THAT THE WEIGHT OF PRECEDENT AND
AUTHORITY IS IN FAVOR OF THE PROPOSITION THAT CONGRESS HAS
AUTHORITY, WITHOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ERECT OUT
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA A SOVEREIGN STATE."
PROFESSOR PERRY'S OBSERVATIONS NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS AGO, STAND TODAY AS A
STATEMENT, NOT ONLY OF WHAT IS JUST AND PROPER, BUT ALSO AS THE APPROPRIATE
APPROACH TO ENDING THE TYRANNY OF TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION IN THE
SOME WILL CLAIM THAT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IS A BARRIER. TO ARGUE THAT THE
VERY DOCUMENT THAT GIVES US OUR RIGHTS DENIES THEM TO SOME SEEMS OBVIOUSLY
CONTRADICTORY. SOME WILL CLAIM THAT MARYLAND RETAINS RIGHTS OVER THE LAND
THAT IS WASHINGTON, D.C. TO THOSE I WOULD SAY, READ THE DOCUMENTS OF CONVEYANCE, STILL OTHERS WILL ARGUE THAT THE BRD AMENDMENT STANDS IN THE
WAY. THAT ARGUMENT FALLS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF LOGIC,
IF CONGRESS EXERCISES EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE DISTRICT,
THEN IT CAN DO WITH THE DISTRICT WHAT IT WISHES, INCLUDING CREATING A STATE
OUT OF IT. EXCLUSIVE IS EXCLUSIVE. IT CAN NOT BE ANYTHING LESS,
Mr. FAUNTROY. And to comment on this whole area of concern, and hopefully to ratify what I have just said, we have a very distinguished panel of witnesses.
And I want to call the first witness to the witness table. Professor of law at the George Washington University Law Center, Prof. Peter Raven-Hansen.
Mr. Raven-Hansen, it is a real pleasure to have you.
We have received your statement and look forward to your presentation of your remarks in whatever manner you choose.
Yes. Before Mr. Raven-Hansen begins, let me submit for the record the statement of our distinguished colleague and ranking minority member of the House District Committee, Representative Stewart B. McKinney.
[The prepared statement of Mr. McKinney follows:]