Residents of the District of Columbia have no voting representation in Congress. They have a delegate (Eleanor Holmes Norton) who can vote in House committees, but cannot vote on the House floor on proposed legislation. Legal and political efforts to rectify this gross injustice have failed, so far.

In this 2018 case, several D.C. residents filed suit challenging the lack of congressional representation as a violation of equal protection of the laws and due process. In June 2019, we joined the League of Women Voters, DC Vote, Neighbors United for D.C. Statehood, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in an amicus brief filed in the district court. The brief argued that there is no rational basis to deny D.C. residents the rights to voting representation and political equality, and the court has a duty to protect the fundamental right to vote.

The district court ruled otherwise in March 2020, essentially reasoning that the Constitution assigns Representatives and Senators to States, and the Constitution can’t be unconstitutional. The plaintiffs appealed directly to the Supreme Court. In October 2021 the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court ruling in a two-sentence order.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Arent Fox LLP

Date filed

June 10, 2019

Status

Closed