In this vote recommendation, the ACLU and ACLU of the District of Columbia urge members of the House of Representatives to vote YES on H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and to vote NO on any motion to recommit that may be offered to undermine it. The ACLU will score the vote on final passage and on ANY motion to recommit that would otherwise harm civil liberties.
H.R. 51 would grant statehood to the residential areas of the current District of Columbia as the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth. The ACLU's legal analysis of H.R. 51 finds the bill to be constitutional. In granting statehood through an act of Congress, H.R. 51 is a valid and defensible exercise of congressional power, complying with the District and Federal Enclaves Clause, the Admission Clause, and the Twenty-Third Amendment. Decisions on policies that impact D.C. residents' rights, liberties, health, and welfare are routinely made by Congress—a body that neither represents their interests nor is politically accountable for its decisions regarding the District. D.C. residents pay taxes, serve on juries, fight in wars, and contribute to our country's prosperity, and are deserving of equal representation in the federal government.