WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling in Castañon v. United States that denies D.C. residents voting representation in Congress. The ACLU of the District of Columbia joined a friend-of-the-court brief with several other public interest and civil rights organizations in support of the petitioner, Angelica Castañon, whose case challenged the lack of representation in Congress as violations of the equal protection and due process rights in the Constitution.
The following can be attributed to Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia:
“While we hoped for a different outcome, today’s Supreme Court ruling does not affect the constitutionality of D.C. statehood, which would give the almost 700,000 full voting rights or control over its own local government. It is notable that the court in a previous decision cited that by Congress passing statehood would correct this 200-year denial of voting representation and political equality to D.C. residents, a majority of whom are Black and brown.”
“The momentum for D.C statehood is growing and closer to becoming a reality than ever before. In 2016, almost 80% of D.C. voters supported statehood in a referendum. In February 2021, a national poll showed that for the first time ever, a majority of Americans, 54%, support D.C. becoming a state. This is why the focus must be on Congress to pass the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, S. 51, – a constitutionally sound bill to establish statehood for D.C. now.”
The amicus brief in Castañon v. United States can be found here.