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Washington Post’s Constitution

The WaPo has an editorial today decrying Congress’ attempts to force the Washington DC into compliance with the Heller ruling.

Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) is pushing a measure that seeks to usurp efforts by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the D.C. Council to comply with the Supreme Court ruling overturning the District’s long-standing ban on handguns.

Except that the Mayor and Council are doing everything they can to not comply with the ruling.  The Court ruled that handguns are protected arms under the second amendment, and DC is still enforcing a partial ban on them, and by maintaining their trigger lock provision which the Supreme Court also ruled a violation of the second amendment.

It matters not a whit to Mr. Souder or the NRA that District residents have a right of self-governance. Once again, lawmakers are willing to impose on the District something they wouldn’t contemplate for their home districts. Local officials — not Congress — are the best arbiters of their community’s needs and priorities.

Yes, except that firearms are legal in the areas Mr. Souder represents.  And let’s not forget the constitution:

[Congress shall have the Power To] exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings[.]

This power is expressly granted to Congress, not to the DC City Council.  DC’s entire city government serves at the pleasure of Congress.  It apparently matters not a whit to the WaPo that Congress has plenary authority over the District of Colombia.  That’s not some abstract home rule argument, it’s in The Constitution.

4 Responses to “Washington Post’s Constitution”

  1. Robert says:

    When Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council decided to take their case to the SCOTUS, a case which they lost in the lower Federal District court by the way, that should have been the cue right then and there for Congress to annul the city government of DC entirely for its determined resolve to keep denying residents their civil right to keep and bear arms.

    I wish somebody in Congress had had the guts to say something about the unconstitutionality of the DC handgun ban back in 1976. I have yet to hear anybody explain why it took 32 years to end it.

    I lived in DC back in the 1990’s, and I can attest to the glaring inefficiency and abuses of the city government there. This was all back in the days when Mayor Barry was smoking crack with prostitutes in hotel rooms. Meanwhile, the snow wasn’t getting plowed in a timely fashion during the winter, DC cops were telling me that I was not allowed to sit on the front steps of my own Georgetown apartment house whenever there were large crowds gathered on nearby M Street on weekend evenings during the summer, potholes on streets all around the city never seemed to get filled much all year round, and nobody ever seemed to get arrested for any of the crimes that were committed against me (This includes two separate muggings.) or my property, even though I reported each and every crime to the police immediately.

  2. RAH says:

    Home rule was a mistake. It was a reaction to the riots that destroyed portions of DC. DC was much better run before Home rule. But like at the time colonial powers were giving up territory Congress felt it was better to give home rule to DC. Believe it or not the current and the last mayor is the best yet.

    Congress has the authority under the Constitution but the Democrats will not allow this bill. It is a shame that a good portion of GOP voters decided to sit out the 2006 election in petulance. It lost too many house seats.

  3. Peter says:

    You’ve got to figure that if the WaPo is upset with this, then Congress, for once, is onto the right thing. :)

  4. Rob K says:

    “Once again, lawmakers are willing to impose on the District something they wouldn’t contemplate for their home districts.”

    Not only are firearms legal in the areas Souder represents, Indiana has state-wide preemption. Gary would be just like Chicago otherwise.

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