51st StateCommunityDC Statehood

Norton Lauds Constitutional Scholars’ Letter Supporting D.C. Statehood

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Tuesday praised a letter to leaders on Capitol Hill from some of the country’s top constitutional law scholars in support of the constitutionality of a D.C. statehood bill.

“This group of influential scholars laid out the definitive case for the constitutionality of our D.C. statehood bill,” Norton said. “The letter in clear language very effectively conveys that there is no constitutional barrier to admitting D.C. as a state, especially given that the bill retains a reduced federal district that will still serve as the nation’s capital. I thank these constitutional law professors for offering a convincing analysis that carries great weight.”

Scholars vouching for the constitutionality of D.C. statehood legislation include Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School; Caroline Frederickson, Georgetown Law Center; Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; and Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago Law School. In the letter, issues such as retrocession into Maryland, the 23rd Amendment and interpreting the District clause of the Constitution were addressed, with the overall conclusion being D.C. statehood legislation is on firm constitutional grounds and can withstand court challenges.

Sen. Thomas Carper’s (D-Del.) D.C. statehood bill has received 45 co-sponsors, the most ever for a piece of statehood-related legislation. Carper’s bill is accompanying legislation to Norton’s statehood bill making the District the 51st state of the union.

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