D.C. Statehood Isn’t Just about Two More Senators

I realize for most people D.C. statehood is viewed as the gain of two Democratic senators, but for residents of the mainland colony, the lack of statehood has real effects (boldface mine):

Like many cities, the District of Columbia has seen gun violence rise even as overall crime has declined…

One big reason for DC’s problems is that its judicial system, controlled by Congress, is a mess. There are crippling vacancies on the Superior Court (14 of 62 seats unfilled) and Appeals Court (three of nine seats unfilled).

The result is that the courts are so backed up that people can spend more time waiting for a hearing than they would serve if convicted. And it’s not just criminal prosecutions that suffer, it’s child custody fights, family law, and the settling of estates—the stuff of everyday life.

The Senate confirmed by voice vote more than a dozen Biden judges before leaving for the holidays but none for the District of Columbia. Florida Senator Rick Scott blocked a move to confirm several DC nominees by unanimous consent, returning them to wait in line indefinitely for another opening in a crowded legislative calendar.

“I have absolutely no faith that Joe Biden’s radical far-left nominees will uphold the rule of law,” Scott said by way of explanation…

Buchanan points out that jury trials recently resumed in DC Superior Court, where there are over ten thousand criminal cases currently pending—more than twice the case load at the same time last year. The three missing judges, out of nine, on the Court of Appeals, mean more than 200 cases per year will be delayed because of a decrease in the number of panels that can be constituted

It’s an anomaly that infuriates DC statehood advocates. “Nowhere else in this country are local state court judges held up by federal U.S. senators,” says Dan Goldberg with Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group. “They’re not handling great constitutional questions, it’s just day-to-day administering of justice.”

In light of a few recent high-profile cases, if Congress could intervene in appointment of state judges, that might not be a bad thing… I’m kidding. Yes, D.C. does deserve Congressional representation and it would help the country, but we also must be able to conduct our own affairs. We will–as every state does–make mistakes, but they’ll be our mistakes, not Rick Scott’s.

Update: Republican Senator and ambulatory shit stain Ted Cruz is now proposing legislation to overturn D.C.’s school vaccination requirement. Because of course he is.

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1 Response to D.C. Statehood Isn’t Just about Two More Senators

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