District of Columbia Representation Amendment 92 Stat. 3795 (1978)

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Twenty-three times since 1800, congressional representation for the district of columbia had been sought, mainly on the grounds that taxation of District residents without representation in Congress was undemocratic. The modern District's predominantly black population is larger than that of each of ten states. In 1978 Congress proposed a constitutional amendment that would treat the district as a state is treated for purposes of congressional and electoral college representation and for participation in presidential elections and ratification of constitutional amendments. It would have repealed the twenty-third amendment, which had allowed district residents to vote for President and vice-president, while limiting district representation in the electoral college to that of the least populous state. As with other recent amendments, Congress fixed a seven-year time limit for ratification and provided that it would implement the amendment by legislation at a later date.

Although both houses of Congress passed the proposed amendment enthusiastically, it had slight chance of ratification because it would have added two senators and one representative to Congress, all almost certain to be both black and Democrats. In 1985, the period for ratification expired.

Paul L. Murphy


Best, Judith 1983 National Representation of the District of Columbia. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America.

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District of Columbia Representation Amendment 92 Stat. 3795 (1978)

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