Could Washington D.C. Become the 51st State?

Attorney Paul Harding of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on the radio with WIZN discussing the possibility of Washington D.C. becoming the 51st state. How likely is it that this could happen?

Please take a listen or read the transcription below.

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Joe: 106.7 WIZN, it’s Ratt with “Round And Round.” Heard Bachman-Turner Overdrive before that. I’m Joe Vega here with you on your Wednesday Rock and Ride Home, and I’ve got Paul Harding on the phone right now from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Paul.

Paul: Hey, Joe, how are you?

Joe: I am well. So today we’re talking taxation without representation, the possibility of the District of Columbia becoming the 51st state.

Paul: Yeah, it’s been out there for a long time, you know. This conversation feels like it’s been there. Growing up, I was trying to figure out what the District of Columbia was. I remember as a kid, you know, watching Miss America or something and I was like, “What? Are there 51 of these?” You know, and trying to figure what that’s about. But yeah, we’ve got here as a highly politicized issue.

If it were to become a state, it wouldn’t be the smallest state. Vermont and Montana are smaller than the District of Columbia, but it would give two Senate seats, and probably one congressional seat. So, you can imagine there are forces that are supporting it and forces that are aggressively opposing it.

Joe: Right, it seems to be a largely partisan issue right now.

Paul: The real argument comes down to this, is that, somewhere in that constitution it says that a 10 square blocks of where the capital is makes up this Washington DC. Now, Washington DC is much larger than that, but that was the initial intent. So they simply go, so we just can’t vote this to be a state, there has to be a constitutional amendment, which is nearly impossible to get, right? So, if the hope is they’re gonna wait for a constitutional amendment, probably never gonna happen.

If the next elections, you know, there’s a sweeping change and one party dominates the landscape, then maybe it could be voted in. But then, of course, the courts are the ones who are gonna decide, ultimately the Supreme Court, decide whether it needs a constitutional amendment or just a vote of the legislature. It was more ceremonial to say, “Hey, guys, this is still alive and well.” Since 1993 there’s been a bill circulating that never really…it’s made it to the house floor a couple of times, might have passed a couple of times but never had any true momentum.

It is something that appears to be gonna highlight, not gonna go away. And if next year’s elections, you know, were to sway with one party dominating, you know, then we’re gonna see it again. And then we’re gonna see the Supreme Court deciding if that’s the appropriate way to create another state, then we’re gonna see a lot of flags that are wrong.

Joe: I know, I was just gonna say, it’s unfortunate news for the flag makers if it doesn’t actually happen.

Paul: And how do you design it? It lines up so perfectly with 50, where does the one go? Is it gonna be in the box or outside the box?

Joe: The OCD person in me says, “No, you can’t do that. It’ll make the flag look weird.”

Paul: We gotta go to 52, you know, maybe we can break Maine in half.

Joe: I know some people in Maine that would totally support that. All right. Thanks a lot, Paul.

Paul: Okay. Talk soon, Joe. Bye.

Joe: Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Of course, you could call them at any time at 1800law1010 or go online to Mel Allen’s taking over. He’s got music from The Who and The Cars coming up next.