A Right Deferred
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” —Declaration of Independence
The Post is reporting that the latest attempt to move voting rights forward will probably fail.
As you may recall, in early January Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D – DC) introduced a bill to give the District a voting member of the House. Progress on the bill stalled when the Senate added an amendment essentially repealing much of the city’s gun laws and restricting the Council from regulating firearms in the future.
Since a repeal of gun laws is politically unpopular in the city, Congressional backers gave up on the bill, opting to find another way to give the District representation.
The latest plan, now in peril, involved attaching the voting rights language as a rider in the conference report for the defense appropriation bill.
But now it looks as though that will fail, too, despite the Democratic majority, as the Post writes:
Democrats fear that if they did use the defense measure, the National Rifle Association would “score” the vote as though it were directly related to the gun issue. Interest groups across the ideological spectrum rate the voting records of members of Congress, but few have as much clout as the NRA. If the group announced that it was scoring a vote for the defense bill (and the D.C. Voting Rights measure) as a vote against gun rights, it would put Democrats — particularly those from conservative and rural districts — in a very tough spot.
Yet again, we must suffer the abridgment of our moral right to elect the people who pass laws we must obey.