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DC Equality Amendment
Timothy D. Cooper, Charles Wesley Harris, and Mark David Richards
Draft Text, June 4, 2002




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Draft Text 6/4/02

For purposes of discussion only, the language of an equal constitutional rights amendment for DC residents is set forth as follows:

Section 1. All US citizens who are permanent residents of the District of Columbia shall be treated as residents of a state for all constitutional intents and purposes, enjoying those same rights, powers and privileges as the people of the several states, including:

  • The right to equal representation in the House of Representatives [under Article 1.]
  • The right to equal representation in the U.S. Senate [under the Seventeenth Amendment.]
  • The right to a republican form of government [under Article 4].
  • The right to all Constitutional powers and privileges [under the Tenth Amendment.]
  • The right to equal protection [under the Fourteenth Amendment.]
  • The right to elect equal electors for President and Vice President [under Article 2.]

Section 2. Congress shall limit its power to exercise its "exclusive legislation" over the District of Columbia under Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 17 of the constitution to the following geographical areas, except in the case of a compelling national interest:

  • The National Capital Service Area (NCSA).
  • All foreign embassies and missions.

Section 3. The Federal Height Act of 1910 shall remain in full force and effect, unless amended, modified, or repealed by Congress.

Section 4. General services may be provided to the federal government by the District of Columbia government on an as needed basis on such terms as are mutually satisfactory to the parties. Nothing shall prevent the federal government from compensating the District of Columbia in the form of a payment in lieu of taxes for revenues foregone as the seat of national government.

Section 5. The federal government shall continue to hold jurisdiction over and provide for the District of Columbia's courts and correctional facilities, until such time as the District by mutual agreement with Congress shall pay for and administer these facilities. At such time, they shall come under the exclusive authority of the District of Columbia government.

Section 6. The twenty-third article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 7. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


See also, Response to Questions about the DC Equality Amendment

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