Remember the cacophonous wailing of the left over the Bush administration's alleged politicization of the Justice Department? We always knew they were just projecting, but now we have even more proof.
I first learned from my friend Andy McCarthy's blog post on National Review Online that Attorney General Eric Holder had rejected the legal opinion of his own Justice Department lawyers that the D.C. voting rights bill, which would give the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives, is unconstitutional.
Why would Holder reject the legal opinion of his own deputies? Dumb question. Because he doesn't like the answer and neither does his boss, President Obama. They both strongly support passage of the bill and do not believe a little trifle, such as an express constitutional provision forbidding it, should be permitted to get in their way. How many times do leftists have to demonstrate that they are an ends-justify-the-means bunch before it sinks in?
The Washington Post confirms that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, "an elite unit that gives legal and constitutional advice to the executive branch," did issue an unpublished opinion earlier this year that the voting rights bill is unconstitutional. Holder couldn't let that stand, so he went back to the well, hoping for a different opinion.
Lo and behold, the solicitor general's office dutifully served up that opinion and said it could defend the legislation in court should the bill be challenged on constitutional grounds. Hmm.
Now, those of you who don't like it when lawyers muddle up the plain meaning of language should follow me into the next paragraph, where I'll recite to you the pertinent constitutional provision. Please excuse me while I reach up to the shelf to retrieve my pocket Constitution.
Article 1, Section 2 provides: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States." Would it be too much to ask that we all agree that the District of Columbia is not a state?
On that point, I'll note that Article 1, Section 8 provides for the establishment of a federal district that is distinct from the states. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist No. 43 of the necessity of a separate federal district that serves as the seat of the federal government and is separate from the authority and the territory of any state. Otherwise, "Public authority (of the federal government) might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity," and the district would have to rely on the state in which it was included, for protection, which could diminish its honor.