Thomas and Gorsuch cited the court’s decision in Adams v. Clinton, a ruling from 2000 that said D.C. cannot have federal representation in the House because it is not a state and thus does not meet the US Constitution’s requirement for representation.
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to create a “District (not exceeding ten Miles square)” that “may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”
The Founders envisioned this District as an administrative area for Congress, the president and his subordinate departments, and the Supreme Court to exercise their functions.
They feared that a federal district within a state’s jurisdiction would cause that state to capture the federal government and use it for its own purposes—to the detriment of the Union as a whole.
The Supreme Court’s ruling upheld a federal district court’s decision from March 2020.
Three judges on the lower court found that both “precedent” and “the Constitution itself” forced them to deny representation to the D.C., though they lamented that people found the decision “deeply unjust.”
The lawsuit does not appear to be connected to the Democratic Party’s bid to make Washington, D.C., the nation’s 51st state.
With D.C.’s statehood, the Democrats hope to gain two permanent Democratic senators and one permanent Democratic representative.
The 23rd Amendment has already distorted the Founders’ initial design by giving three Electoral College votes to D.C. and thus empowering federal bureaucrats to vote for a president who will keep them in power.