DC FAIR Act (DC Fairness in Representation Act, H.R. 2043)
U.S. Representative Tom Davis and DC Officials - Phil Mendelson, Carol Schwartz, Linda Cropp, Marion Barry, Anthony Williams, Jack Evans, Ray Browne, Kwame Brown, Vincent Orange & Vincent Gray
Jack Kemp, Rep. Susan Molinari and Rep. Chris Cannon show support of Rep. Tom Davis' bill
Davis Introduces the DC FAIR Act (District of Columbia Fairness in Representation Act, H.R. 2043)
Fast Facts on the DC FAIR Act
The DC FAIR Act (H.R. 2043) would:
- Give the historically-Democratic District of Columbia its first voting member in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Give the historically-Republican state of Utah a fourth vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Create these two new seats in the House by temporarily raising the number of Representatives from 435 to 437. After the 2010 U.S. Census reapportionment, the number of House seats would return to 435 with DC retaining a full vote in the House.
To find out more about this piece of legislation, use the links below:
The state of Utah was chosen for the bill for two reasons.
Top of Page
- Utah was the next state in line to receive an additional representative in the 2000 U.S. Census. They missed getting a fourth vote in Congress by 857 people. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count the approximately 14,000 Mormon missionaries temporarily abroad at the time.
- Utah is a historically-Republican state. The District of Columbia has historically voted Democratic. Thus, the bill is largely viewed as "politically neutral," "vote neutral" and nonpartisan, not favoring one political party over another.
Introduction of the DC FAIR Act
On May 3, 2005, U.S. Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) introduced the 'DC Fairness in Representation Act' (H.R. 2043) on Capitol Hill. He was joined by Congressmen Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Chris Cannon (R-UT), former Congresswoman Susan Molinari (R-NY), former Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY), as well as DC Mayor Anthony Williams, DC City Council Chairman Linda Cropp, DC City Councilmembers Carol Schwartz, David Catania, Phil Mendelson, Kwame Brown, Jack Evans, Vincent Orange, Vincent Gray and Marion Barry.
This is the second bill introduced in the 109th Congress that addresses DC's lack of voting representation in Congress through passage of simple legislation.
A bill introduced ealier in the year by Senator Joe Lieberman and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the 'No Taxation Without Representation Act of 2005' (S. 195and H.R. 398) would give DC full congressional voting representation, including two Senators.
While the bills address the problem of DC's denial of voting representation in Congress from different angles, it is clear that there is bipartisan support in Congress for bringing an end to DC's disenfranchisement.
DC Vote applauds Davis' efforts to address this problem and also supports the Lieberman and Norton bills. American democracy is based on a bicameral legislature, and DC Vote strongly believes that DC must have representation in the Senate as well as the House.
Constitutional scholars and research clearly shows that Congress has the authority under the 'District Clause' of the U.S. Constitution to give DC voting representation in Congress through simple legislation. Republicans have historically shown strong support for DC voting rights too.
Top of Page
DC Vote Information on the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page
Sample Letter - Cosponsor the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page
Legal Opinions and Research on the DC FAIR Act and DC Voting Rights
Legal Research and Analysis for Redistricting and an At-Large Seat in Utah
Top of Page
'Simple' Legislation Enough to Grant DC Voting Right in Congress
- Analysis by Viet D. Dinh and Adam Charnes - "The Authority of Congress to Enact Legislation to Provide the District of Columbia with Voting Representation in the House of Representatives," dated November 2004 (PDF 163 kb)
- Analysis by Kenneth W. Starr - "Testimony of the Honorable Kenneth W. Starr," Former Solicitor General of the United States, Former Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, dated June 23, 2004 (PDF 141 kb)
- Analysis by Rick Bress and Kristen E. Murray, Latham & Watkins LLP - "Analysis of Congress’s Authority By Statute To Provide D.C. Residents Voting Representation in the United States House of Representatives and Senate," dated February 3, 2003 (PDF 185 kb)
- Analysis by Walter Smith, DC Appleseed Center, and L. Elise Dieterich, Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP - "Congress' Authority to Pass Legislation Giving District of Columbia Citizens Voting Representation in Congress," dated May 22, 2002 (PDF 145 kb)
Text and Sponsors of the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page
Media Related to the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page
- N.J. and D.C. an editorial in Roll Call, dated February 1, 2006
- FAIR Treatment For D.C. Voters an opinion in the Washington Post by Ilir Zherka, dated January 29, 2006
- Huntsman: 4th Seat Viable Option - He Throws His Support Behind an At-Large Utah Congressman in the Utah Standard-Examiner by Scott Schwebke, dated December 18, 2005
- Rep. Davis Cites Fresh Interest in D.C. Voting Rights, Including From Bush in the Washington Post by Lori Montgomery, dated December 17, 2005
- Compromise Reached on D.C. Voting Rights from WTOP Radio, dated December 16, 2005
- A Fourth Seat in Congress an opinion piece in the Provo Daily Herald, dated November 23, 2005
- 4th Congressional Seat Could Represent Whole State by the Utah Standard-Examiner dated November 20, 2005
- A Vote for DC - The District May Get a Say by Archie Ingersoll, Utne.com dated October 6, 2005
- Republican Support for D.C. Citizens by Jack Kemp, Human Events (online), dated September 27, 2005
- Not Everyone Represented in America in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Mark Trahant, dated August 28, 2005
- D.C. Vote Could Be Possible with a Plan by Congressman from Virginia an editorial in the Omaha World-Herald, dated August 8, 2005
- How Republicans Can Reach Out to African-Americans an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by U.S. Representative Tom Davis, dated August 3, 2005
- Congressional Vote for D.C. Endorsed in the San Francisco Chronicle, dated August 3, 2005
- 4th House Seat Gains Steam in the Utah Standard-Examiner by Scott Schwebke, dated July 18, 2005
- As American as Baseball, Guns and Voting Rights an editorial in the Dallas Morning News by Carl Leubsdorf, dated July 7, 2005
- Supporting Suffrage in D.C. an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, dated July 6, 2005
- July Hearing Set for Voting Rights Bills - Tensions Arise in Utah And Among Democrats an article in the Washington Post by Spencer Hsu, dated June 16, 2005
- A Western Strategy an article in the Washington Post, dated June 16, 2005
- Plan Would Create an At-large House District an article in the Salt Lake Tribune by Thomas Burr, dated June 7, 2005
- Bishop, Matheson Pointing Fingers Over 4th-seat Impasse an article in the Salt Lake Tribune by Thomas Burr, dated, June 4, 2005
- Utah Could Keep D.C. Without Voting Member in Congress an article on ABC Channel 7 by the Associated Press, dated June 3, 2005
- He Says, He Says: 2 Utahns Trade Barbs Over Possible 4th Seat an article in the Deseret Morning News by Bob Bernick, Jr., dated June 3, 2005
- Seeking D.C. Representation a letter-to-the-editor by Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote in the Connecticut Courant, dated May 28, 2005
- D.C. Representation a letter-to-the-editor by Shawn Rolland, program assistant of DC Vote in the Kansas City Star, dated May 26, 2005
- Unrepresented for Too Long an editorial in the Connecticut Courant, dated May 24, 2005
- With a Bit of Horse-Trading, D.C. Can Finally Win Democracy an op-ed piece written by Walter Smith, executive director of the DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice in Washington, D.C. in the Los Angeles Times, dated May 23, 2005
- Voting in D.C. a letter-to-the-editor by Ilir Zherka, executive director of DC Vote in the Chicago Tribune, dated May 23, 2005
- Improve the D.C. FAIR Act, Then Pass It an op-ed by Ilir Zherka in Roll Call, dated May 19, 2005
- Representation for D.C. an editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal, dated May 17, 2005
- Voting Rights for D.C. an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, dated May 12, 2005
- Musical Chairs - Utah In Congress - State Needs to Earn Trust to Get Another Seat an editorial by the Salt Lake City Tribune, dated May 7, 2005
- Give D.C. a Vote an editorial in Roll Call, dated May 4, 2005
- Bill to Give Washington a House Vote Is Proposed in the New York Times by James Dao, dated May 4, 2005
- Bipartisan Group Asks House to Set Aside Politics, Give D.C. Vote in the Washington Post by Spencer Hsu, dated May 4, 2005
- Legislation Introduced to Give D.C. Full Voting Member of the House in the Washington Examiner by AP reporter Heather Greenfield, dated May 4, 2005
- Bill Would Give D.C., Utah Seats in House in the Salt Lake Tribune by Robert Gehrke, dated May 4, 2005
- Voting Rights Gains Support on Hill in the Washington Times by the Associated Press, dated May 4, 2005
- A Vote in the House in the Washington Post editorial section, dated May 3, 2005
- Davis Offers D.C. Voting Bill Again in Roll Call by Jennifer Yachnin, dated May 3, 2005
Statements by Elected Officials on the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page
- Statement of Representative Tom Davis, Chairman, Committee on Government Affairs on the introduction of the DC FAIR Act, dated May 3, 2005 (PDF 86 kb)
- Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Talks About the Davis Bill with Mark Plotkin, WTOP Radio on C-SPAN, dated May 5, 2005
- Statement of Linda W. Cropp, Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia on the introduction of the DC FAIR Act, dated May 3, 2005 (PDF 35 kb)
- Norton Applauds Davis Bill and Rising Bipartisanship on DC Voting Rights a press statement by DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, dated May 3, 2005
- Watch excerpts of Mayor Anthony Williams speech at the bill introduction by clicking on the images below - 43 and 32 seconds in length (Note: You must have QuickTime Player installed to view these clips.)
Jurisdictions and Organizations Supporting the DC FAIR Act
Top of Page