June 10, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief, as authorized by the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the denial of congressional voting rights in Congress to District of Columbia residents:
“The sacred right to be heard at the ballot box is the foundation of our freedom, and a mainstay of our democracy. For too long, the people of the District of Columbia have been dealt the outrageous injustice of paying taxes, serving in uniform and contributing to the economic power of our nation, while being denied the full enfranchisement that is their constitutional right.
“The House is proud to take this action to right this injustice, which meets our clear constitutional responsibility to ‘enfranchis[e] District residents, who should have a full and equal voice in the federal legislature,’ and which builds on years of Democratic leadership in the Congress. We salute Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton for her lifetime of leadership in the fight for the voting rights that D.C. residents deserve.
“Now, we must continue our progress, and pass Congresswoman Norton’s D.C. statehood bill, which would give the residents of Washington full voting rights and home rule. We must ensure that the citizens of our nation’s capital have a full voice in the Congress and in our democracy.”