Puerto Rican statehood

The argument against is that it is written into the Constitution as such. The reason being that as the seat of the Federal government, DC has 435 Representatives and 100 Senators already. As to taxation without representation, they have been granted the right (through constitutional amendment) to vote in presidential elections. They also have a devolved government that they elect directly.

Puerto Rico is a harder case, but the people of the island have not been in a hurry. When last put to a referendum, 55% of eligible people voted and they voted only by 52% for statehood. It is only in the last 10 years that there has been a slim majority in favor of statehood at all. As for representation, They don’t pay federal income tax and they don’t vote in federal elections.

My 2 cents on the matter is you have to pick a political philosophy and then apply it consistently. If you support federalization of elections, then you should also support federalization of the federal district.

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This is nonsense. None of those Senators or Congress-members represent DC anymore that Bernie Sanders represents Montana or Louie Goehmert represents Puerto Rico.


Not if you read the actual words. The Constitution just concerns itself with the Federal district in terms of the actual land upon which just the buildings of the Federal Government - not the residential areas that sprung up around those buildings.

So, much like the 2A, what you’re calling the “Constitution” is just the wishful thinking fever dream of RWNJs.

So, in other words, what would be considered a landslide in a US Presidential election. Yeah, that’s such a thin thread…


Article 1 Section 8 is pretty clear. The enumerated powers of Congress include:
“To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States”.

As the land is ceded by the states it is not a state and not entitled to representation as a state explicitly because it is the seat of the government.

Someone else pointed out the suggestion to return 90%+ to Maryland - there is no reason that wouldn’t be allowed, especially as Virginia reclaimed it’s ceded area.

As to the Puerto Rico “landslide”…yes, by current political standards every time someone wins by 0.001% it is a “clear mandate”. But we’re all too jaded here to go in for such rhetoric. :slight_smile:

Exercising exclusive legislative power would include legislation enabling statehood.


You are correct in all ways but your conclusion, as @KathyPartdeux has pointed out.

Alternatively, we could have the Dakotas merge with Montana, Wyoming merge with Colorado, Idaho with Utah, and Vermont with New Hampshire. I think that would go a long way to eliminating the unfair electoral conditions that remain as an anchor from the institution of slavery around our collective necks.


But if it’s not, it surely makes an even weaker case to support the side that lost, which is what you were taking it to represent. Whatever your standard for when to care is, you should apply it consistently.


Again, this is handled in the Constitution:
“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

If you think that the legislatures of the states you suggest will go along with your plan, you’ve got another thing coming.

You’re right, I didn’t mean to imply that Puerto Rico shouldn’t be a state. I was just pointing out that it isn’t a rush as the people of the island are not really that into it. It seems that in the last 10 years the pendulum has swung slightly in favor. That’s after 50 years of opposition. From the 1950s through the 80s the loudest voices (not the most numerous) were for independence and included an armed attack on the Congress in 1954.

That the last referendum was slightly in favor after Trump handing out paper towels is probably a ringing endorsement…

Are you Puerto Rican? Do you live there? Do you know the people there? If not, why are you speaking on their behalf with a sense of authority and assuming you know what they want. It’s condescending.

People don’t vote for ALL kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with their political views. Many people don’t vote, because they have not been listened to and they don’t see a point. I suspect that’s true for many Puerto Ricans, who have lived in a state of colonialism for more than a century with little changing, except rising tides of racism aimed at people from the island when they come here and little but neglect on the part of the federal government.


The US voter turnout in 2014 was 36%. Clearly the laws passed in that period are null and void. And those elected weren’t legitimate.

The last three referendums supported statehood. Someone is lying by omission. Consistently.


If you’ve got a bias towards maintaining the status quo where 50 Republican Senators who represent 42 million fewer people than their 50 counterparts get to hold the whole country hostage, then just say so.

Weasel-wording objections to fixing the problem (or insisting there is no problem) is bad faith.

“Nothing can be done” is the mantra of enablers.


The idea was that Congress would be responsible for it’s home. Since all the members of Congress would spend between 1/3 and 1/2 of their time in the District, they would be aware of the conditions and care about its governance. Sort of the Ultimate NIMBY.

But you are totally correct in that since none of them are voted for by the residents they don’t represent them. There’s just an assumption that their general interests are aligned.

Right or wrong, that’s the theory, and that’s what is written in the Constitution. Changing it requires a constitutional amendment like the 23rd amendment.

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As it’s been pointed out multiple times, the Constitution puts the ability to make the residential area of DC a state in the hands of Congress. Just because you keep saying otherwise, doesn’t make it true.


I can read the results of elections. As to the personal questions, they can all be reflected back to you. I think it is quite safe to say that neither of us has spoken with 3.2 million Puerto Ricans.

People don’t vote for ALL kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with their political views.

So, you’re saying that we should base decisions on opinions not expressed?

It does not require an amendment. All legislative power over the district resides with Congress. Congress is specifically empowered to add new states to the Union in the Constitution. It’s completely within the enumerated powers of Congress to do so.


But apparently not the room…

So, with your excellent election reading skills, you were able suss out that PR has voted in favor of statehood three times in a row, right? Do they have to keep trying until they reach your desired result?


…and appeasers. This sort of deliberately hapless response only furthers the goal of fascists like Cruz.

“Nothing can be done” is a lazy way for zentrum types who benefit from the status quo of various institutions and don’t want those boats rocked to dismiss anyone who challenges those institutions and calls for reform. Not only is it often a lie when mechanisms for change are available, but there’s always an underlying imposition of blame on the victims of such institutions for daring to suggest things should and could change.

It tends to become a (bad) habit of the mind, forming a pattern where we’re asked again and again to accept institutional dysfunction being “it is what it is”: in inequitable governance; in the police culture; in the fossil fuel industry; in academia; in professional sports; etc. It’s truly unhelpful and unhealthy pattern that, repeated often enough, ultimately exposes the real priorities of the person (in the U.S. usually white, usually male, usually cis-het, usually neurotypical) demanding we just accept that things can’t change.

I can’t claim to know the opinion of millions of boriquas regarding how exactly things should or shouldn’t change, but I can make a confident guess that being a territory of a nominally democratic empire with no effective and equitable representation in that empire’s federal government is not the first choice of most of them. The same goes in a slightly different way for the residents of DC.


The Constitution is pretty clear on how voting is counted.


I hear you, but that interpretation ignores that the Constitution says the Federal District is not a state. If that interpretation were reasonable, then Congress could have just voted to give the District voting rights for president and not amended the Constitution to do so. Precedent stands against that interpretation.