In Case You Missed it .... Union Leader Editorials
NEW HAMPSHIRE Democrats wasted no time this year continuing their assault on our state and federal constitutions.
The latest attempt to get around a constitutional provision has come in the form of a resolution criticizing Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg for not supporting a bill that would have given Washington, D.C., a seat in the House of Representatives.
Why this should take up valuable legislative time in the start of a session in which lawmakers have to again tackle education funding and serious budget concerns is beyond us. But apparently our representatives in Concord feel it is their duty to hold hearings on the electoral status of Washington, D.C., residents before they get around to other pressing state matters.
We suspect that this bill is really about trying to hurt Sen. John Sununu in an election year. Sens. Sununu and Gregg wisely oppose simply passing legislation giving D.C. a House representative. Why? Because such a law would be unconstitutional.
The District of Columbia is not a state. The Constitution allows only state representation in the House. That was the case when people chose to live in the district instead of Virginia or Maryland, and they have to live with their choice.
If Congress is allowed to violate the Constitution simply by passing a law, even if it is for the supposedly virtuous cause of giving D.C. residents a vote in the House, what justification would there then be for preventing Congress from violating it ad nauseam?
Sen. Sununu has made the point that the bill would also reduce New Hampshire's influence in Congress. So not only are he and Sen. Gregg defending the Constitution, they are defending New Hampshire, too.
New Hampshire Democrats, on the other hand, have long supported the state Supreme Court's Claremont rulings that fundamentally rewrote a portion of the state constitution, and last year they wrote and got passed an unconstitutional law giving the state Democratic and Republican parties an advantage over competitors at the polls.
Sens. Sununu and Gregg take seriously their oath to uphold the Constitution. It would be great if New Hampshire Democrats did the same.