D.C. statehood is not a novel idea. As the Department of Justice concluded in 1987 in a highly detailed report totaling more than 80 pages: “Efforts to admit the District of Columbia to the Union as a state should be vigorously opposed.” Still, the idea lingers, although never nearing 60 votes in the Senate (or a constitutional amendment for that matter).
The passage of time has not brought D.C. statehood closer to 60 votes. But statehood has suddenly become plausible to propose. Indeed, the forceful Democrat push to end the filibuster — that is, to revoke a 60-vote requirement — gives D.C. statehood an undeniable chance.
The well-worn argument in favor of D.C. statehood goes like this: D.C. residents pay federal taxes and otherwise bear the burdens of citizenship, such as signing up for the draft. Therefore, D.C. should be a state. Furthermore, anyone who opposes the measure must be racist, since 46 percent of the District’s residents are