Last week I talked about Arizona Representative Trent Franks and his incredibly offensive attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks in D.C. Since D.C. has no vote in Congress, other states’ politicians tend to take its legislative matters into their own hands and enact laws based upon their own interests, as opposed to the interest of the city’s actual residents. As a refresher, Franks not only proposed the law, but also refused to allow D.C.’s only elected official, Eleanor Holmes Norton, to testify at the hearing.
The advocacy group DC Vote and Planned Parenthood organized a protest for this past Wednesday, pointing out that since Franks seemed so invested in the D.C.’s issues, residents should stop by his office and share other city-related concerns they had. About 50 protesters in total showed up, asking for “Mayor Franks” and carrying pictures of potholes and parking tickets. One protestor came to complain about the Metro service issues (seriously, Franks, get on that one).
While unfortunately Franks was not in the office to receive this visitors, I for one am pleased that a good number of people turned up to point out just how ridiculous and offensive Franks’ actions have been. Of course, any sort of lesson was completely lost upon him:
“District of Columbia is not the issue here,” Franks said. “It’s the pain of the child, and when people make the District of Columbia the issue they’re missing the point.”
I find it difficult to understand how D.C. is not the issue in a case that involves making laws that apply to D.C. Just in case that didn’t get your fire going, here’s a quote from National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson:
“The local demonstrators say, in effect, that the federal capital city belongs to them and that the rest of America should just shut up…But the U.S. Constitution makes it crystal clear that the District of Columbia belongs to all of the American people, and is to be governed by the Congress and the president.”
Like I said before, this goes more into states’ rights issues, about which I am very uninformed; however, the absolute absurdity of the situation is not lost upon me. Absolutely no one should be making laws for a city or state that they do not represent or understand, especially when those laws involve taking away citizens’ Constitutional rights. Period.