In 2009, Sen. Orrin Hatch joined Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and House delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., as a lead sponsor of legislation that would provide a seat in the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia and give Utah a fourth House seat.
When the bill was introduced, Hatch said: "Participating in the election of those who govern us is at the heart of the American system of government. … Several years ago, I said Americans living in the District of Columbia should have the full rights of citizenship, including voting rights."
On Dec. 19, in the waning days of this Congress, Lieberman introduced the New Columbia Act, which would make the areas in the District of Columbia outside the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court a new state.
Given Hatch's passionate call to give the nearly 600,000 people living in the shadow of the most sacred buildings of our democracy a voice in the election of those who make the laws that govern our lives, the senator should be among the first to cosponsor and reintroduce the legislation when the next Congress convenes in January.
Jennifer Seltzer Stitt