Home > Government, Law > Hayden Panettiere, meet the Founding Fathers

Hayden Panettiere, meet the Founding Fathers

Last Sunday, as it turns out. was Hayden Panettiere day in Washington D.C..  Evidently Ms. Panettiere’s contributions to the city have been such that they wanted to honor her.  What were those contributions, you ask?  Calling attention to Washington D.C.’s “unjust plight“.  You see, Washington D.C. — the very seat of our national government — is not a State of this union, but is instead a federal district.  A district, purposely constructed in such a manner, so as not to stand any State above another and to ensure the federal government would in no way be subservient to any State government.  And despite the careful and considered opinions of our country’s forefathers, Ms. Panettiere believes she understands the issues better than the very individuals who crafted our union in the first place.  According to Ms. Panettiere, among others, believes that Washington D.C. should be a State in its own right, with full voting powers in the United States Congress.  Despite what the Constitution says, of course (hint, see Art 1, section 8).

But just reading the pertinent passage in the Constitution doesn’t give you the detail you might want to understand why the Founding Fathers established the seat of federal government in the fashion they did.  For that you but need read Madison’s Treatise on the matter.  Madison, after all, was the “Father of the Constitution“?  One would think he would have a grasp on such lofty principles.  Yet, even after reading it most still might not understand.  Prior to 1913 the States appointed their Senators, but with the ratification of the 17th Amendment Senators would from that point forward be elected by popular vote.  The original intent of the Founding Fathers was that Senators were the representatives of their States, whereas the Representatives were the people’s representatives.  So as to ensure Congress was not unduly influenced, or at the behest of a State, the Federal government would have it’s own seat.  Congress changed one of the Constitution’s balancing principles, and it’s served as one of the forces that has tipped the balance of power away from the States toward the Federal government.  There was, of course, also the little issue of an insurrection in 1783 that weighed heavily on those crafting our union.

Of course the issue of statehood is not new, and Ms. Panettiere is just the latest celebrity or popular figure  to endorse the measure.  Despite numerous previous attempts at changing the intent of the founding fathers, Individuals like Ms. Panettiere who have no understanding of our Constitution or the intent of its many passages, keep trying.

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