July 17, 2023
Shows law violates right of U.S. citizens in the nation’s capital to govern themselves
WASHINGTON—On Friday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a response to the D.C. Board of Election’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit IRLI has brought against it to bring down a District of Columbia law allowing aliens—including illegal aliens and even foreign diplomats—who reside in the city to vote in municipal elections. In the suit, IRLI represents Stacia Hall, the Republican candidate for D.C. mayor in 2022, and six other U.S. citizen D.C. voters.
In its brief, IRLI points out that the extension of the vote from U.S. citizens to aliens automatically dilutes the votes of U.S. citizens. Such vote dilution based on citizenship—harming citizens as it benefits noncitizens—denies citizens the equal protection of the law, if that dilution lacks an adequate justification.
No justification for this law can stand against the sovereign interest that all American citizens have in the democratic self-government of their country. As the Supreme Court has held repeatedly, the body politic of this nation consists of its citizens, and the right to govern—and to vote—is “reserved” to them.
Indeed, IRLI shows, the fundamental right to citizen self-government is proclaimed in the Constitution’s first three words, “We the People.” Since the people—that is, citizens—established the Constitution, and the Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land,” citizens must have been—and still are—the sovereign of this country. As such, citizens, as the Supreme Court has put it, have a “right . . . to be governed by their citizen peers,” not foreigners.
“The sovereign of this democratic nation is the people, U.S. citizens,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “When their power is eroded, our nation begins to lose its very independence. And that erosion is set to escalate. Already, there have been calls to let aliens vote in statewide elections. We hope the court sees how deeply at variance with the Constitution this law is, and strikes it down to protect our American democracy.”.
The case is Hall, et al., v. DC Board of Elections, No. 1:23-cv-01261 (D.D.C.).
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