Norton Says Latest UN Human Rights Committee Criticism of U.S. Treaty Violation on D.C. Voting Rights Calls for Urgent Action from the Administration and Congress

Mar 28, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today applauded the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee report released yesterday criticizing the U.S. government’s human rights compliance record and again calling on the U.S. to grant equal congressional voting rights in the House and Senate to the residents of the District of Columbia.  This same matter was raised by the Committee in a 2006 report, and a similar recommendation was issued.  Norton thanked D.C. resident Tim Cooper and his organization, Worldrights, for continuing efforts to keep international recognition alive for D.C.’s unique denial of a vote in the nation’s legislature. 

“The UN Human Rights Committee is only carrying out its duty once again by criticizing our country for denying the residents of its nation’s capital basic representation,” said Norton.  “It should come as no surprise that the denial of voting rights in the House and Senate for D.C. residents is a human rights violation against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) treaty, which the U.S. signed in 1977.  No other country so flagrantly limits the rights of citizens because they happen to live in their nation’s capital.  D.C. residents have shouldered all the obligations of American citizenship, particularly paying federal taxes and service in all the nation’s wars, but still, they are treated as second-class citizens in our own country.  We must act on this latest international criticism and the initiative by Tim Cooper and Worldrights, who have diligently pursued international recognition of the unique denial we face.  I intend to add the UN to the efforts statehood advocates and I are planning for the House floor during Emancipation Week.”

Published: March 28, 2014