The Supreme Court announced Monday it won’t hear a case challenging the District of Columbia’s voting rights and representation in Congress.
The case, Castanon v. United States of America, was brought by a group of D.C. residents challenging their lack of voting representation in Congress.
They argued that it is unconstitutional and that D.C. residents should be on “equal footing” as residents in the states.
The Biden Justice Department argued in its filing that the drafters of the Constitution never intended the District to have representation like the states and that D.C. residents have not had full representation since the country’s founding.
A lower court sided with the federal government, ruling that only residents of states have the right to be represented by a voting member of Congress.
On Monday, the justices declined to get involved in the dispute, affirming the lower court’s ruling without comment.
Though, the court’s order noted that Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have dismissed the challenge on lack of jurisdiction.
The District has one delegate who participates in committee work in the House of Representatives but can’t vote on legislation on the House floor.
The lack of voting representation for the District has been an issue for decades. Residents have repeatedly filed lawsuits challenging the different treatment of the District compared to the states, citing the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution.