ATLANTA - Once again, there's a push for a 51st state: the District of Columbia.
Chris Car and 22 other attorneys general have started a coalition to prevent DC statehood.
FOX 5 spoke to an Emory law professor. He said advocates for DC statehood emphasize the importance of representation, but critics like AG Carr have argued it is unconstitutional and could lessen other states, like Georgia’s, impact on elections.
"It was a big push in the 1980s for DC statehood and some of the arguments were aired at that time. Many of the arguments are being aired again," Professor Volokh said.
This time Georgia’s Attorney General co-chairs an initiative to block such a move, calling it unconstitutional. Experts said there’s validity to both arguments.
"Whenever a new state is admitted that dilutes voting power of every existing state, so that means if you are concerned about the power of your state to shape the destiny of America, you can welcome new states," he said. "But on the other hand you can say, 'No, if we're going to dilute voting power it should be valid,'" Volokh said.
In a statement, Georgia's Attorney General said "This coalition has one simple goal - to uphold the U.S. Constitution."
"People who believe in that argument point to the original law Maryland passed...giving up land for a new district," Volokh explained. "We are frustrating a deal with Maryland from 200 years ago, but Maryland gave it up unconditionally."
Advocates said DC residents pay their taxes but have no voting rights in Congress and less local government control.
Volokh says Carr's lead could indicate a couple of things, the first being an acknowledgment that DC statehood would empower democrats.
"This is also a high-profile effort. Many attorneys general have taken advantage of these sorts of national controversies to catapult themselves into the public eye, I don't know if our Attorney General has those political ambitions, but it could help him in his political career also," Volokh said.
This story is being reported out of Atlanta
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