District of Columbia: Washington DC

more people than either Vermont or Wyoming

District of ColumbiaMore postal abbreviations, this time starting with the letter D.

DC District of Columbia – first letter of each primary word. Abbreviation was D.C. or occasionally, Wash. D.C.

As you all know, Washington, DC is the seat of the US federal government. Its existence was mandated in the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 17: “The Congress shall have Power to… exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such Dis­trict (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Con­gress, become the Seat of the Gov­ernment of the United States…

Maryland and Virginia ceded “ten miles square” on their respective sides of the Potomac River, and the government, which had previously been housed in New York City and Philadelphia, finally moved to its permanent seat in 1800.

However, in 1846, the Virginia portion of the original territory of Columbia, encompassing Old Town Alexandria and Arlington County, was “retroceded” by Congress to the Common­wealth. The constitutionality of this act has never been determined.

The District is not a state, so the rights of its people have been contentious for decades. “The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifies that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people. Although the District of Columbia has its own municipal government, it receives funding from the federal government and relies on directives from Congress to approve its laws and budget.

“DC residents have only had the right to vote for the President since 1964 and for the Mayor and city council members since 1973. Unlike states who can appoint their own local judges, the President appoints judges for the District Court.”

Residents (approximately 700,000 people) of the District of Columbia “pay full federal and local taxes but lack full democratic representation in the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. Representation in Congress is limited to a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives and a shadow Senator. The logo of the DC license plate is end taxation without representation.

In recent years, there have been calls for statehood, since it has more people than either Vermont or Wyoming. The move has been heavily resisted by the Republicans since the district has voted reliably Democratic.

DE Delaware – Abbreviation is first two letters. It was historically Del. It was the first state to have approved the US Constitution.
Capital: Dover; largest city: Wilmington.

For ABC Wednesday

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