District of Columbia home rule

The United States Congress has ultimate authority over the District.
The John A. Wilson Building is home to the mayor and the 13 members of the Council of the District of Columbia.
Robert Brent, first mayor of the City of Washington
Each of the city's eight wards is further divided into local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.
This button was used in a 1974 referendum campaign encouraging residents of the District of Columbia to vote for the Home Rule Charter.
Walter Washington, the First elected Mayor of the District of Columbia

District of Columbia residents' ability to govern their local affairs.

- District of Columbia home rule
The United States Congress has ultimate authority over the District.

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District of Columbia voting rights

Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from the rights of citizens in each of the 50 U.S. states.

Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from the rights of citizens in each of the 50 U.S. states.

Satellite view of the District of Columbia in relation to the states of Maryland and Virginia.

The Constitution grants Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the District in "all cases whatsoever".

The possible paths of bills, emergencies, and temporaries through the power structure of the District of Columbia as dictated by the Home Rule Act.

Council of the District of Columbia

Legislative branch of the local government of the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States.

Legislative branch of the local government of the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States.

The possible paths of bills, emergencies, and temporaries through the power structure of the District of Columbia as dictated by the Home Rule Act.
The council in session, June 2014
Each of the district's 8 wards elects 1 member of the council, and 5 members, including the chairman, are elected at large. Map for 2012–2022

Since 1973, the United States Congress has devolved certain powers that are typically exercised by city councils elsewhere in the country, as well as many powers normally held by state legislatures,.

United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

United States Attorney responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

United States Attorney responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Unlike the states, District of Columbia is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.

Washington, D.C.

Capital city and only federal district of the United States.

Capital city and only federal district of the United States.

Looking West at the Capitol & the Mall, Washington DC
Historical coat of arms, as recorded in 1876
Following their victory at the Battle of Bladensburg (1814), the British entered Washington, D.C., burning down buildings, including the White House.
President Abraham Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol dome continue during the American Civil War (1861).
Crowds surrounding the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool during the March on Washington, 1963
Satellite photo of Washington, D.C. by ESA
The Washington Monument, seen across the Tidal Basin during 2007's National Cherry Blossom Festival
The L'Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., as revised by Andrew Ellicott in 1792
Looking Northwest at the Mall, Washington DC
Looking West from RFK Stadium, Washington DC
Construction of the 12-story Cairo Apartment Building (1894) in the Dupont Circle neighborhood spurred building height restrictions.
The Georgetown neighborhood is known for its historic Federal-style rowhouses. In the foreground is the 19th century Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Meridian Hill Park, in Columbia Heights
Map of racial distribution in Washington, D.C., according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
D.C. police on Harley-Davidson motorcycles escort a protest in 2018.
Federal Triangle, between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The U.S. federal government accounts for about 29% of D.C. jobs.
The Lincoln Memorial receives about six million visits annually.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex. Like its administration building, known as The Castle, many of its museums are on the National Mall.
The National Gallery of Art
The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is home to the Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.
Nationals Park in the Navy Yard area on the Anacostia River
is the home of the Washington Nationals baseball team.
The hometown Washington Capitals NHL hockey team plays in Penn Quarter's Capital One Arena; the arena is also home to the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team.
One Franklin Square: The Washington Post Building on Franklin Square
The Watergate complex was the site of the Watergate Scandal, which led to President Nixon's resignation.
The John A. Wilson Building houses the offices of the mayor of Washington and the Council of the District of Columbia.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, once the world's largest office building, houses the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
The Library of Congress is one of the world's largest libraries, with more than 167 million cataloged items.
Georgetown Day at Georgetown University
A Blue Line train at Farragut West, an underground station on the Washington Metro
Washington Union Station is one of the busiest rail stations in the United States.
I-66 in Washington, D.C.
The Capitol Power Plant, built to supply energy for the U.S. Capitol Complex, is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol.

The U.S. Constitution provides for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress; the district is therefore not a part of any U.S. state (nor is it one itself).

Marion Barry

American politician who served as the second and fourth mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999.

American politician who served as the second and fourth mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999.

Barry captured on a surveillance camera smoking crack cocaine during a joint sting operation by the FBI and D.C. Police.
Barry in 1996
Barry at the 1998 Washington, D.C. Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Barry in 2007
Barry's memorial at Congressional Cemetery

He also served as the leader of the Free D.C. Movement, strongly supporting increased home rule, as a Congressional committee exercised administrative rule over the district.

Walter Washington

American civil servant and politician.

American civil servant and politician.

Walter Washington shakes hands with Pres. Richard Nixon after being sworn in as mayor-commissioner in 1973.

After a career in public housing, Washington was the chief executive of Washington, D. C. from 1967 to 1979, serving as the first and only Mayor-Commissioner from 1967 to 1974, and as the first home-rule mayor of the District of Columbia from 1975 to 1979.

Pin-back badge in support of the Home Rule Charter, 1974.

District of Columbia Home Rule Act

Pin-back badge in support of the Home Rule Charter, 1974.

The District of Columbia Home Rule Act is a United States federal law passed on December 24, 1973 which devolved certain congressional powers of the District of Columbia to local government, furthering District of Columbia home rule.

Robert A. Levy (left) and Alan Gura, counsel for Heller

District of Columbia v. Heller

Landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and that the District of Columbia's handgun ban and requirement that lawfully owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" violated this guarantee.

Landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and that the District of Columbia's handgun ban and requirement that lawfully owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" violated this guarantee.

Robert A. Levy (left) and Alan Gura, counsel for Heller
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion.
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the dissenting opinion.
Dick Heller, pictured here in 2018
Bloomberg delivering a speech

In February 2003, the six residents of the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, a local law (part of the District of Columbia Code) enacted pursuant to District of Columbia home rule.

James Madison, author of Federalist No. 43

Federalist No. 43

Essay by James Madison, the forty-third of The Federalist Papers.

Essay by James Madison, the forty-third of The Federalist Papers.

James Madison, author of Federalist No. 43

This assertion is often cited in the efforts for DC Home Rule and DC Statehood.

Coat of arms

District of Columbia retrocession

Act of returning some or all of the land that had been ceded to the federal government of the United States for the purpose of creating its federal district for the new national capital of the United States, the City of Washington.

Act of returning some or all of the land that had been ceded to the federal government of the United States for the purpose of creating its federal district for the new national capital of the United States, the City of Washington.

Coat of arms

Subsequent proposals to return part or all of the remaining portion of the District of Columbia to the state of Maryland are cited as one way to provide full voting representation in Congress and return local control of the district to its residents.