John McCain Tries to Kill D.C. Voting Rights, Fails

Former presidential candidate unusually worried about constitutionality of something

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    He's smiling, but is he really happy?

    John McCain really, really does not like the idea of D.C. residents having a vote in Congress. It's yet another straight-talkin' position from the "Maverick," whose only allies include, well, most of the Republican Senate caucus.

    McCain called for a constitutional point of order Wednesday afternoon "to question the legality of giving the District voting rights," which would have killed legislation giving the District a full House seat. (The bill survived a preliminary vote yesterday and will face a final vote in the near future.)

    Wednesday's move, however, was voted down 62-36, because, duh, Democrats still control everything. It was yet another loss for John McCain, who also lost a presidential election in 2008.

    The Arizona senator has been a vocal opponent of the voting rights bill since its inception. Earlier this month, he was the lone member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to vote against moving the bill onto the full Senate. His rationale was that he didn't want to pass a bill that constitutional scholars were still arguing over "and then have the Supreme Court decide whether or not it’s constitutional.”

    As the Washington Independent noted at the time, however, McCain's signature piece of legislation -- the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law -- is also, in constitutional terms, very wacky:

    What would happen if -- a totally random example here -- a senator introduced a campaign finance law that, according to many constitutional scholars and the president of the United States, violated the First Amendment? What if the Supreme Court had to decide whether or not the law was constitutional? That would be crazy.

    Besides, when did people start caring about the Constitution?

    Jim Newell writes constitutionally questionable articles for Wonkette and IvyGate.