Critics say the risk is that the shrunken district would be too small to carry out its intended functions, especially providing security for Congress.
That argument lost a lot of punch, however, with the police response to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by rioters intent on blocking the election of President Biden. The Capitol Police called in reinforcements not just from the District, but also from Maryland and Virginia.
If the Capitol Police can call in reinforcements from Maryland and Virginia, then why not from a newly created neighboring state as well?
The bottom line is that the Founders put nothing in the Constitution’s text to prohibit the shrinkage of the federal district.
“There’s no lower bound in there,” said Adriel I. Cepeda Derieux, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union. “If they knew how to say it couldn’t be larger than a certain size, they were also smart enough to say it couldn’t be smaller than a certain size, and they didn’t.”