The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a long shot bid from registered voters in the District of Columbia who sought the ability to elect representatives to Congress.
The group of voters said their inability to vote for members of Congress violated their rights to equal protection and due process and pointed to the fact that Congress extended voting rights to overseas residents but not to similarly situated residents of D.C.
Video above: Washington residents debate DC statehood bill back in March
"Residents of the District of Columbia are the only adult American citizens subject to federal income taxes who lack voting representation in Congress, except for felons in some States," lawyers for the residents wrote in legal papers.
A lower court ruled against the voters, holding that they do not live in a "state."
The court rejected the appeal without comment.
The court's action comes amid an ongoing debate on whether to make the federal district the country's 51st state. Democrats and advocates for D.C. statehood say making the district a state would allow for equal representation in Congress while Republicans argue it is a progressive effort to push their agenda by adding votes in the House and Senate.
The District of Columbia had over 689,000 residents in 2020, according to recent U.S. Census results. The district has no voting member of Congress and Senate representation but is represented in the House by Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat. Legislation introduced by Norton that would grant statehood to D.C. passed the House in April.