News Flash: Eleanor Holmes Norton professes to be a Congresswoman.
Her website, which is at http://www.norton.house.gov/ is entitled: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Her protestations remind us of the story about a reasonably successful man who invited his mother for a trip on his boat. “I’ll pick you up Sunday morning,” he tells her. “It’s in the harbor. I’m a captain.”
The mother’s reply was this: “Ok, sonny, I’ll go for a ride with you on the boat. And if it makes you happy, to you you’re a captain, and to me you’re a captain, but tell me: To a captain are you a captain?”
Ms. Norton is not actually a Member of Congress. She is a Delegate to Congress from the District of Columbia.
Wikipedia describes it this way:
Delegates to Congress are entitled to sit in the House of Representatives and vote in committee (including the Committee of the Whole), but are not allowed to take part in legislative floor votes. The District shares this limited form of congressional representation with Puerto Rico and four other U.S. territories: Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Neither I nor anyone else in America would have cared one way or another about this, except for her comments but for her comments described in The Hill today. She was expressing her opinion that as a result of the existence of Clarence Thomas on the Court, President Barack Obama would be unable or unwilling to appoint another African American to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Here is what she said:
“He’s African-American. We’ve got someone who proposes to be African-American on the court,” Norton said, referring to the court’s lone black member, Justice Clarence Thomas…”
It probably makes sense at this point that Wikipedia records that at the time she was elected to the delegate seat, there were questions as to whether Ms. Norton is a tax cheat:
Norton was elected in 1990 as a Democratic delegate to the House of Representatives, defeating city council member Betty Ann Kane in the primary despite the last-minute revelation that Norton had failed to file D.C. income tax returns for several years and owed thousands of dollars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Holmes_Norton
The summary: To a Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas is a Supreme Court Justice.
To a Member of Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton may be allowed to sit in on discussions, but is not allowed to vote.
Which leaves the following question open: To a tax cheat, is Holmes Norton a tax cheat?