Reacting to the conviction of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Rep. Don Young (R-AK) repeatedly insisted that the trial was invalid because “there’s no way this is a jury of his peers.” Young may have been alluding to the fact that the jury was comprised mostly of African Americans, though he later declared his objection to the jury because they were D.C. residents who had an automatic bias against members of Congress:
You have to understand that this was not a jury of his peers. It was in Washington, D.C. , which most people in Washington, D.C., don’t look very favorably on the Congress because we run them. I don’t know why anybody didn’t bring that out. They’re not a self-governing city like they say they are. We actually make decisions for them. Makes us very, very suspicious.
Of course, no one in D.C. would claim to be a self-governing city; that’s why obtaining a full-voting congressional representative is so important. However, House and Senate conservatives — including both Young and Stevens — have blocked measures affording D.C. residents full representation.