The U.S. Senate is now taking roll call on a “point of order” on the constitutionality of the D.C. House Voting Rights Act.

The point was first raised this morning by Sen. John McCain. The vote essentially is on whether the measure before the Senate is out of order because it is unconstitutional; assuming the bill survives, the tally should prove to be a good indicator of the vote for final passage. (Actually, not rue at all.)

UPDATE, 2:30 P.M.: Hmm. Max Baucus, whose opposed the bill on constitutional grounds, votes not to sustain the point of order. Odd.

UPDATE, 2:35 P.M.: Point not taken, 36-62.

UPDATE, 3:15 P.M.: Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) rises to introduce retrocession amendment. Would require Maryland legislature to approve such a move, plus amendment of 23rd Amendment. It;’s the second amendment now on the floor—-the first is one proposed by John Ensign (R-Nev.) that would severely restrict the District’s ability to regulate gun possession.

UPDATE, 3:40 P.M.: Phil Mendelson‘s getting his day in the sun, sorta: Dick Durbin is approvingly reading the District’s gun legislation on the Senate floor.

UPDATE, 3:42 P.M.: Oh, god—-here we go: Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, rises to introduce fairness doctrine amendment. Why is this related to D.C. voting rights? “This also has a lot to do with the constitution.” MORE—-“If we don’t respect the constitution on one end, why should we respect it on the other?”

UPDATE, 3:55 P.M.: With friends like these…Not-Yet-Former-Sen. Roland Burris rises in support of DCHVRA—-his second floor speech since appointment.

UPDATE, 4:30 P.M.: Oklahoma Repub, certified ideologue Tom Coburn has an amendment to abolish federal income tax in the District: “They’ll have to change all the auto tags. Dunno how much that’ll cost.”