Letters to the Editor: What is required of my Representative?
Last month I submitted a letter laying out what I expect from my representative and now I will offer more information from the legal aspect of the requirements. There are only four constitutional necessities for the position; there are three conditions found in Article I, in the first clause of Section 2, and one additional requirement found later in the Constitution in the third clause of Article VI.
Article I of the U.S. Constitution lays out the legislative branch of our general government. As you know, the Congress, known as the legislative branch, is made up of the House and the Senate. The requirements to be elected to the House of Representatives are simple: you must be 25 years old, you must have been a Citizen for at least seven years, and you have to be a resident of the state you will serve. There is no further requirement to even live in the District you want to represent.
The fourth requirement to be my Representative is the most critical, and I put the most weight on it. Found in Article VI of the constitution, it reads: “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” To me, adhering to the Founding Documents and the intent of the Framers is paramount.
The Congress, when the members follow their oath to protect and defend the Constitution, they must understand that their law-making boundary falls within the enumerated powers mostly found in Article I, Section 8. Many of the people we have been sending and returning to Washington have completely forgotten or chosen to ignore these restrictions on government.
The Members of the House also have the obligation to protect my and your freedoms and liberties laid out in the founding documents of our Republic. This responsibility is crucial; we have been slowly losing our freedoms to an over-reaching government and it is well past time to reverse this trend.
It must also be stated that although you and I only get to choose one Member of the House, we must realize that irrespective of where these folks live, or the people who elect them, they represent all of us with the power of their vote in the Congress. We must consider the responsibility we hand to our Representatives and choose wisely. They must read, understand, and follow the simple guidelines laid out by our Founders.