Requirements….

June 24, 2014

2014-06-06_09-54-41I wonder how many people know the requirements to be a member of the U.S. congress? I must admit that I didn’t until I looked them up for this post.  As usual here is what Wikipedia says about this topic.

U.S. House

Qualifications: Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must:

(1) be at least twenty-five years old

2) have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years

(3) be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they represent.

Members are not required to live in the district they represent, but they traditionally do.

U.S. Senate

Qualifications: Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators:

1) they must be at least 30 years old

2) they must have been citizens of the United States for at least the past nine years

3) they must be inhabitants of the states they seek to represent at the time of their election

There only seems to be one thing that disqualifies a person from office and that is spelled out in the fourteenth Amendment and says a federal or state officer who takes the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engages in rebellion or aids the enemies of the United States, is disqualified from becoming a representative. This post–Civil War provision was intended to prevent those who sided with the Confederacy from serving…

There are more requirements to get your driver’s license than there is to be in congress.. So it seems that almost anyone beyond their teen years can be chosen as a representative. That in itself might explain why that institution is so dysfunctional.  I wonder how that body would change if we set up a few more qualifications?

There are 230 lawyers out of the total of 535 representatives in congress. They make up 43% of the total office holders. That kind of explains much of the mentality of this institution. It explains why they want to constantly litigate everything and why winning is the only thing important.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if we made being a lawyer a disqualification for membership. Maybe people there would start talking to each other instead of filing briefs to argue over. Wouldn’t it be interesting to try this noble experiment???

OK, now don’t start flaming me too quickly as this post is mostly in jest. But isn’t there an ounce of truth to it??

 

 

 

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4 responses to Requirements….

  1. 

    There’s more than an oz. of truth, however the reason there are so many lawyers is because the function of the Legislative Branch of government is to create laws. Who else would find that as attractive as lawyers? I’m kind of surprised the percentage isn’t higher.

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  2. 

    Not a surprise to me! Lawyers are used to plea bargains, arguing any point , and making great money 😉

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  3. 

    Thanks for the comments you two. Yeah lawyers might be needed to make appropriate laws but a big, I believe bigger, part of it is the budgetary stuff. We budget hundreds of times more for our war machine than we do for our peace processes. We give out big tax breaks to the rich while cutting school lunch programs. I think “regular” people would do better than lawyers in those areas.

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  4. 

    There is one other requirement to run for federal office, be a millionaire (or have rich supporters). They days are long gone when someone can get elected simply on merit. Money votes, not people.

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