ZeraLand, USA

On the Nature of "Nation"

Constitution of the United States – Article I Sec 2

Section 2 deals with the composition of the House of Representatives:

Section 2

(Clause 1)

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Suffrage (voter eligibility) for electing a Member of the House of Representatives is the same as eligibility for voting to elect a member of the equivalent state chamber. In other words, the states determine voter eligibility for electing a Representative. Representatives have two-year terms.

(Clause 2)

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

I admit that when I got to the second “who shall not”, I got lost in the double-negatives for a moment. I even went back to the image of the written document to verify the wording. The tautology can be tricky, so in plainer wording:
Someone cannot be a Representative unless they:

  • have attained at least twenty-five years of age; and
  • have been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years; and
  • are, at the time of election, a resident in the state in which elected

Besides a bit of confusion, another consequence of the double-negative is that this is not an exhaustive list of qualifications. Other requirements can be added, but these must also be met. For example: if a state decided that its representatives must have resided in the state at least ten years, or be a landowner, it would not violate this clause.
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August 30, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading, Constitution | , , , , | Leave a comment


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