ZeraLand, USA

On the Nature of "Nation"

Constitution of the United States – Article I sec 3


Section 3 deals with the composition of the Senate:

Section 3

(clause 1)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Where the House represents each State according to its population, the Senate represents the States on an equal basis. This keeps the more populous states from drowning the voice of the less populous states.

Senators are also elected for a longer term than Representatives. This allows for the greater accumulation of experience among Senators. More expertise is asked and expected of them.

With equal representation between states, and being chosen by the state Legislature, Senators are apparently intended to be the professionals of Congress and represent their states at the governmental level rather than directly represent the citizens.

(clause 2)

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

Senators are divided into three classes, which are elected for overlapping terms. This allows for greater stability in the Senate than might be realized in the House.
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September 1, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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