Sunday, February 28, 2010
Inhabitant of State
Provision 15 of the United States Constitution is found in Article I.2.2: "A person cannot be elected to the House of Representatives unless he is an inhabitant of that state which he will be representing." This provision says that people had the Right to be represented by someone who lives in the same state. When Robert Kennedy of Massachusetts and later Hilary Clinton of Arkansas wanted to run for office in New York, they each had to become an "inhabitant" of New York to be qualified. Apparently, the original word was resident, and it was changed to "inhabitant" in order to cause less "misconstruction." In the beginning, Representatives from each state were to be elected by a state-wide vote. In 1842 the state legislatures were required by Congress to divide their states into congressional districts. They anticipated that this requirement would bring better and fairer representation because people would have a greater voice as to who should represent them. The thought was that the Representatives should be as much like the people they represent as possible. I think that a simple explanation would suffice to teach this principle to your family. It is fairly easy to understand that a Texas would understand better the needs of Texans than someone from Alaska or Virginia would.