2018 Congressional elections

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ObsessoMom
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2018 Congressional elections

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

I thought it might be good to keep these discussions separate from the Trump presidency thread. Please identify the district in bold at the beginning of new comments, like this:

California 49th Congressional District

You might also add a contextual note like (straddling Orange and northern San Diego counties) or Darrell Issa's seat.

Okay!

Darrell Issa, one of my least favorite members of Congress--remember the outrageous "no women allowed" hearing on contraception he chaired in 2012?--has said he does not intend to seek re-election. Woohoo!

In a previously safe Republican district, Issa barely survived the November 2016 election, and he had been identified as the most vulnerable House Republican in a November 2017 poll.

[Edited to add a link to the poll, from Roll Call:
One Year Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents in 2018 ]

Issa had been facing some interesting Democratic challengers this time around. Democrat Doug Applegate, who almost unseated him last time, is running, and also 28-year-old Democrat Sara Jacobs, who is new to politics but was a State Department official in the Obama Administration. She is the granddaughter of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. So far, two other political newbies have expressed intent to run for the seat as Democrats.

A snippet from the New York Times article:

[H]is bare-knuckle partisanship had begun to wear on a district that is affluent and increasingly moderate. As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Mr. Issa routinely ripped into Mr. Obama, his aides and his cabinet, as well as their handling of a gunrunning investigation known as Fast and Furious, the Internal Revenue Service’s slow-walking of political groups’ applications for nonprofit status, the terrorist attack on an American government compound in Benghazi, Libya, and many other matters.

[...]

A person familiar with the Republican effort to replace Mr. Issa said there was an expectation that several Republicans could enter the race, including Diane Harkey, a member of the California Board of Equalization, and Rocky Chavez, a member of the State Assembly.

The founder of a successful car-alarm company, Mr. Issa is one of Congress’s wealthiest members. But he became best known in Washington for turning the Oversight Committee into something like an Inquisition. He appeared to relish the role.

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ObsessoMom
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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:43 am UTC

California 49th and 50th Congressional districts (Darrell Issa's and Duncan Hunter's seats)

Oh, poop.

Exclusive: Issa mulls running in neighboring district

GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who said Wednesday he is not seeking reelection in California’s 49th District, has been discussing with colleagues the possibility of running in a neighboring San Diego district if embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) resigns, multiple sources told The Hill.

[...]

An Issa spokesman did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Federal law doesn't require a candidate to live in a district in order to run to represent it.

Hunter, who has been dogged by federal and congressional ethics investigations, said he would not put it past Issa to seek his seat if something bad were to happen to him. Still, Hunter said he had no plans to resign this cycle and had not heard about discussions or rumors of Issa running for his seat.


"Federal law doesn't require a candidate to live in a district in order to run to represent it." Are you kidding me? Residency is such a well-known requirement for every other level of government that I just assumed it was the case for Congress. SIGH.

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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby Thesh » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:32 am UTC

Probably an improvement over Duncan Hunter, who advocated a preemptive nuclear strike against Iran a few years ago.
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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby idonno » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:31 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:"Federal law doesn't require a candidate to live in a district in order to run to represent it." Are you kidding me? Residency is such a well-known requirement for every other level of government that I just assumed it was the case for Congress. SIGH.

I think most residency requirements are state laws so it could just be a quirk in California law.

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ObsessoMom
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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:50 pm UTC

idonno wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:"Federal law doesn't require a candidate to live in a district in order to run to represent it." Are you kidding me? Residency is such a well-known requirement for every other level of government that I just assumed it was the case for Congress. SIGH.

I think most residency requirements are state laws so it could just be a quirk in California law.

Today I learned that because Article I, Section 2, Clause 2, of the U.S. Constitution doesn't restrict residency for Congress members more specifically than living in the same state as the people they represent, past attempts to set district-residency requirements for Congress members via state laws have been nixed by the federal courts.

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.

(Ditto for the 23 states that have attempted to set term limits for their reps--the U.S. Constitution doesn't set term limits, and state laws can't override the U.S. Constitution. Only an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could change something like that.)

Side note: If you're wondering, as I did, how states have the authority to require Congress members to be elected by districts when that's not mentioned in the Constitution, here's an explanation from a 1991 Congressional Research Service report titled Qualifications of Members of Congress:

Spoiler:
There are three, and only three, standing qualifications for U.S. Senator or Representative in Congress which are expressly set out in the U.S. Constitution: age (25 for the House, 30 for the Senate); citizenship (at least seven years for the House, nine years for the Senate); and inhabitancy in the state at the time elected. U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2, cl. 2 (House); and Article I, Section 3, cl. 3 (Senate). The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed the historical understanding that the Constitution provides the exclusive qualifications to be a Member of Congress, and that neither a state nor Congress itself may add to or change such qualifications to federal office, absent a constitutional amendment. Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 522 (1969); U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, 800-801 (1995); Cook v. Gralike, 531 U.S. 510 (2001).

The Constitution expressly delegates to each house of Congress the authority to be the final judge of the qualifications of its own Members (Article I, Section 5, cl. 1). In judging the qualifications of their Members, and deciding by majority vote, the House and Senate are limited to judging only the qualifications set out in the Constitution. Powell v. McCormack, supra.

Although the states have no authority to add to the constitutional qualifications for congressional office, the states have the responsibility under the “Times, Places, and Manner” clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 4, cl. 1) for administering elections for federal office, including regulating such subjects as ballot design, candidate placement on the ballot, ballot security measures, nomination procedures to appear as a party’s nominee on the ballot, and ballot access requirements for independent and new or minor political party candidates. Legitimate “ballot access” rules and regulations, even though they may pose certain administrative requirements on federal candidates, have been upheld when they have been found to be within a state’s constitutional authority to regulate the election process, to ensure orderly elections, and to prevent fraud and voter confusion. The states have been allowed to implement rules which, for example, prevent over-crowding and confusion on the ballot by requiring a minimum show of public support to appear on the ballot, by prohibiting such things as dual candidacies on the ballot, and by implementing “sore loser” laws that bar a candidate on the general election ballot from appearing as an independent if that candidate had lost a party primary. Such administrative requirements have not been deemed to be additional “qualifications” to run for office. However, requirements that are more than merely administrative and procedural or measures to protect ballot integrity have been found to be unconstitutional as additional qualifications for office. Examples include requirements for congressional candidates to live in the congressional district (and not just the state), durational residency requirements, ineligibility of convicted felons, and disqualification of incumbents (term limits).

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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby ucim » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:49 pm UTC

Logically speaking, this is wrong. The way it is written, the constitution doesn't provide three qualifications, it provides three disqualifications. "If you aren't a {this} you can't be a {that}" is not the same as "if you are a {this} then you can't be prevented from being a {that}.

But of course we're not talking logic, we're talking law.

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ObsessoMom
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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm UTC

ucim wrote:But of course we're not talking logic, we're talking law.

LOL!

Thesh, I was hoping to be rid of them both, not just Hunter, whose days seem numbered anyway due to a series of well-publicized campaign fund irregularities, including the flying rabbit incident. (Granted, that's not the worst thing he's done in the campaign fund irregularity department, but it's one of the most memorable.)

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Re: 2018 Congressional elections

Postby orthogon » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:06 am UTC

ucim wrote:Logically speaking, this is wrong. The way it is written, the constitution doesn't provide three qualifications, it provides three disqualifications. "If you aren't a {this} you can't be a {that}" is not the same as "if you are a {this} then you can't be prevented from being a {that}.

But of course we're not talking logic, we're talking law.

Jose

It's worse than that: it appears to disqualify only people who are underage (or a non-citizen) AND not resident of the state. The de Morgan of it is all wrong. Having said that, de Morgan came after the US Constitution, so perhaps the authors can be excused.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.


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