It would require them to live in the districts they want to serve
Annapolis, Md (KM) Maryland legislators are considering a bill that would change representation in Congress. Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott (R) is sponsoring legislation which requires candidates running for the House of Representatives to live in the districts they want to represent.
He says the 6th District has not had a representative in Congress who has lived in the district since Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R) lost his re-election bid in 2012 to John Delaney (D). “And I think that puts District Six at a disadvantage,” says Parrott. . “What we have are people who don;t l live in the district. They’re not shopping in the district. They’re not talking to people in the district. They’re not working in the district.”
Parrott is seeking the Republican nomination to represent the 6th District, hoping to unseat Incumbent Democratic Congressman David Trone (D), who does not live in the district.
The US Constitution says members of the House of Representatives need to be 25-years of ago or older, been an American citizens for at least seven years, and must live in the state they want to represent, but not necessarily in the district they want to serve.
Parrott says his bill would not contradict the Constitution. “In the past, several states have had laws that said you had to live in your congressional district. They also had laws, state laws,. There were term limits for people serving in the House of Representatives from that certain state,” he says.
These laws were struck down by the US Supreme Court. But Parrott says if enough states pass laws like these, and they go before the High Court once again, they could be upheld by a conservative majority.
The news release announcing this bill has a headline which says “Parrott Bill would disqualify Congressman Trone from running for re-election.” But Parrott says this bill is not aimed specifically at the incumbent, noting that if it passes, it would take affect on November 1st, 2022. “I think it’s just good public policy that was once public policy until the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, overturned it,” he says.
“It’s probably a reach this year. But I think it’s important to start the conversation,” says Parrott.
And if it doesn’t pass this year, he says it could be introduced in neighboring states. “I’m right next to West, Pennsylvania and Virginia so there are other delegates and state senators I could talk with that would also be interested in introducing them in their states where it might have a better chance of passing if it doesn’t pass here in Maryland,” Parrott says.
By Kevin McManus