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Posted By Gerard Magliocca On December 30, 2012 @ 10:53 am In Constitutional Law,Uncategorized | 7 Comments
Before returning to more serious posts, I thought I’d mention this interesting factoid that I came across recently. Albert Gallatin was a Swiss-born politician who was the longest-serving Treasury Secretary in our history (from 1801 to 1814). Before that, though, Gallatin was elected to the Senate in 1793. When he arrived at the Capitol, though, his credentials were challenged because he allegedly had not been a United States citizen for nine years, as required by the Constitution. The Senate, after a debate which was the first one that they ever opened to the public, refused to seat Gallatin on a party-line vote. (He was a Jeffersonian, but the Senate was controlled by the Federalists.)
I think this is the only time that Congress has excluded an elected member for failure to meet the Qualifications Clause (age, residence, and citizenship). If anyone knows of another case, I’d be curious to hear about that.
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