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Statutory Qualifications on Appointments: Congressional and Constitutional Choices

PAQ, Vol. 34 No. 2, (2010)

Well before the Constitution was even adopted the national government used statutory qualifications to restrict those who could be appointed to office. The practice has continued since then. Often such laws have specific categorical requirements for appointment such as stipulations on political party, citizenship, residency, gender, professional qualifications, or civilian status. Statutory qualifications were created by Congress as sensible and necessary means to promote its policy-making goals. This article deals with the question of whether the power to create statutory qualifications is constitutional. In particular, I argue that such measures are perfectly reasonable and permissible based on the text of the Constitution, the principle of checks & balances, longstanding history, and their practical necessity.

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