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Can A Felon Run For Congress?

can a felon run for congress

Political aspirations remain alive even if a serious felony conviction has been charged on a felon. After a felon has served his complete sentence, it may sound impossible to be elected in a Congress capacity and serve as a member of Congress.

It is a debatable question whether the law permits felons to be elected in governments such as Federal, State, or Local Governing Bodies.

Constitutional Rights for Felons

The United States Constitution came into existence in 1789. It defines the structure, key functions, powers, and limitations of the central government. It also specifies rights, obligatory duties, and freedom given to any individual.

The advantage of the US Constitution is that it has a federal constitution and every state has its constitution. Constitutional rights for all felons are written in a national document which is followed as laws in the USA.

can felon run for congress

This document is titled the Bill of Rights. None of the laws sanctioned by any legislative body in the US can prove as a contradiction to constitutional rights that are followed as laws in the country. Constitutional rights can be enhanced or altered only when the constitution is amended.

Constitutional Rights are more powerful than rights written in the state constitution. State constitutions only hold the power to provide new rights to the countries felons, they cannot cause any amendment to the constitutional rights of the USA. Constitutional Rights act as a power limitation for individuals as far as the government is concerned.

Each individual is eligible for the same constitutional right as there is no discrimination based on caste, creed, or culture. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to develop all laws which do not cause a change to the main constitutional rights.

This means the federal government cannot pass a law randomly which causes an amendment to a constitutional right. If this holds, an amendment must be added to safeguard and restore the constitutional right as it is.

Requirements Of The States To Hold Office Of Congress For Felons

Felons can hold office in some US states. The condition is the conviction for the felons should be 10 years or older than that, are eligible to hold any office at Congress. Some of the states follow stringent rules and do not permit convicted felons to become serving members of the Congress to safeguard moral duties and responsibilities in the state and promoting honesty as a guideline to safeguard public responsibility

If any felon is convicted for a crime that hinders moral duties or harms moral rights, the felon cannot hold an office at Congress in the state of Georgia. The previous sentence must have completed more than 10 years so that a felon is eligible for election.

The felon must not be convicted for any other crimes or offenses while fighting the election for Congress. Election laws differ from one state to another.

Basic Qualifications Required To Run An Office In Congress

  • A felon must be a permanent resident of the district he plans to represent.
  • The duration of stay must be a minimum of few months to a year or longer in the district.
  • Certain offices may have a minimum age requirement for a felon.

Federal Requirements For Felons To Hold An Office In Congress

Elected positions in the federal office are different from the offices in the state. This happens because the US constitution permits states to have individual governing powers. Rights in a federal office vary from those at the state level.

The establishment of standards must ensure rights are met for all federal offices. These rights can have an internal variation depending on the Federal office in question.

can felon run for congress requirements

A felon must complete the following requirements to run for Congress Election:

  • A felon must be at least 25 years old so that he is eligible to run for Congress.
  • He must be a US citizen for a minimum period of 7 years.
  • A felon should be at least 30 years, a US Citizen for at least 9 years to become a Senator with Congress.
  • A felon must be a state resident to stand for a Congressman position representing his state.

The essential requirements to run for the Presidential election are a felon must be 35 years old, a citizen of the US who is born and brought up in the country, and duration of stay is 14 years.

Can A Felon Become A Member Of The City Council?

1 A felon can become a member of the City Council which elects a group of officers who maintain the city and provide law support by establishing and sanctioning new laws and rules that govern the city.

2 A city council member also holds an important position in the legislature wherein he is responsible to safeguard the interest of the district.

3 A city council member should follow specific residency requirements. These are established so he is eligible to run for City Council.

4 A felon can become the Mayor of the city and run the city council as a primary office.

A Felon Who is Convicted – Is He/She Eligible To Run For Congress?

A felon can run for Congress in the US. He/she can serve the house and senate. All members can pass a vote of no confidence to expel the elected member who proves unqualified or unfit to carry on public responsibilities.

All felons however need to meet the specific requirements to run an office in Congress which are related to age, citizenship, and residency. The election takes place through the Congressional Ballot.

can felon run for congress requirements

The federal government lays down specific requirements that govern the eligibility criteria of running a Congress office by a felon. Even state governments cannot amend these requirements.

1 The federal office has the supreme power to amend these requirements as per the need of the federal office.

2 Many felons run for Congress and have been elected over the years.

3 All felons didn’t complete a successful term with Congress.

4 Congress still holds the power to terminate members of Congress who prove unfit to serve the city and country.

People With Felony Background Who Have Held Congress Office In The Past

Politicians are a key example of felons who have been convicted of criminal offenses while serving at the Congress office and have been removed once criminal charges were proven. The country has seen many felons serving terms at Congress. This was only when they met all requirements of the probation period and restored their rights.

In these circumstances, felons could run the Congress office without any issues. There are also circumstantial instances where felons have been convicted while they were still serving at the Congress office. A rebel convicted a felon in 1798 for libel. He served the Congress post-conviction even when other Congress members made efforts to cancel his term.

Authorities convicted another felon of tax evasion. He served Congress thrice in 1950 post his conviction. Another felon though successful in running Congress office but used campaign funds to cause harm to law and order and justice of the country.

Read more: How to Become a Politician

Bottom Line

All felons must complete their sentence, probation and should not be charged with any criminal charges. This makes them employable in Congress office. They receive basic civil rights to govern the city and become clean public figures in the eyes of the public.

Felons choose to be a part of public services and serve the nation as a member of Congress. This helps them rectify their past mistakes where they focused on harming innocent citizens. The federal government employs felons to open a new road towards leading an honest and dignified life for felons.

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