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Archive of posts filed under the Delegates category.

Some Concluding Thoughts on House Delegates

Our review of the House’s treatment of delegates shows (1) the House has traditionally seen the line between debating and voting as the demarcation of appropriate delegate participation; (2) the proper role of delegates has also been described as merely advisory in nature; (3) participation in select and later standing committees has been viewed as [...]

The D.C. Circuit and the “Would-be Congressmen”

Delegate Norton cites the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Michel v. Anderson, 14 F.3d 623 (D.C. Cir. 1994), for the proposition that delegates may be authorized to vote in the Committee of the Whole, but a close examination of this decision reveals it to be poorly reasoned and internally incoherent. The court advances the following propositions: [...]

The Role of Delegates on House Committees

Returning to the role played by delegates in the House, today we will look at their history on committees. In contrast to the initial debate over admitting territorial delegates to the House, there appears to have been little or no controversy in the early Congresses about allowing delegates to serve on committees. James White was [...]

More Fun with House Guests: Admitting Cabinet Officials to a Seat in Congress

A recent post by Professor Gerard Magliocca brought to my attention a matter which sheds further light on how the House of Representatives has viewed participation by non-members in its proceedings. In 1864, a House select committee favorably reported a bill providing that the heads of the Executive Departments “shall be entitled to occupy seats [...]

The First House Debate on Admitting Delegates

On November 14, 1794, the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House to consider the report of an ad hoc committee led by Representative Baldwin. The Baldwin committee had been tasked with considering whether to admit to the House one James White, who had presented his credentials as “Representative of the Territory of [...]

Membership Has its Privileges: Participation of DC and Territorial Delegates in House Proceedings

Last week, on the opening day of the new Congress, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton argued that the House should adopt a rule allowing her and territorial delegates (representing Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa) to vote in the Committee of the Whole. Since 1993, the House has had such a rule [...]