Candidate's Response to 5.23.2008
Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial
Article I, Clause 2 US Constitution Qualifications of Congressional Representatives
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
In their Friday May 23rd editorial the Philadelphia Inquirer editors outdid themselves and called into question their own competency as good and faithful managers of public opinion. Their bogus description of my qualifications for a seat in the House of Representatives (1st District, NJ, Democrat in the Primary on June 3rd) as "shaky" hardly merits an intelligent response, except to say that their knowledge of the Constitution is woefully lacking.
What indeed is the meaning of "shaky qualifications" within the scope of the constitutional requirements for House office seekers? Our Founding Document is short and transparent regarding the matter. The word "shaky" does not occur within the letter (and spirit) of the constitutional description. I am over 25 and a U.S. citizen by birth. That's what the Constitution requires as qualifications for office.
That the Inquirer editors have boldly set themselves up as unauthorized judges as to who is and who is not qualified for national legislative office flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution. It's Article I, Clause 2 of the Constitution, not the Inquirer editors, that lays out the only valid description of the qualifications for congressional office seekers. The Supreme Court has ruled that the "qualification clause" for House candidates cannot be overruled by congressional action or the laws of the several states.
How is it then that the Inquirer editors seek to empower themselves as judges in ways that the Congress and states cannot?The editor's attempt to transcend the clear constitutional description of congressional candidates' qualifications is itself "shaky", patently invalid and borders on the ludicrous. On this matter of qualifications it makes one wonder whether the Inquirer editors themselves are journalistically qualified, given their apparent disregard of our nation's organic law: the Constitution.
Moreover, after rightly taking the Andrews husband and wife team and the South Jersey Democratic bosses to task for manipulating things in a way that allows the Andrews pair to play in two campaigns at once, the Senate and the House, the Inquirer editors go on to promote Camille Andrews as an "ideal candidate" for her husband Rob's abandoned seat. What a sorry and willful contradiction!
Question: by the Inquirer's own "shaky qualifications" standard how is Camille Andrews --- a willing participant in a process designed to disenfranchised district voters --- a person qualified to advance the interests of fairness and democracy in the 1st Congressional District?Further, (and in the event that the Inquirer endorses Andrews in his run against Senator Lautenberg) how is Rob Andrews himself qualified to run for the U.S. Senate since he is obviously a major player in this farce of disenfranchising 1st District voters?
Hopefully, on June 3rd New Jersey 1st District voters will decide to lay this double farce to rest.
May 26, 2008
Dr. Mahdi lbn-Ziyad, Candidate 1st Congressional District Primary