Author Topic: HR 1 - For the People Act - A Religious Test To Serve?  (Read 493 times)

D. Engebretson

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HR 1 - For the People Act - A Religious Test To Serve?
« on: March 15, 2021, 09:32:23 AM »
HR 1 - For the People Act - 2019 can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text#toc-H9A16C8D88A7A403D88B78A1D9F583993

Section 2412, Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission.
1) IN GENERAL.—An individual is eligible to serve as a member of an independent redistricting commission if the individual meets each of the following criteria:....
C) The individual submits to the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2413, at such time and in such form as the agency may require, an application for inclusion in the selection pool under this section, and includes with the application a written statement, with an attestation under penalty of perjury, containing the following information and assurances:....
(iv) The reason or reasons the individual desires to serve on the independent redistricting commission, the individual’s qualifications, and information relevant to the ability of the individual to be fair and impartial, including, but not limited to—

(I) any involvement with, or financial support of, professional, social, political, religious, or community organizations or causes;....


Article VI, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


So, do we have a problem here?  Why do those who drafted the bill want to know if I have involvement in or financial support a religious organization before I can serve on this commission?  And what specific organizations do they have in mind?

I hope someone asks this question when it goes to the Senate.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Michael Slusser

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Re: HR 1 - For the People Act - A Religious Test To Serve?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2021, 09:47:26 AM »
HR 1 - For the People Act - 2019 can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text#toc-H9A16C8D88A7A403D88B78A1D9F583993

Section 2412, Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission.
1) IN GENERAL.—An individual is eligible to serve as a member of an independent redistricting commission if the individual meets each of the following criteria:....
C) The individual submits to the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2413, at such time and in such form as the agency may require, an application for inclusion in the selection pool under this section, and includes with the application a written statement, with an attestation under penalty of perjury, containing the following information and assurances:....
(iv) The reason or reasons the individual desires to serve on the independent redistricting commission, the individual’s qualifications, and information relevant to the ability of the individual to be fair and impartial, including, but not limited to—

(I) any involvement with, or financial support of, professional, social, political, religious, or community organizations or causes;....


Article VI, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


So, do we have a problem here?  Why do those who drafted the bill want to know if I have involvement in or financial support a religious organization before I can serve on this commission?  And what specific organizations do they have in mind?

I hope someone asks this question when it goes to the Senate.
It looks to me as if involvement with a religious organization is one of several activities (or) that help to qualify someone to serve on a redistricting commission, not disqualify them. I'd be more worried if it was grounds for disqualification. That would be unconstitutional, IMO.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

D. Engebretson

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Re: HR 1 - For the People Act - A Religious Test To Serve?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2021, 09:59:50 AM »
HR 1 - For the People Act - 2019 can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1/text#toc-H9A16C8D88A7A403D88B78A1D9F583993

Section 2412, Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission.
1) IN GENERAL.—An individual is eligible to serve as a member of an independent redistricting commission if the individual meets each of the following criteria:....
C) The individual submits to the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2413, at such time and in such form as the agency may require, an application for inclusion in the selection pool under this section, and includes with the application a written statement, with an attestation under penalty of perjury, containing the following information and assurances:....
(iv) The reason or reasons the individual desires to serve on the independent redistricting commission, the individual’s qualifications, and information relevant to the ability of the individual to be fair and impartial, including, but not limited to—

(I) any involvement with, or financial support of, professional, social, political, religious, or community organizations or causes;....


Article VI, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


So, do we have a problem here?  Why do those who drafted the bill want to know if I have involvement in or financial support a religious organization before I can serve on this commission?  And what specific organizations do they have in mind?

I hope someone asks this question when it goes to the Senate.
It looks to me as if involvement with a religious organization is one of several activities (or) that help to qualify someone to serve on a redistricting commission, not disqualify them. I'd be more worried if it was grounds for disqualification. That would be unconstitutional, IMO.

Peace,
Michael

It is true that under "Disqualifications" in subsection 2, religion does not appear to be mentioned.  And a bit further down under "Development and Submission of a Selection Pool," section 2, "Factors Taken Into Account in Developing Pool," they state:
(A) ensure that the pool is representative of the demographic groups (including racial, ethnic, economic, and gender) and geographic regions of the State, and includes applicants who would allow racial, ethnic, and language minorities protected under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of the State’s redistricting plan;...

Religion does not seem to be mentioned there either. 

So, I hope you are correct.  Still, I also hope someone asks the question in Senate debates to clarify it.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI