Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s nonvoting representative in Congress, has introduced a bill requiring many federal officials who serve in the District to also reside there.
The District of Columbia Federal Officials Residency Requirement Equality Act would require federal district court judges, federal circuit court judges, the U.S. attorney, the two U.S. marshals and the federal court clerk in the city to live in D.C. as well.
The legislation is part of Norton’s “Free and Equal D.C.” series of bills, which would require equal treatment for D.C. as Norton strives for statehood, the District’s ultimate goal.
“As we continue to work for full equality for District residents with statehood, this is an important step to ensure that the District is treated like the rest of the country,” she said in a statement. “These federal officials serve D.C. directly as a hometown, not as a federal jurisdiction. They should be a part of the community they serve and fully understand the unique issues facing District residents, which can only be fully realized by residing in the District.
“Congress, through laws requiring residency in virtually every other jurisdiction, and the courts, through the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, have recognized the importance of federal officials’ connections with the communities they serve,” Norton said. “The District should be treated no differently.”
The Democratic lawmaker pointed out that in nearly every other U.S. jurisdiction, federal district court judges, federal circuit court judges, U.S. attorneys, U.S. marshals, and federal court clerks are required by federal law to reside within the jurisdictions where they have been appointed.