The Corner

Keyes

The idea that Senate candidates should be actual residents of the state from which they are running–and not just barely in compliance with the state’s laws–isn’t a constitutional requirement, or an absolute moral principle. It’s a political norm that has some persuasive rationales. If we had a situation in which one party routinely parachuted in appealing candidates to crucial states and won advantages thereby, at some point the other party would have to abandon its scruples and do the same–because the norm would no longer be a norm. Until Alan Keyes decided to run in Illinois, we had one example of the norm’s being flouted, that of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The norm still existed, albeit in slightly weakened form. I regret its further erosion.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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