“Against Residency Districts”

Mike Pitts has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, University of Chicago Legal Forum).  Here is the abstract:

This article argues against laws which mandate that candidates and elected officials reside in a particular geographic area as a condition of election or office-holding (i.e., residency requirements). The article considers various rationales for residency requirements — some of which have been endorsed by federal and state courts — and concludes that those rationales by-and-large do not hold up under scrutiny. The article also considers the costs of residency requirements and concludes that the costs of such requirements outweigh any purported benefits. The article then ponders why residency requirements have continued to exist despite weak justifications for their use, and concludes that residency requirements likely persist because they insulate incumbent partisans from electoral competition. As such, a politics as markets approach might suggest the elimination of residency requirements.

Looking forward to reading this!  This has been my position, but obviously not (from me) based in a politics as markets approach.

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