Citizen legislature

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A citizen legislature is a legislative chamber made up primarily of citizens who have a full-time occupation besides being a legislator. Such citizen legislatures can be found on the state level, as in some U.S. states, or on the national level as in Switzerland.[1]

Legislatures in the U.S. considered to be citizen legislatures include Idaho,[2] New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota,[3] Oregon,[4] Utah,[5] and Wyoming.[6] Many other states in the US, by contrast, have a professional legislature. James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 62 that "It is not possible that an assembly of men called for the most part from pursuits of a private nature, continued in appointment for a short time, and led by no permanent motive to devote intervals of public occupation to a study of the laws, the affairs, and the comprehensive interests of their country, should, if left wholly to themselves, escape a variety of important errors in the exercise of their legislative trust."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Die Legislative ist ein Miliz-Parlament - SWI". Retrieved 2016-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Idaho State Legislature - Idaho's Citizen Legislature". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  3. ^ "Section 11: Citizen Lawmaking | North Dakota Studies". Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  4. ^ Oregon State Legislature Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Utah Constitution - Article VI, Section 16 - Duration of sessions.
  6. ^ Citizen's Guide to the Legislature
  7. ^ [1]