Norton to Introduce Bill to Require U.S. Attorney, Federal Judges and U.S. Marshals Serving D.C. to Live in D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will introduce the District of Columbia Federal Officials Residency Requirement Equality Act, which would require federal district court judges, federal circuit court judges, the U.S. Attorney, the two U.S. Marshals, and the federal court clerk who serve in D.C. to reside in D.C., just as such officials are required to do in other jurisdictions. The bill 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,” Norton said. “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. The District should be treated no differently.”
In nearly every other jurisdiction in the United States, 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. Even in the territories, such officials are required to live in those jurisdictions, other than the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal appointed for the Northern Mariana Islands who at the same time are serving in the same capacity in another jurisdiction. The only other exceptions exist for such officials appointed to the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York, which are the only districts that serve different parts of the same city.
When Norton exercises senatorial courtesy for the District, as she did under Presidents Clinton and Obama and currently does under President Biden, she only recommends nominees who commit to living in D.C. during their tenures.