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.
Legislatures in the U.S. considered to be citizen legislatures include Idaho, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. 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."
- "Die Legislative ist ein Miliz-Parlament - SWI swissinfo.ch". Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Idaho State Legislature - Idaho's Citizen Legislature". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Oregon State Legislature Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Utah Constitution - Article VI, Section 16 - Duration of sessions.
- Citizen's Guide to the Legislature
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