Who qualifies for "the honorable" rather than "representative"?
July 26, 2004 7:37 PM   Subscribe

After reading the speaker's list for the Democratic convention, I noticed that some congressmen & senators are referred to as "the honorable" and others as "representative." Who qualifies for each title?
posted by Juicylicious to Law & Government (9 answers total)
I presume personal choice, since all members of the U.S. House of Representatives (and Senate and governors and even friggin' mayors) are to be adressed with "Honorable".
posted by smackfu at 7:54 PM on July 26, 2004

oh, the irony.
posted by quonsar at 9:42 PM on July 26, 2004

Everyone. All elected government officials have the title "The Honorable." I worked in the New Jersey Legislature and the title applied to the State's Assemblypersons, Senators, the Governor, the Commissioners of all cabinet departments, judges, mayors, and County Executives.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:44 AM on July 27, 2004

Thanks XQ. But, I thought that once a president, always a president. Why are Jimmy Carter & Bill Clinton referred to as "honorable" and not "president?"
posted by Juicylicious at 11:00 AM on July 27, 2004

And, why are some of the elected officials referred to as "representative?"
posted by Juicylicious at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2004

Only federal representatives (those elected to the US house of representatives) may properly be called "representative." However, since as elected officials they are also entitled to the term "honorable," I suspect its simply a matter of personal preference which title they use on their nametags.

Also, there is only ever one person who may properly be called "The President of the United States of America." Ex-presidents are usually called "ex-president," or, having once been elected, may be called "honorable."

There are some appointed officials (treasurers, for instance) on that list whom are "honorable," so I'm not exactly sure about those rules, but I imagine the executive who did the appointing has the power to bestow the title.
posted by ChasFile at 11:50 AM on July 27, 2004

Aren't we referring to titles, separate from forms of address here? I've never heard "Honorable" being used in this way.

I mean, you wouldn't go up to Jimmy Carter and call him "Honorable"...wouldn't you call him "President Carter"? And wouldn't you call Boston's mayor "Mayor Menino", "Mr. Mayor", et cetera?
posted by Vidiot at 12:15 PM on July 27, 2004

And wouldn't you call Boston's mayor "Mayor Menino", "Mr. Mayor", et cetera?

Or "Hizzoner"...
posted by kindall at 12:19 PM on July 27, 2004

Sorry, forgot, it's Boston. "Hizzonah," then.
posted by kindall at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2004

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