This is interesting… I had a professor in law school who always told us that we didn’t spend enough time reading state constitutions instead of the federal one. From the Massachusetts Constitution, as originally enacted in 1780:

No person holding the office of judge of the supreme judicial court — secretary — attorney-general — solicitor-general — treasurer or receiver-general — judge of probate — commissary-general —president, professor, or instructor of Harvard College — sheriff — clerk of the house of representatives — register of probate — register of deeds — clerk of the supreme judicial court — clerk of the inferior court of common pleas — or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers — shall at the same time have a seat in the senate or house of representative.

(emphasis added). H/t to one of my other law school professors, Eugene Volokh who pointed it out on his blog.*

My first thought is that faculty meetings must have already established their poor reputation in 1780. My second is to wonder whether, had the Mass Constitution been written fifteen years later, the clause would have encompassed the faculty of Williams as well. Given the Boston-centrism of Massachusetts, maybe not — the writers probably wouldn’t have worried that anyone from the western part of the state would ever get involved.

Incidentally, 117 amendments to the Mass Constitution have been enacted (with another 10 rejected) in the intervening 230 years, one of which (the 27th, enacted in 1877) reads:

So much of article two of chapter six of the constitution of this commonwealth as relates to persons holding the office of president, professor or instructor of Harvard College is hereby annulled.

*Volokh labels it the “William F. Buckley Clause,” after Buckley’s famous remark that he would rather “live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” I think you could safely substitute Williams, Michigan State, or Pepperdine and I wouldn’t disagree — but I’d rather be governed by 2,000 names drawn at random, lest we find ourselves ruled by the scary union of the Adams family and the Addams Family.
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