30 November 2008

Hillary as Secretary of State - forbidden by the Constituion?

Article One, Section Six of the Constitution prohibits congresspersons from taking a civil office if the legislator has voted to increase the pay for that job.

"No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time..."

Obama as a constitutional law professor must know this, and he probably knows how it has been evaded in the past (by Nixon, Carter, and Clinton) - by having the appointee receive the lower, unraised, salary.

But Andrew Malcomb, writing for the L.A.Times has a point when he notes that the Constitution doesn't say you can evade the rule in this fashion:
It flat-out prohibits taking the civil office if the pay has been increased during the would-be appointee's elected term. Period.
I'm sure Obama and the Congress will wiggle their way around this. Congress and presidents always try to ignore the Constitution when it is to their advantage to do so.


  1. Congress and presidents always try to ignore the Constitution when it is to their advantage to do so.

    Polistra once said on isteve.blogspot.com,

    Basically the only sections of the Constitution that are still obeyed are the 'numerical' parts that give terms of employment and details of elections. President shall be 35 years old, Senators serve 6 years, etc. Everything else is either ignored or flagrantly violated.

    A second proof of this: all the amendments since 1920 have been of the 'terms of employment' sections. This tells us the other parts have been completely superseded by the Collected Opinions of Black-Robed Saboteurs, so that amendments aren't worth the bother.

    OTOH this is really just the silliest of technicalities, especially in a world that has COLAs.

  2. What does the:
    "during the Time for which he was elected" bit mean anyway? Sounds to me like that means that they can take the job after they have been kicked out of their elected office.

  3. I would assume that if you are elected for a six-year term as a Senator,you can't take the job during those six years - even if you leave the job. But I'm not a lawyer. And it doesn't matter because congressmen don't follow the laws anyway.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...