Thursday, November 20, 2008

That Pesky Constitution!

Wow! Talk about throwing a monkey wrench into the works! It looks like the Obama organization is getting it's baptism by fire and he hasn't even entered office!

Now, we must remember that Hillary has not officially been offered the job of Secretary of State. It has merely been discussed. It has also been discussed with the better credentialed Bill Richardson. It has been implied it's Hillary's if she wants it as long as (her) Bill falls into line. Some reports say he is; others say he is dragging his feet on some details. That could be a blessing for Obama - and a way for a graceful "out".

It has been revealed that there is a section of the Constitution that may bring the curtain down on this act of political theater. Article 1 Section 6 to be exact. It states:
"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; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.”
The keyword here is "emolument". Salary.

Hillary was in the Senate when the Executive branch salaries were raised three times - $183,500 in 2006 to $186,600 in 2007 to the current $191,300. Check out Level 1.

If the section of the Constitution being discussed is being interpreted correctly, it would seem Hillary is ineligible for the post.

What does Obama do now? Does he cater to the Clintons or does he uphold the Constitution? Stay tuned.


Betty said...

So, would she have to resign her Senate seat before he could "officially" offer the job to her? And, what if she wasn't confirmed? This problem could be holding up the works, if your interpretation is correct. Hmmmmm.

June Saville said...

This period in the USA is fascinating from outside - as well as for the locals. Bush showed how influential are those around a President. I watch with interest ...
June in Oz

Sylvia K said...

And the games never end, do they? Lord, when will it finally be over???

Ruth said...

"The Constitution rarely recognizes a power of privilege without limiting it. Because Congress can create new offices and set salaries of it’s members, this paragraph (Article I, Section 6) prohibits the appointment of members of Congress during their terms to any office whose “Emoluments”, or salaries, were raised during this time. The clause does not, as some Antifederalists wanted, prohibit members of Congress from accepting such offers later.

In 1908, President (and later, Chief Justice) William Howard Taft nominated Senator Philander C. Knox to be Secretary of State. Congress had raised the salary for the position from $8,000 to $12,000 during Knox’s term of office. Taft persuaded Congress to roll the secretary’s salary back so that it could confirm Knox to office.

Congress has subsequently repeated this procedure. Scholars sometimes designate it as the “Saxbe Fix” after Senator William Saxbe, whom President Nixon appointed as Attorney General in 1973 in a manor similar to Knox’s appointment."

Quoted from the book "A Companion to the United States Constitution and It's Amendments" By John R. Vile