Monday, December 1, 2008

Civil Office under the Authority of the United States

Now that it is official

It is time to address the talk that was once conjecture.

Soon-to-be President-elect Barack Obama has selected and publicly adressed, in official nomination style, the name of Senator Hillary Clinton as his selection and choice to be the next Secretary of State.

One would think this is all well and good. It carries on with the “Team of Rivalries” facade that so many fans of the next administration cling to.

There is unfortunately one very large and glaring problem with this announcement.

The Senator is Constitutionally ineligible to take the position of Secretary of State. Or Secretary of any other Cabinet post.

It is because during the length of term to which Senator Clinton was elected, from 2007-2013, there have been and are scheduled to be increases in the emoluments of those positions.

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

All of which leads to why this is an important issue.

Some will argue that since the increases were not voted on by her, this is in no way an effort on her part to profit from such a position.

Some will argue that since these increases are only to keep up with inflation, that they are only restoring the salaries to their 1990’s level.

These both seem to be valid points. To anyone that decides that words are unimportant, they are very valid.

Some will argue there have been other times, when there have been such appointments, which were then attended to by various fixes, therefore all we need a "fix".

This point, while being very historically accurate, is also very wrong.

It was wrong when Philander Knox was appointed to Secretary of State by President Taft. It was wrong when William Saxbe was appointed to Attorney General by President Nixon. It was wrong when Edmund Muskie was appointed to Secretary of State by President Carter. It was wrong when Lloyd Bentsen was appointed to Secretary of Treasury by President-elect Clinton with President Bush as co-conspirator.

It was also so wrong when Orrin Hatch was at the top of President Reagan’s short list for Supreme Court Justice that he was removed from any nomination.

Just because it was done before does not make it right.

There is very explicit language in our National founding document. Let us return to following that language. Fully.

4 comments:

Slackathor said...

Are you kidding me? The Constitution? Does anyone really think that the Constitution is going to mean anything over the next four years. If the Dems need a law, they will use the courts to get it.

Jeff Stone said...

Slackathor,
I certainly see your point.

Just know that it isn't only Democrats that overlook the parts that get in their way.

There certainly seems to be a respect for The Constitution only when it is being used to advance your points.

No love for it when it is in your way - whether Democrat or Republican or Independent.

Thankful Paul said...

Peace be with you

Jeff Stone said...

And also with you