Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton is Not Eligible To Be Secretary of State

And it's not even really a debatable point.

Article I, § 6.2 of the United States Constitution:

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.
"Emoluments" is deadwhiteguyese for "pay". The point being to keep Congresscritters from creating cushy jobs in the bureaucracy and having themselves appointed thereto.

President Bush, in keeping with the cost of living increases lavished for no particular reason on government officials, raised the emoluments of the Secretary of State in January, 2008, which is during the current Senate term of Hillary Clinton.

The good and wise Professor Volokh (w/t) thinks that it would be enough to lower the pay for the secretarial job back to January, 2007 levels.


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3 comments:

History Guy said...

I may be thinking too hard about this, but can't Sen. Clinton resign her seat, become an average citizen, and then be nominated as Secretary of State? Would that somehow violate the clause in question?

Loren Heal said...

Nope: the verbiage is: "shall have been increased". But I'm NAL.

History Guy said...

Just so I'm clear...the argument that Sen. Clinton is ineligible is because the compensation/pay/etc. of the secretary of state was increased (even through a near-automatic COLA), therefore *no* currently serving Sen. or Rep. could be nominated and then appointed to any position within the executive branch?

am i on the right track?

The link to Professor Volokh mentioned this happening at least once before (Nixon?); is that the extent of the precedent on this matter?

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