Sorry Hillary

Doesn’t Barack Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School, know the constitution? From the Washington Post

Even if the vetting problems involving former president Bill Clinton’s finances can be resolved, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton may face another roadblock on her way to the secretary of state’s chair.

It’s called the Constitution of the United States, specifically, Article One, Section Six, also known as the emoluments clause. (“Emoluments” means things like salaries.) It says that no member of Congress, during the term for which he was elected, shall be named to any office “the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during his term.” This applies, we’re advised, whether the member actually voted on the raises or not.

In Clinton’s case, during her current term in the Senate, which began in January 2007, cabinet salaries were increased from $186,600 to $191,300. This situation has arisen before, most famously in the case called “The Saxbe Fix,” but it involves a controversial, somewhat tortured reading of the Sacred Document.

It is just plain incredible no one has thought of this before. That goes for both the media and law professor bloggers. Here is the particular part of the constitution in question-

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.

President Nixon worked his way around it when he nominated Ohio Senator William Saxbe to be Attorney General in 1973. Will Obama risk a constitutional battle by nominating Hillary?

Doug at Below the Beltway writes

Could it possibly be…….

“You know, Hillary, I really wanted you to be my Secretary of State, but the Constitution says I can’t have you. Sorry.”

Talk about out clauses.

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