It’s certainly not a well known portion of the Constitution, but it’s there, clear as crystal. From Article I Section 6:
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.
Congress raised the compensation for cabinet positions this past term, of which Clinton was a member; therefore, she technically can’t serve in the cabinet of the Executive branch. But this is not the first time this issue has arisen. Nixon appointed William Saxbe to be attorney general after he voted to increase cabinet pay during his term. Nixon and Congress addressed this issue by allowing Saxbe to take the previous AG salary. It’s become known as the Saxbe Fix. But many Senate Democrats at that time, including Robert Byrd, were not pleased:
Congress acceded to Nixon’s request to lower the attorney general’s salary to its pre-1969 level. Apparently this had been done once before, in 1909, for a senator in line to be secretary of state. And President George H.W. Bush, as he was leaving office, approved a Saxbe fix so that Treasury Secretary Lloyded Bentsen could move from the Senate to take that job.
But Democrats in the past have inveighed against this sleight-of-hand. In the Saxbe case, 10 senators, all Democrats, voted against the ploy on constitutional grounds. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), the only one of them who remains in the Senate, said at the time that the Constitution was explicit and “we should not delude the American people into thinking a way can be found around the constitutional obstacle.”
It appears this part of the Constitution has been worked-around enough that Clinton will do the same thing. Besides, as Pittsburgh councilwoman Tonya Payne has said, “who cares if it’s unconstitutional.” And as for you trolls, don’t even try using the lie that George W. Bush called the Constitution just a “goddamned piece of paper.” Factcheck.org already weighed in on the accuracy of that report:
We judge that the odds that the report is accurate hover near zero.
Hat tip: Stop the ACLU
Well, it seems Bill Jempty beat me to this issue three days ago. Be sure to check out his post.