Main | Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Roadblock For Hillary?

Constitutional scholars have pointed out an odd twist in the road to Hillary Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State. Apparently, members of Congress are barred from taking other jobs in government if the salary for the new job has been raised in the last year, as has been done this year for Cabinet positions. Here's the archaic language of the law:
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 means salary or perks. Matthew Berger:
The question is whether this would be an issue at confirmation - if Clinton is nominated to the post - and who would raise it. Senators traditionally grant their colleagues some deference and it could be considered politics at its worst if Republicans try to block her nomination with this argument. But senators may be loathe to vote for something scholars tell them is unconstitutional. That being said, this development may make Obama, or Clinton, think twice about the appointment.
This will be interesting.

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