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View Diary: "Emoluments," Clinton, and That Pesky Constitution (156 comments)

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  •  A couple of issues I would raise here. (0+ / 0-)

    First, it is not that clear in the quoted language that the emoulment requirement is for pre-existing offices or is limited to new offices created during the current term of the member of Congress. I don't know how the case law has interpreted the clause, but that is something to consider.

    Second, the pay increase was not voted on by Congress (or by Clinton), so the conflict of interest issue is not clear.

    Third, though the base salary of the SOS is higher than the US Senate, if you factor in the various per diems and other privileges (franking privilege and others) the compensation differential may well be less than 10%, in which case there may not be sufficient evidence of an incentive to switch jobs simply for reasons of higher compensation.

    I don't think this issue should be a disqualifier.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:31:17 PM PST

    •  You're arguing your perceived spirit of the law, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Buster CT1K

      not the letters of the law.

      The letters of the law are quite clear (and limited) on the issue. It says nothing about resting on whether the individual involved voted on the increase or not. Thus the fact that the increase was by Presidential fiat is not allowed for by the letters of the law.

      And you third point doesn't sound like you are a lawyer at all. The simple fact of the case is that the "emoluments" for the office of the SoS have been increased. Period. Whether they were increased to remain below those of a Senator or just above those of a cab driver is neither here nor there.

      Where the letters of the law are clear and explicit, subjective interpretations of the spirit of the law that contravene the explicit letters cannot take precedence.

      Otherwise this would not have been an issue not once, twice or even thrice, but several times over in the nation's history.

      The psychology of the dispossessed can be truly frightening
      - Chinua Achebe

      by 174winchell on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:02:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I am a lawyer (0+ / 0-)

        You are reading the clause literally.  I am reading it in the spirit of what the law was intended to prevent based on the diarist's description.  The law was intended to prevent a conflict of interest where a lawmaker participates in raising the salary for a post so that he or she can make a monetary gain by later jumping ship and taking the new post.  It's about preventing corruption.  If the executive post pays the same or less than the Congressional post, then money would not be the reason why the person left, and the threshold conflict of interest/corruption angle would not be present, and therefore interpreting the law to deny the position would seem to be inconsistent with its spirit and an overreach.  

        Alternative rock with something to say:

        by khyber900 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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