The Unconstitutional Slippery Slope

The news is out; it's being reported, generally, that the announcement of the appointment of Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State will be this week. However, she's not eligible for this appointment because of the "emoluments" clause in the United States Constitution (Article 1, Section 6). In other words, senators and representatives cannot be appointed to an executive branch position in which they would benefit from pay increases that were enacted during the term in which they were elected.

A recent political cartoon in one of the Seattle newspapers had Barack Obama putting back together a shredded Constitution. That may be wishful thinking on the part of the cartoonist now that the president-elect and "constitutional scholar" is about to make what looks like an unconstitutional appointment. Don't tell us about any constitutional scholar until that person can follow or understand simple mandates from the Constitution; the "emoluments" clause being one of them. When a relatively obscure mandate of the Constitution can be broken as if it were nothing, it gets easier to break the more important principles of our national treatise. That's a slippery slope to imperial rule or disunion that we have been on for the last several years.

Is any senator or representative going to challenge, if the appointment is actually made, what would be a violation of the Constitution? Maybe, the Republicans, in their new role as the loyal opposition will be more conscientious in asserting themselves in that role than their counterparts, but don't bet on it, because both factions of our one party rule have every bit, in recent years, substantiated George Bush's alleged description of the Constitution: "just a piece of paper."

Copyright 2008, Party of Commons TM