Founding Fathers included clause that prevents Clinton appointment
6:03 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
The constitutional quandary arises from a clause that forbids members of the Senate from being appointed to civil office, such as the secretary of state, if the "emoluments," or salary and benefits, of the office were increased during the senator's term.
The second clause of Article 1, Section 6, of the Constitution reads, "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."
During Hillary Clinton's current term in the Senate, the salary for Cabinet officers was increased from $186,600 to $191,300. Since the salary is scheduled to again be raised in January 2009, not only Hillary Clinton, but all sitting Senate members could be considered constitutionally ineligible to serve in Obama's Cabinet.
But wait! Is the entire Barack Obama administration unconstitutional? Where's the proof he was born in the U.S. and thus a "natural-born American" as required by Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution? If you still want to see it, sign WND's petition demanding the release of his birth certificate.
James Madison's notes on the debates that formed the Constitution explain the reason for the clause. Madison himself argued against "the evils" of corrupt governments where legislators created salaried positions – or increased the salary of positions – and then secured appointments to the cushy jobs they just created. Others agreed that such tactics were evident in Colonial and British government, and they wrote Article 1, Section 6 to prevent the practice.
Presidents in the past, however, have found a sometimes controversial way to skirt the clause and nonetheless fill their cabinet with constitutionally ineligible legislators