January 25 roundup


  • (“The ejection of tribal members is most prevalent in small tribes with casinos on their land”)

    Better than being treated like Moe Green.

  • I may be completely off base with my thinking here, but why would Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 have any application in defining the President’s ability to accept emoluments from a foreign state? Article I governs the legislative branch. How can another separate constitutional office be subjected to the requirements of the legislative branch? Would this not violate separation of powers? Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 would seem to be the only emoluments clause applicable to the president. That clause states in part that the President “shall not receive within [the term of office] any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.” This clause, unlike Article I, Section 9, Clause 8, does not use the term “foreign state.” Instead, it use the terms “United States, or any of them.” The most natural reading of this phrase is that the United States government (meaning the legislative branch) or the governments of the states in the union may not give the president additional compensation. This clause does not speak to foreign compensation or compensation earned from businesses. I simply do not understand how a separate constitutionally created office can be subjected to Article I’s emoluments clause, or any other governmental ethics law passed by a co-equal branch of government that is not contained in Article II. Article II, Section 4 governing removal from office seems sufficient to ensure that the president does not engage in conflicted interest transactions or sell out the country because of his business interests. I would love for a con law professor/scholar to tell me where I’m going wrong here.

    • I don’t think it’s reasonable to read “… no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” as applying only to the legislative branch. Such a thing would not need to even be included in the Constitution if that was the case – since it can still be done with the consent of Congress, it would simply be covered by Congress’s own ability to set rules for itself.

      Article I may primary deal with the legislative branch, but not all of its prohibitions apply only to the legislature. For example, the immediately preceding clause in Article I Section 9, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law;” clearly regulates all branches. And so does the emoluments clause.

  • Does anyone beside me think this is at least similar to the Obama-is-actually-Kenyan nutters? At least in terms of how it is being used by his opponents?


    • Yes

    • You realize that the current President spent many years doubting the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate, right?

  • So, did any of the early Presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, etc) shut down their businesses (farms / plantations, etc) while they were in office?

    I suspect that historical context would illuminate the debate on this point greatly.

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