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November 26, 2008



There is an obvious precedent. The way this Constitutional provision has been applied in the past is explained on a .gov site:

In 1909, after having increased the salary of the Secretary of
State,(459) Congress reduced it to the former figure so that a Member of the Senate at the time the increase was voted would be eligible for that office.(460)

459 34 Stat. 948 (1907).
460 35 Stat. 626 (1909). Congress followed this precedent when the President wished to appoint a Senator as Attorney General and the salary had been increased pursuant to a process under which Congress did not need to vote to approve but could vote to disapprove. The salary was temporarily reduced to its previous level. 87 Stat. 697 (1975). See also 89 Stat. 1108 (1975) (reducing the salary of a member of the Federal Maritime Commission in order to qualify a Representative).

Buck Naked Politics

Hi Qalam96,

I've read that in several places -- yet people are still debating whether that "fix" is good enough.

I guess we'll find out in time.

Carlos Navarro

The Constitutional snag that would bar Hillary Clinton from becoming Secretary of State would be simple to fix: Have Hillary take on the job pro bono--for the good of America--and then let the Wall Street moguls, Chinese generals, Saudi princes, international bankers, etc. who own her and husband Bill cover the family multi-million dollar living expenses, as they've been doing for the past 35 years.

Jack Handy

It's irrelevant what pay she would take. The emoluments were raised in the last year thereby ending all discussion. The "Saxbe Fix" was unconstitutional, it just wasn't challenged.

Do we want to live in a country where the Federal Government is required to live within the scope that the people set for it, or not? It's a pretty cut-and-dry question.

E. Garcia-Thurman

Art. I Section 6 (2) addresses positions created during the term (s) of a Senator or Representative and the salary increases of those positions created during that same time period.
The position of Sec. of State was created in 1789 Under President George Washington, therefore, Art. I, Section 6 (2) does not prohibit her from being Secretary of State, 2008-2012.
Look to the language of the Article "or Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time:" Whereof means "of what", or "of which", or "of whom", thus the Article refers to the increase of salary of positions created during the Congressional term of the Senator or Representative being considered. Accordingly, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is Constitutionally eligible to be our Secretary of State.

Deb Cupples (Buck Naked Politics)

HI E.,

Thanks for sharing your interp. People will be debating this one for some time to come.

Me, I have no clue what the right answer is, but I can't wait to see how the question ends up being settled.

Jack Handy

E., you are incorrect.

"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..."

"which shall have been created OR the emoluments whereof shall have been increased"

If a new position is created during a senator's term, that senator is not eligible. If the emoluments (pay) for a position is increased during a senator's term, that senator is not eligible.

Clinton is not eligible.

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