Notes from the Lame Duck Session

11 12 2008

A couple of interesting things happened in Lameducklandia today.

– Approval of the auto bailout. Booo.

– Condemnation of the Mumbai attacks. Duh. Would people have thought otherwise?

– Extension of the broadcast authority timeline (related to the digital tv transition)

– S.J. Resolution 46 ensures that the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) will have the compensation that was in effect on Jan. 1, 2007. I assume this is an attempt to get around the constitutional problem of having her serve in an appointed position for which she voted on a raise. I’m not sure that it solves the problem, technically, but it does address the spirit of the problem

“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…” (emoluments being salary/ compensation)

071107-constitution-awc-075This is not the first time this conflict has come up. And it has been ignored before, or rather, dealt with by reverting to the pre-raise salary.

But the fact of the matter is that the Constitution doesn’t have the words, “unless they do x,y,z….”

The congress may be trying to solve this problem by legislating, however you can’t leglislate your way out of the constitution.

But I told my husband that I had one solution… that it doesn’t apply to Clinton because the constitutional clause clearly says, “he”. I wonder if that would work. ;o)

A post on the Daily Kos explains the whole dilemma very well.

Ironically, it is only a $4,000 raise, surely chump change for someone like Clinton, especially considering that she had her eyes on a different job.

And then again, it is only the Constitution. Seems like the judiciary is the only branch of the government that is even pretending to follow it these days anyhow (and frankly even they abandon it when it suits them).