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 encreased during such time…….no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office. – Article 1 Section 6
After their experience in the American revolution and years of watching Kings buy their way to policy, the Framers believed that a simple and even elegant solution was to simply ban the ability of a single person to hold Office both civilly and in the government. Makes sense, right?
So how did we get to the place where the Article is routinely “ignored” and senators become Secretaries?
In the early 1970’s, Congress passed an amendment to the Voting rights act to stop States from limiting who could vote based solely upon their age, specifically for those who were old enough to fight in Vietnam, but not old enough to vote for the leaders who were sending them to Southeast Asia.
Many people objected based on the same old ideas that young people have never been more sawcie and saucie. President Nixon was concerned that the amendment would not pass Constitutional muster, and that might endanger the entirety of the Voting Rights Act. He signed it, but he wasn’t totally onboard with it. Read the rest of this entry
The 2nd Circuit Court ruled this past week that citizens united (yes, that Citizen’s United) must turn over its donor lists to the Attorney General of the State of New York.
Citizen’s United had argued that donations to the organization represented anonymous political speech, and therefore the state had no reason to have a law requiring that they turn these lists over to them. The state argued that such information is necessary to prevent fraud by non-profits and donors seeking to influence the politics of the State. Read the rest of this entry