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Law or Lies? Rumors Question Eligibility of Obama and Clinton

Did you guys hear? Barack Obama can't be president because he's not a natural US citizen, and the constitution says Hillary Clinton can't be Secretary of State! Well both rumors have nearly zero chance of becoming reality, but that won't stop people from trying!

A case questioning Barack Obama's US citizenship made it to the US Supreme Court today, where the justices decided against hearing the case in full. But more challenges to his citizenship follow, including a lawsuit filed by Alan Keyes, Obama's opponent in the 2004 Illinois Senate race. Obama, Hawaii, and other experts agree that the president-elect was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born citizen. To find out the questions surrounding the validity of Hillary's appointment,


As for Hillary's eligibility, Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution says:

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.

Huh?! To boil the drama down, some say that because the salary for Secretary of State has increased from $186,600 to $191,300 since Hillary got reelected in 2006, she cannot hold the position. Congress is on track to cut the salary back to the $186,000 level and let everyone carry on.

While it looks like there won't be an issue, does it even matter if some legal technicality could disqualify Obama and Clinton so long as they're within the spirit of the Constitution?


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 8 years
No I'm not. You can't stand aside and let someone take a huge dump on the Constitution, then tell the rest of us to respect your interpretation. :)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
No one who ever voted for George W. Bush has any right to quote the Constitution to the rest of us. You are Wrong.
stephley stephley 8 years
Wrong again.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
It's seems to me you would probably agree with Berg's claims about 9/11 Steph. I was just pointing out that it isn't a Republican behind this lawsuit, as many people assume.
nancita nancita 8 years
Ha, KadBunny! Good point.
stephley stephley 8 years
Oh my, the Supreme Court doesn't care.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
It makes me laugh that people complain about how they think there is this big bias in the moderation of comments and that "some people" can say whatever they want (implying that others can't say what they want), and then those same people turn around and call others hateful and are generally sarcastic and rude. It's all just so silly.
Womenfest Womenfest 8 years
This is a bunch of crap. Alan Keyes is a crybaby and a loser!
HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 8 years
Look, we shouldn't be pretending Obama wasn't born here. HE WAS. Go to and take a look. As far as Hillary, let Congress cut the Salary and carry on.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I see you brought that up Stephley, sorry, should have read the comments before I posted
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Isn't this Berg guy the same one that brought a bunch of 9/11 conspiracy lawsuits on the behalf of people that thought the Bush Administration was behind the attacks? This citizenship conspiracy is equally as ridiculous.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Ima, you're right it has been dealt with before, but I think it's all cases of people reading into the Constitution what isn't actually written. I think that pushing back the salary and then allowing Hillary to serve would certainly be in the spirit of the document, but it's not actually following the letter of the law. I just think we ought to re-word the law rather than interpreting it and reading in new things.
stephley stephley 8 years
Nice job Ima, on the Obama and Hillary questions. It'd be nice now if we could get back to serious Constitutional questions. By the way, if you're going to reference Philip Berg on this issue, to you pay equal attention to his 9/11 claims? "Philip J. Berg, Esquire, [Berg is a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania; former candidate for Governor and U.S. Senate; an attorney with offices in Montgomery County, PA and an active practice in Philadelphia, PA, who prior hereto has filed a RICO lawsuit against Bush and others for the events of 9/11 and plans to re-file shortly] announced today that he was issuing a call for world leaders to arrest and try Bush and Cheney for the global crimes of 9/11/01. Philip J. Berg, Esquire stated in a letter to the nations throughout the world: “It is time for the nations of the world to come forth and take the leadership because of the failure of the United States Government and the States where crimes were committed on 09/11/01, where no thorough investigation and indictments occurred, to investigate, arrest and prosecute the people responsible for the murders on 9/11/01, specifically including George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. ” Berg continued there is overwhelming evidence that: “Bush and his cronies made 9/11 happen or let it happen. And, if they let it happen, then they made it happen. Either way, they are responsible; and more important, they have completely and unequivocally covered-it-up!”
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
So technically for 100 years they have not cared about the exact wording of the Constitution..if you want to look at it that way. Or they just removed the problem. And finally named the commonly used bypass during Nixon's administration. As long as the person is willing to have the salary rolled back then there is no conflict of interest and they are allowed to accept the position.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
Actually Hilary would not be the first.. they have been allowing people to take the position as long as the salary has been rolled back for about a 100 years..there is a term called the Saxbe Fix.. And apparently the senate is set to pass another Saxbe Fix next week so that Clinton can take the position. Here is what I found.. The Ineligibility Clause of the Constitution (article 1, section 6, clause 2) provides: 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. · This provision does not prohibit the appointment of Senator Clinton as Secretary of State. · Historical practice and Department of Justice interpretation have in fact permitted appointments of members of Congress to such offices so long as their salaries are based on the levels set before the relevant term of office. · This longstanding practice—which dates back at least 100 years to President Taft's appointment of Philander Knox to be Secretary of State—is often referred to as the "Saxbe Fix," referring to the arrangement whereby Congress set the salary for President Nixon's nominee for Attorney General William Saxbe so it would reflect the salary level in place before his congressional term of office. · Other cabinet officials appointed under such an arrangement include Secretary of State Edmund Muskie and Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen. · As constitutional scholar Ron Rotunda has explained, as a matter of historical practice, Congress has interpreted the ineligibility imposed by this clause as non absolute; that is, a Senator (or Representative) could be appointed to an office although the emoluments had been increased during the term for which the Senator (or Representative) had been elected to Congress, if the increase were rescinded. · This interpretation fully satisfies the concerns motivating this constitutional restriction, by removing any risk of self-dealing. · So long as Congress agrees to set the salary for the Secretary of State at levels set before the start of Senator Clinton's current term--which began on January 4, 2007--her appointment will satisfy the Constitution as it has long been interpreted and applied.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Jill, I honestly don't mind if Hillary takes the position. However, the law is pretty clearly written to prohibit her from doing so. There's no exception written in that says "unless you lower the pay again". I think this would require an amendment to the Constitution in order to be really valid. Unfortunately nobody cares if you violate the Constitution anymore, so I'm pretty sure she'll be appointed even without legal eligibility.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
With the Hillary situation, I do agree it poses a problem, but it has been dealt with before (they just don't get the increased salary). I think it is a hurdle that needs to be dealt with, because while I see the intent behind the regulation, I think that it bars too many qualified people from jobs of great importance. Do we REALLY want less qualified people filling spots on the Cabinet? It pretty much prevents any Representative or Senator from moving into cabinet positions, since I am sure they would raise the income on a regular basis because of inflation, etc.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I wish there was a separate post to discuss the legitimate questions about Hilary's eligibility. I guess it's more convenient to shove it in with the not-so-legitimate questions of Obama's citizenship.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"So even though the Hawaii has verified his birth certificates authenticity.. rumors abound. Even though he would have had to provide an authentic birth certificate to get a driver's license, passport, etc.. rumors abound. Even though he would have had a background check to be cleared security wise to be an Illinois Senator for 8 years.. rumors abound. Even though he would have had to clear an additional background check and provide valid documentation to be cleared for security as a United States Senator.. rumors abound. Even though he would have needed a background check and proper documentation to be cleared to travel to see the troops in Iraq.. rumors abound. Even though he was scrutinized by the Democratic and Republican parties while running for the office of President of the United States and probably investigated by the CIA through the Patriot Act.. no doubts arose or a single peep from peers when it would have caused the most damaged and removed him as a possible winning candidate... the rumors abound." WELL SAID! This is just to absurd for words, and it is sad to see normally intelligent people trying to justify a completely non-sensical argument.
zeze zeze 8 years
"Sorry, I couldn't get past the hate filled first 20 posts made by the same hateful offenders that always seem to be able to say whatever they want." I'm assuming number 20 is on that list? Well I disagree, 23% of TX does believe he is Muslim according to polls, so I don't see how making the connection that those same 23% who believe a rumor that was addressed a trillion times are likely to believe he other rumors (I saw some weird website for every single one of those along side the Muslim rumor) that have come up about him. How is that hate-filled? Let's kill the drama please.
liliblu liliblu 8 years
"The citizenship issue has been floating around all year and it's being pressed by the kind of people who voted twice for the most intellectually incurious president of the United States: people who didn't press the issue when that president couldn't prove he completed his National Guard service then sent thousands of American troops to two wars, people who didn't press the question of why we were going to war with Iraq despite the large number of official reports that said Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, people who didn't press the issue when it became clear that a CIA operative was outed by the White House for disagreeing with it, people who didn't press the issue of whether the thousands of prisoners we've taken worldwide actually are guilty of anything --but Obama's citizenship has then demanding answers." Steph :highfive:
beavis667 beavis667 8 years
"That is so freedom loving, caring, heartfelt, fair minded, balanced, live and let live liberal of you Steph. As usual." That reply was all that came up on the liberal talking points magic 8-ball that Steph uses in her witty retorts.
em1282 em1282 8 years
"BUT we are to believe that a teacher of Constitutional Law willingly entered a Presidential race knowing full well that he didn't qualify and has continued a cover up that started at the time of his birth and includes the state of Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, the United States Government, McCain, Clinton's, Bush and his entire family over the course of 47 years to try and dupe the citizen of the US and steal the Presidency so he can turn us into a socialist country, cause the fall of Israel and invite Osama Bin Laden and Bill ayres to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom while the good citizen are helpless since he took away all of your automatic AK-47's?" Word to your ENTIRE post, Ima, but to this paragraph in particular. Call me crazy, but I have enough faith in not only Obama, but also, um, America, to believe that this could never happen to an entire nation.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
"No one who ever voted for George W. Bush has any right to quote the Constitution to the rest of us." Wow...just wow.
sorrowja sorrowja 8 years
LMAO . . . If he's really hiding something then he should be president because he's a damn genius to slip through all the security clearance to become president. It's about time we got a smart president . . . wouldn't you agree? Oh and where was all this looking into talk when we were going to war? And when other really shady shit was going down?
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