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09/26/2016

Jonathan Adler on the Emoluments Clause and Hillary Clinton
Michael Ramsey

At Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler: Is the Emoluments Clause a problem for Hillary Clinton?

The issue is whether the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of gifts from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton served as secretary as state violated [the foreign emoluments clause] (assuming, of course, that gifts to the Foundation were, in some sense, also gifts to her). Additionally, it would seem, there would also be a question as to whether the Clinton Foundation could accept such gifts if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

...

The meaning and current application of the Emoluments Clause might not seem like much of an issue to you, but it is to two of my colleagues, Jonathan Entin and Erik Jensen [see here and here].

For background, Professor Adler also points to this exchange on the foreign emoluments clause at the National Constitution Center's Interactive Constitution, by  Seth Barrett Tillman and Zephyr Teachout.

Whether or not Clinton violated the clause (by having the Foundation accept the gifts), I'm surprised that people would think (as I guess some do) that such a violation would make her ineligible to the presidency.  The emoluments clause says nothing about the consequences of a violation, and the presidential eligibility clause says nothing about ineligibility due to prior violations of the Constitution.  The constitutional remedy for a violation would presumably be impeachment, if Congress chose to pursue it.