Wednesday, August 26, 2015

If Her Server Is Illegal Her Candidacy Is, Too! Or Maybe Not. It's Complicated.

There have been some partisan suggestions to the effect that if Hillary Clinton's email server violated State Department rules or  federal law her eligibility to run for the Presidency would be damaged, perhaps beyond repair (although similar arguments seem to not be applied to the indicted Rick Perry). There's an argument to the contrary, and if you're the sort of person who likes legal argument this might interest you.

The power to judge members’ qualifications is expressly and unambiguously committed to each house of Congress, but no such express power is unambiguously committed to Congress in regard to adjudicating a president’s (or presidential candidate’s or president-elect’s) qualifications. It would seem to follow that if Congress has no power to add to the standing qualifications of its own members, it cannot add to the standing qualifications for the other elected constitutional positions,[10] i.e., the President and Vice President. Any other result risks congressional aggrandizement at the expense of the presidency; any other result risks Congress’s manipulating qualifications for the presidency so that Congress chooses the President, rather than the People of the United States.[11]


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