Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obamas Nobel Prize is Constitutional

To follow up on my previous post, Obama's Nobel Is Unconstitutional?, constitutional law professor Jack Balkin writes And now the inevitable conservative argument that Obama's Nobel Prize is unconstitutional

"In short, Rotunda's and Pham's distinction between awards for past and future conduct makes little sense in practice, because foreign governments might often reward past behavior in order to influence future behavior. But their argument is wrong for another reason. The Emoluments Clause allows Congress to consent to awards from foreign governments. And Congress has consented to the acceptance of the award through the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, in which Congress consents to 'decorations' (i.e., awards like the Nobel Prize) 'when it appears that to refuse the gift would likely cause offense or embarrassment or otherwise adversely affect the foreign relations of the United States.' The money for such a gift is accepted on behalf of the United States."

He adds...

"This episode has led me to two conclusions. First, the Washington Post Op-Ed section does not appear to have a lawyer on hand to keep it from embarrassment. It does not take much research to discover that the argument in this piece is frivolous. But no research was done. Second, I have noticed an increasing lack of seriousness among some members of the modern conservative movement."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now you tell me!! I am already on my way to protest with a million other people in the Capital. Next thing your going to tell me is that he actually is a citizen.