HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Is Bill Clinton constitut...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:28 PM

Is Bill Clinton constitutionally eligible to be secretary of state?

Secretary Clinton II

Is Bill Clinton constitutionally eligible to be secretary of state?

By Brian Palmer|Posted Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 5:29 PM ET

Speculation about President Obama’s second-term Cabinet has begun. After Bill Clinton’s well-received performance at the Democratic National Convention and tireless campaigning, some sources are wondering whether he might be interested in serving as secretary of state. Is Bill Clinton constitutionally eligible for that office?

Probably. The 22nd Amendment renders Bill Clinton ineligible for election to a third term as president, but there’s nothing in U.S. law that would prevent him from serving as secretary of state. Although a minority of scholars believes that the spirit of the 22nd Amendment prohibits Clinton from serving anywhere in the presidential line of succession, it’s unlikely the Supreme Court would stand in his way.

If the president, vice president, speaker of the House, and president pro tempore of the Senate all became incapacitated, would Clinton then ascend to the presidency? That’s a more difficult question. The language of the 22nd Amendment prohibits “election” to a third term, and some legal scholars believe this means succession to a third term is perfectly constitutional. (This interpretation led some to suggest a Gore-Clinton ticket in the 2000 presidential election.) On the other hand, the Presidential Succession Act states that Cabinet members who are ineligible to serve as president—if they are too young, for example—should be skipped in the line of succession. It’s possible the Supreme Court would rule that Secretary Bill Clinton would be similarly ineligible, and the secretary of the treasury would become president.

There’s little legal precedent on this question because few presidents have returned to work in the federal government. William Howard Taft was appointed to the Supreme Court after leaving the White House, Andrew Johnson served in the Senate, and John Quincy Adams joined the House of Representatives. None of those offices is in the line of succession.

-30-

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/11/obama_cabinet_rumors_is_bill_clinton_eligible_to_serve_as_secretary_of_state.html

31 replies, 2399 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Bill Clinton constitutionally eligible to be secretary of state? (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
center rising Nov 2012 #1
dimbear Nov 2012 #2
krawhitham Nov 2012 #14
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #16
PoliticAverse Nov 2012 #13
Raine1967 Nov 2012 #24
dsc Nov 2012 #3
Marsala Nov 2012 #4
dsc Nov 2012 #6
RudynJack Nov 2012 #9
treestar Nov 2012 #21
Ter Nov 2012 #25
BlueDemKev Nov 2012 #5
Freddie Nov 2012 #7
BlueDemKev Nov 2012 #10
goclark Nov 2012 #26
Tx4obama Nov 2012 #8
ancianita Nov 2012 #11
cheezmaka Nov 2012 #12
goclark Nov 2012 #27
cheezmaka Nov 2012 #29
Indpndnt Nov 2012 #30
juajen Nov 2012 #15
davidpdx Nov 2012 #17
mojitojoe Nov 2012 #18
cire41 Nov 2012 #19
goclark Nov 2012 #31
treestar Nov 2012 #20
SteveG Nov 2012 #22
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #23
Iggo Nov 2012 #28

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:39 PM

1. i don't think Bill would want it

Anyway, look for John Kerry to get the job!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to center rising (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:45 PM

2. Kerry would do a fine job, but do you want to suffer thru another senate race in Mass?

Let's put in some of our other talent that won't give Scott Brown another go.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:30 PM

14. Yes he would, but Brown would most likey get his seat

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:32 AM

16. +1000 nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to center rising (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:24 PM

13. The latest rumor seems to be that Obama wants Susan Rice. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:32 AM

24. oooOOO

That's a rumor I like too!

I think John Kerry is the most qualified but I would hate to see MAss have to go thru another Special election. I am mixed about that.

The other person I thought was maybe Jim Webb -- he'll not going to be senator much longer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:49 PM

3. Of course he can

We have had at least two Secretaries of State that were ineligible for the Presidency (both Albright and Kissinger were foreign born). It is just plain stupid to think he wouldn't be able to serve. Now willing to serve is another matter, on that who knows.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:59 PM

4. Technically Bill could be vice president

Though it would violate the spirit of the 22nd Amendment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Marsala (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:04 PM

6. actually that is one where I think a case can be made he can't

The Constitution does say one has to be eligible to be President to be Vice President. He isn't really eligible to be President at this point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dsc (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:15 PM

9. He's eligible

He's older than 35, lived in the US at least 14 years, and is a natural-born citizen.

The 22nd amendment says "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice..."

If he were vice-president and ascended to the Presidency, he wouldn't have been elected to it. It's a loophole, for sure, and it will never be tested, but it's not clear-cut.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RudynJack (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:46 AM

21. Interesting thought

There's an issue there for sure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RudynJack (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:22 PM

25. You're probably right

 

But if Obama resigned and Clinton was his VP, this Supreme Court with a 5-4 decision would say he's ineligible, and Boener would be President.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:02 PM

5. Of course.

In fact, when Bill Clinton was elected 20 years ago, there was some speculation that he might appoint Jimmy Carter to be his Secretary of State.

However, I hope that Bill Clinton doesn't take accept any public position now or anytime in the future. This way he can maintain his role as an elder statesman and assist Democratic candidates come election time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:09 PM

7. Agreed, we need Bill stateside as a party spokesperson

As S of S, Hillary was unable to campaign or even appear at the convention.
I also like the idea of John Kerry as S of S and I truly think MA wouldn't be stupid again and put another Repug in the Senate to take his place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:19 PM

10. Heh-heh.

I'm hoping Congressman-Elect Joe Kennedy will run for the Senate when Kerry retires. Then we'll have a Kennedy in the Senate again!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:29 PM

26. Didn't Clinton have some major

HEALTH problems?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:12 PM

8. The schedule of SoS is too grueling, Bill has health issues so it wouldn't be a good job for him nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:21 PM

11. Maybe it will be Petraeus. Kerry needs to keep the seat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:23 PM

12. I don't think he'll take the job either...

I do suspect that Colin Powell is being considered!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cheezmaka (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:44 PM

27. I like that choice

He knows he was used big time ..he strongly
Supported Obama.

I'm African American and even though we are thrilled that Obama is president...it should not be ruled out that other A's are given high level positions in my opinion--our
turn out the votes were significant to the outcome
of the race.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to goclark (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:52 PM

29. Me too...

I'm African American too and I feel the same way. I'm very proud of most of them! I'm proud of "our turn out" as well that finally PUT THE NAIL IN ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN COFFIN!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to goclark (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:58 PM

30. Well, I'm not African American.

And I agree with both you and Cheezmaka.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 01:27 AM

15. No, we need for this remarkable man to rest. I can't imagine a world without him or Hillary.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:16 AM

17. I agree with most others that he probably wouldn't want it

He has his foundation and campaigns for candidates. That is more than enough I'm sure.

On the technical question, I disagree. I think he could serve, but would not be in the line of succession. Whomever is next in line would be in his place. Also keep in mind all this hinges on the president, vice-president, speaker of the house, and senate pro-temp all being taken out. How likely is that? .000000000000000000000000000000000000000001

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:18 AM

18. We have had people as Secretary of State who were unable to be President

Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright are two examples. If the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President Pro-Temp all died then succession would bypass the Secretary of State.

The question really is, why would Bill Clinton want it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:41 AM

19. Give it to Susan Rice, our fine UN ambassador

With all the Bush-era damage she has had to repair over the past four years, she deserves it more than anybody

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cire41 (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:34 AM

31. great choise!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:44 AM

20. I doubt it

Granted he would be in line to be President but they could skip over him to the next person and the scenario is doomsday and unlikely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:24 AM

22. There is no Constitutional problem

We have had two foreign born Sec. of States in recent history, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. Neither were constitutionally allowed to be President, so they were not in the line of succession when they served.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:28 AM

23. Whatever the President decides, I hope he doesn't select a sitting Democratic Party Senator....

....and risk the possibility of losing a Senate seat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:47 PM

28. Bill's a campaigner. The SOS is not a partisan post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread