Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1 An Unconstitutional Nobel (Prize SNAFU Plus Tax Implication Goodness.) 
    An Unconstitutional Nobel

    By Ronald D. Rotunda and J. Peter Pham
    Friday, October 16, 2009

    People can, and undoubtedly will, argue for some time about whether President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile, though, there's a simpler and more immediate question: Does the Constitution allow him to accept the award?

    Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, the emolument clause, clearly stipulates: "And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State."

    The award of the peace prize to a sitting president is not unprecedented. But Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson received the honor for their past actions: Roosevelt's efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War, and Wilson's work in establishing the League of Nations. Obama's award is different. It is intended to affect future action. As a member of the Nobel Committee explained, the prize should encourage Obama to meet his goal of nuclear disarmament. It raises important legal questions for the second time in less than 10 months -- questions not discussed, much less adequately addressed anywhere else.

    The five-member Nobel commission is elected by the Storting, the parliament of Norway. Thus the award of the peace prize is made by a body representing the legislature of a sovereign foreign state. There is no doubt that the Nobel Peace Prize is an "emolument" ("gain from employment or position," according to Webster).

    An opinion of the U.S. attorney general advised, in 1902, that "a simple remembrance," even "if merely a photograph, falls under the inclusion of 'any present of any kind whatever.' " President Clinton's Office of Legal Counsel, in 1993, reaffirmed the 1902 opinion, and explained that the text of the clause does not limit "its application solely to foreign governments acting as sovereigns." This opinion went on to say that the emolument clause applies even when the foreign government acts through instrumentalities. Thus the Nobel Prize is an emolument, and a foreign one to boot.

    Second, the president has indicated that he will give the prize money to charity, but that does not solve his legal problem. Giving that $1.4 million to a charity could give him a deduction that would reduce his income taxes by $500,000 -- not a nominal amount. Moreover, the money is not his to give away. It belongs to the United States: A federal statute provides that if the president accepts a "tangible or intangible present" for more than a minimal value from any foreign government, the gift "shall become the property of the United States."

    This is at least the second time that Obama has run afoul of the emolument clause. On June 3, 2009, the day before he gave his speech in Cairo on relations with the Muslim world, he accepted (and even donned) the bejeweled Collar of the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, Saudi Arabia's highest honor, from the hands of King Abdullah. (President Bush was awarded the Order in January last year.)

    Aside from whether a president shows questionable judgment in accepting any preferment from the House of Saud named for its anti-Semitic modern founder, there is another issue: The Collar is clearly a chivalric "order" of the Saudi monarchy conferring a rank in that system of titled royalty and nobility. It is not a mere decoration or campaign ribbon. There does not seem to be any record of congressional permission asked for, much less granted, for the president to accept this bauble. Washington, Madison and Hamilton would have clearly understood that the Abdul Aziz Order falls under the same ban they had in mind for any public officials coveting awards made under the honors system of the British monarchy.
    Oops!

    WaPo
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Zoomie djones520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    10,078
    I missed the part where he Nobel Committee is a King, Prince, or Foreign State.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Senior Member KCornett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kal ee forn ya
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by djones520 View Post
    I missed the part where he Nobel Committee is a King, Prince, or Foreign State.

    Here...

    The five-member Nobel commission is elected by the Storting, the parliament of Norway. Thus the award of the peace prize is made by a body representing the legislature of a sovereign foreign state
    .
    "If you're going through Hell... Keep on going"-Rodney Atkins
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    12,600
    If he gives the money to an american charity that will benefit americans first, most people will be satisfied. I suggest something that is totally not partisan, like St. Jude's Hospital.

    It's not like he nominated himself for the award, or voted for himself to get it. I don't think he really did anything to deserve the prize (yet), but it was funny to watch heads explode on FNC over it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    S.E. Wisconson
    Posts
    9
    Our POTUS and his speech writers need to brush up on U.S. Constitutional Law.

    The framers of our Constitution and following Supreme Court interpreters placed guidelines within the Constitution to protect us from undue influence from foreign concerns--particularly including matters such as this.

    Past Presidents who received the same honor from Norway's tentacles were honored for past accomplishments.

    Not so in this case!!! I believe it is clearly an attempt by the appeasers of Norway to create 'some influence' upon the future actions of our POTUS to put us into a further state of military weakness. History tends to repeat itself--check our history for the years leading up to 1941.

    In addition--the 1.4 million dollars is not something the POTUS can decide what charity it is to be destined for. According to the U.S. Constitution, because this happened during his office of presidency, the 1.4 million dollars becomes the property of the U.S. Government {Sorry acorn or Planned Parenthood}.
    Last edited by Del Rio Roy; 10-16-2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: additions/corrections
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Power CUer
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    11,410
    Quote Originally Posted by Del Rio Roy View Post
    In addition--the 1.4 million dollars is not something the POTUS can decide what charity it goes to. The 1.4 million dollars becomes the property of the U.S. Government according to the U.S. Constitution {sorry Acorn or Planned Parenthood}.
    Cool. Then he can help pay for his own stimulus programs.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member GrumpyOldLady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    1,304
    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    If he gives the money to an american charity ....
    He has said notihng about doing this.
    I'm sure Michelle would have a hissy fit.
    She really loooooves those expensive french designer sneakers ya' know.
    If leftists didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Power CUer
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    11,410
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyOldLady View Post
    He has said notihng about doing this.
    I'm sure Michelle would have a hissy fit.
    She really loooooves those expensive french designer sneakers ya' know.
    The White House has said it for him.

    "Money to Charity

    White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama will donate the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.4 million) in prize money to charity. "


    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a13s9NAh4D2w
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    S.E. Wisconson
    Posts
    9
    It doesn't matter what the White House said as to what happens to the prize money. It simply is not their decision. Anything received as a gift or 'prize' by a while in office president--whether it's merely a simple photograph or 1.4 million dollars belongs to the U.S. Government {unless by consent of Congress}. If this happened after our POTUS was no longer president--that would be different. Then Michelle would have a say in the matter.
    Last edited by Del Rio Roy; 10-16-2009 at 04:18 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sonora, Texas
    Posts
    4,117
    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    If he gives the money to an american charity...
    I hear ACORN is short of money.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •