The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were once considered to be concrete documents (regardless of this belief that the documents were written to be living and evolving) that should frame politics and keep us from falling into the monarchy of England and the anarchy of the world at that time. Yet, time and time again we have seen that the Constitution has been re-interpreted and that loopholes have been found to appease a particular legislation, political movement, or politician. I am therefore not surprised that this election has had its share of Presidential nominees skidding around the edges of the stipulation for becoming President. And where most of these hopefuls have fallen by the wayside, there still remains one contender who is blatantly playing the “its all in how you interpret it” card for the constitution, Hillary Clinton.
What are the original stipulations for becoming President of the United States?
According to the constitution:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected.” (Article II Section One)
“Judgment in Case of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor. Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment according to the Law.” (Article I Section 3)
The blunt violation of the Constitution of the United States is that Hillary Clinton is married to an Impeached President. Even if the position of First Man is not one that holds any power (and it does), it is a place of honor. It is clearly stated that no one can have this position who has been impeached. Secondly, the terminology of the Constitution would guide the reader to believe that the office of President is intended for a man and not a woman. Granted in today’s times many people believe that there should be a level field for every single job and every single situation for both men and women. However, the constitution of the United States definitively states the masculine pronoun. It should not be interpreted as a general man (such as mankind). And while I am no advocate for women being subservient to a man and I have no problem with certain roles of government being held by a woman, if we are to hold up to what the Constitution reads then Hillary is not eligible.
The “What If…” Factor
We would like to believe that if Hillary is elected President and there is a catastrophic event that causes her to be unable to hold the office that the Constitution would be used and the Vice President would take the office. And where this may be true, it is also quite possible that Bill Clinton would try to get the appointment. As a former President of the United States he would seem to hold more sway and experience in running the country, especially if the country was in a state of emergency. I would state that this could not happen, but with the loose interpretation of the Constitution and the Amendments to it…well, it could.
Should we really be concerned at eligibility at this point?
With the Presidential race only 5 months to its conclusion, it would appear to be a bit late in the game for playing the eligibility card against Hillary Clinton. Plus, for Trump it would be a very stupid and damaging move. Could you imagine the backlash if he stated that technically a woman should not be President? He is already accused of being a woman hater and womanizer. This would just be the nail in the coffin. Additionally, a claim that Bill Clinton should not hold a place of honor could be seen as urging Hillary to divorce Bill which would do harm to Trumps campaign.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Constitution has been put upon the backburner once again. I seriously wonder what place it may have in our government in the future, especially as it relates to congress, the senate, and to future election processes. It appears to be a dying parchment, only pulled out as a weapon against those which wish to uphold it.