Obama Cannot Accept Nobel Without Congressional Approval

Three members of Congress have written a letter to Barack Obama asking him to demonstrate his devotion to the Constitution by obtaining Congressional approval to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a letter to Obama delivered on Monday, Brown-Waite, R-Fla., along with Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, claim the president is obligated under the Constitution to obtain Congress’ approval before he formally accepts the prize.

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, the emolument clause, states: “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.” Topix

The three members claim that the Nobel Committee, which is elected by Norwegian Parliament, constitutes a group representing a foreign state.

Barack Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution (not that you could tell) so he should seek the approval of Congress in order to accept the Nobel. If he requests the approval he will certainly get it as there is no reason for the Congress to reject the request.

One can argue that Obama is not worthy of the prize but that is not for Congress to decide. The decision was that of the Nobel Committee and they awarded it to him.

It is up to Obama to request approval and it is up to Congress to grant it.

Obama swore to uphold the Constitution. Let’s see if he does.

Big Dog

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8 Responses to “Obama Cannot Accept Nobel Without Congressional Approval”

  1. Blake says:

    What do you bet he doesn’t request their approval- he hasn’t respected the Constitution yet, there’s no reason to think he would begin now.
    He has an over- bloated sense of self importance, is vain to an unhealthy narcissistic level, and he won’t think he needs to ask.

  2. Macker says:

    Hmmm…makes me wonder if TR and Woodrow Wilson asked for Congressional approval before they accepted their Nobel Peace Prizes.

    • Big Dog says:

      Roosevelt did not accept his until he was out of office in 1910.

      TR did not actually pick up the prize money (or the prize itself) until 1910, when he visited Europe after his African Safari. He did not feel right accepting the prize while he was in office. Source

      Wilson’s was accepted by someone else on his behalf due to his incapacitation. I imagine he would need approval since he was still in office but who knows. Maybe the Nobel committee was selected some other way back then.

  3. Darrel says:

    Washington Post Declare Gen. Schwarzkopf Illegally Knighted

    [Excerpt]

    “One problem: the hero of the first Gulf War, Gen. Normon Schwarzkopf, received an honorary Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth (which technically makes him a “Knight of the British Empire”) in May of 1991 while still on active duty. According to Rotunda and Pham’s argument, this violated all kinds of constitutional constraints, Emolument Clause notwithstanding. He retired at the end of August 1991, meaning the General was clearly a foreign agent for the British Empire for approximately 3 months, because how can you be a Knight and an American General at the same time? Where would his loyalty really be? Under this Op-Ed’s logic, Schwarzkopf’s retirement South should have sent him to the Naval Brig at Charleston, not the golf courses of Florida.

    Another government luminary who should have fallen victim to the Emolument Clause as the authors of the Op-Ed envision it? Alan Greenspan, who received his Honorary British Knighthood in 2002 while still serving as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. How could President George Bush sit there idly as the Chairman overseeing America’s treasury was more a servant of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth than the Commander-in-Chief of the United States? I’m shocked that the entirety of America’s money supply didn’t end up alongside the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. But apparently, there was concern in Conservative circles over the legality of Greenspan’s ascension in the British Empire. According to Newsmax, the Federal Reserve’s General Counsel cleared Greenspan under the Emolument Clause[..].

    Even Conservatives acquiesced that a Knighthood was not in violation of the Emolument Clause. I assume the same logic applies to a Nobel Prize.”

    Link.

    • Big Dog says:

      From the letter Greenspan’s attorney sent to the man who questioned the knighthood:

      From: Virgil Mattingly and Cary Williams

      Mr. Phillips has asked whether the proposed honorary knighthood for you would violate the Emoluments Clause of the U. S. Constitution. This clause provides that:

      [N]o person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall without the consent of Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or title, of any kind whatsoever, from any King, Prince or foreign state. (Emphasis added.)

      Congress gave its consent to the acceptance of certain gifts and decorations in the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (originally enacted in 1966). The Act provides as follows:

      The Congress consents to the accepting, retaining, and wearing by an employee of a decoration tendered in recognition of active field service in time of combat operations or awarded for other outstanding or unusually meritorious performance, subject to the approval of the employing agency of such employee.

      The Act defines “decoration” to include “an order, device, medal, badge, insignia, emblem or award.” The Department of Justice has ruled that an honorary knighthood is an “order” as permitted by the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act.

      Emphasis mine.

      The Nobel is different but Obama should just seek approval and it should be granted.

  4. Barbara says:

    If Obama was any kind of a man with humility, he would graciously decline the Peace Award. However, his ego is too big for that.

  5. Rosemary says:

    Good point. How you doing there, little doggie? Oops! Dig doggie. ;)

  6. Blake says:

    Somewhere there is a special helmet with Barry’s name on it- and a Residential short bus.