A More Perfect Union: The Emoluments Clause

A More Perfect Union: The Emoluments Clause

Article By: Grant C. Rasak

2019 PEPP. L. REV. 103 (2020)

Dedicated to “We the People,” with Special Recognition to Professor Pushaw, James Wilson Endowed Professor of Law at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law.

America’s Framers crafted the Emoluments Clause to preserve institutional integrity, mitigate undue influences, and best serve the American People.  The Emoluments Clause influenced the course of the Constitutional Convention, as the Pennsylvania Delegation championed resolute reforms.  Benjamin Franklin, working alongside James Wilson, advocated for strengthening domestic and international practices by crafting the Emoluments Clause.  The Framers proposed a system of self-government which sought to establish public trust, mitigate corrupt practices, and promote institutional integrity.  The Pennsylvania Delegation summoned Wilson, under the tutelage of Franklin, to champion the Emoluments Clause.

Wilson proposed a new notion of national unity by placing profound confidence in the American people.  As the Framers established “a government of the people, by the people and for people,” Wilson’s advocacy for the Emoluments Clause renewed America’s purpose to promote public confidence in its institutions.  The Emoluments Clause shaped the historic preservation of America’s rich traditions and educational values.  Thus, Wilson’s words shaped the legacy of the Emoluments Clause and enriched America’s history.

Through the generations, America’s leaders have proudly stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honor America’s Heroes and the defense of America’s Constitution, because a grateful nation expresses its sincere gratitude for service above and beyond the call of duty.  The principles of the Emoluments Clause inspired the Pennsylvania Delegation to craft alliances among leaders in the rustic halls of Pennsylvania and to prominently place the Emoluments Clause in America’s Constitution. Thus, the Emoluments Clause significantly shaped the balance of power as America’s Constitution established a system of checks and balances for “We the People.”

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