12 posts categorized "The Odd Clauses" Feed

By Jay Wexler

By all accounts, it would seem that when hearings begin this month on Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court, the American people will once again be subjected to a charade. Democratic Senators will ask probing questions of the nominee, seeking to understand his approach to constitutional interpretation, and Judge Gorsuch will decline to answer them, claiming that he cannot signal how he will vote in cases that might come before the Court. A couple of days will go by, and at the end, nobody will know anything more about the nominee than what they can already learn from his Wikipedia page. Read more →


By Jay Wexler

As someone who has written a book about the “odd clauses” of the Constitution, I always find it exciting when some weird and heretofore unnoticed clause starts grabbing some of the nation’s headlines. This time it’s the so-called Emoluments Clause of Article I, Section 9 (I think it should be called the “Presents Clause” but I’ll get to that), which prohibits anyone holding “any Office of Profit or Trust” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” The news media has been reporting for well over a month that Donald Trump’s extensive business network puts him in danger of violating this clause; and on Monday a group of extremely prominent legal experts filed suit in federal court claiming that Trump has already violated this constitutional provision. Read more →


Media Roundup: The 21st Amendment, Anita Hill Talks About Equality, and the Prayers of MLK

Today marks the 78th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. In honor of this historic date, read about the 21st Amendment in this freebie chapter from The Odd Clauses. Bonus: act out the Granholm v Heald play with your friends... Read more →


Michael Bronski was named one of the Out100 by Out Magazine. (Be sure to check out the full spread--some amazing photos!) Gender Outlaw Kate Bornstein, whose memoir will be published by Beacon Press in 2012, weighs in on a tricky... Read more →