Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seth Barrett Tillman: Paul Ryan Could Be a Congressman AND Vice President

Michael Ramsey posts at The Originalism Blog [slightly edited]
Seth Barrett Tillman emails:

It has been reported that [Rep. Paul] Ryan will appear on the ballot for both the VP spot and his current House seat.

You may remember that I argued circa 2008 that the Incompatibility Clause (U.S. Const. art. 1 s. 6 cl. 2) prevents a member of Congress only from holding an appointed or statutory office, not from holding an elected federal position (President or VP). In short, I argued that Senator Obama could -- should he win the 2008 presidential race -- keep his Senate seat.

The same principles would apply to Ryan -- in theory, he could sit in the House and be VP. My position led to two academic exchanges ... see below ...

Seth Barrett Tillman and Steven G. Calabresi, Debate, The Great Divorce: The Current Understanding of Separation of Powers and the Original Meaning of the Incompatibility Clause, 157 U. Pa. L. Rev. PENNumbra 134 (2008)

Seth Barrett Tillman, Why Our Next President May Keep His or Her Senate Seat: A Conjecture on the Constitution's Incompatibility Clause, 4 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol'y 107 (2009)

Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, Response, Why the Incompatibility Clause Applies to the Office of President, 4 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol'y 143 (2009)
Reactions include John J. Miller at The Corner, The Congressman Who Was Veep, and Michael Stern at Point of Order, Can the Chairman of the House Budget Committee Preside Over the Senate?