The answer may be yes, depending on how you read a rather obscure part of the Constitution:
[S]pecifically, Article One, Section Six, also known as the emoluments clause. (“Emoluments” means things like salaries.) It says that no member of Congress, during the term for which he was elected, shall be named to any office “the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during his term.” This applies, we’re advised, whether the member actually voted on the raises or not.
In Clinton’s case, during her current term in the Senate, which began in January 2007, cabinet salaries were increased from $186,600 to $191,300.
Here’s the full text of the section in question:
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Apparently, there is a way around this, if Obama and Hillary want to follow in the footsteps of the one Republican President Democrats may despise more than George W. Bush:
That “fix” came in 1973, when President Nixon nominated Ohio Sen. William Saxbe (R) to be attorney general after the famed “Saturday Night Massacre” during the Watergate scandal. Saxbe was in the Senate in 1969 when the AG’s pay was raised.
Democrats in the past have inveighed against this sleight-of-hand. In the Saxbe case, 10 senators, all Democrats, voted against the ploy on constitutional grounds. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), the only one of them who remains in the Senate, said at the time that the Constitution was explicit and “we should not delude the American people into thinking a way can be found around the constitutional obstacle.”
Could it possibly be…….
“You know, Hillary, I really wanted you to be my Secretary of State, but the Constitution says I can’t have you. Sorry.”
H/T: Kip Esquire via Twitter
Further thoughts and analysis can be found here.