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Can Hillary Clinton make Bill Clinton her running mate if she gets the Democratic bid for President?

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2008-01-13 21:50:08
2008-01-13 21:50:08

Constituional scholars of all stripes have differing opinions on the question. The positions holding that former President Clinton cannot be nominated Vice President are fairly well known, however there are credible positions that believe the opposite to be true. There has been no declarative answer on this from the United States Supreme Court to date. The U.S. Constitution, it could be argued, only bars those "ineligible" to be elected President, to be Vice President. The Constitition specifically states that to be eligible, that you must be a U.S. citizen, 35 years old or older and a resident of the United States for 14 years or more to be eligible to be elected to the office of President. Bill Clinton fits all the constitutionally mandated criteria to be eligible to hold the office of President. Therefore one could argue that he could hold the office of Vice President and then assume the office of President not via an election, but in the unfortunate event the elected President could not fulfill his or her term of office for some reason. If one were a strict constructionist, then this argument would be very compelling as the 12th amendment explicitly uses the words "ineligible to the office " and what the criteria are that make you "ineligible to the office" are clearly outlined in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which outlines exactly what makes one "eligible to the office of President". In addition the 22nd amendment, that was designed to stop a repeat of three terms in a row, which FDR accomplished only bars a person from being ELECTED President three times not from becoming President three times. If Bill Clinton was to become President through some other means than an election, he would not be violating the text but possibly the spirit of the 22nd Amendment. Note that the 22nd Amendment does not mention anywhere, the position of Vice President. "The 22nd Amendment Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. ..." Of course, former President Clinton would not be able to run for re-election once the term in which he became President ran out. This is by no means a slam dunk argument, as with the majority of constitutional questions, there are arguments on both sides and if President Clinton ever did run for Vice President, or even be nominated or elected to a position that put him in the line ascension, no doubt legal challenges would be made to clarify this question constitutionally. Articles on this topic. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/19/AR2006101901572.html http://archives.CNN.com/2000/LAW/08/columns/fl.dorf.goreclinton.08.01/ http://www.slate.com/id/1006013/

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