"Present ... from any ... Foreign State"

guayiya guayiya at bellsouth.net
Tue Oct 13 13:25:44 PDT 2009

The question aims at a potential conflict between the emoluments clause 
and the President's Art II powers.
Indeed, would a congressional resolution disapproving a presidential 
trip to receive the Peace Prize be interference with his conduct of 

Daniel Hoffman

Mark Tushnet wrote:

> This one seems easy to me:  The ambassador is the foreign state, 
> China, embodying its highest level sovereignty.  What, though, if the 
> ambassador just happens to be the vice-president's cousin and gives 
> her relative a birthday present?  I take it that that's the Marquis de 
> Lafayette question Seth Tillman raised, and I'd infer from 
> Washington's position there that the gift has to be made in (something 
> like) the donor's official capacity - which just gets us back to the 
> beginning of the thread.
> Mark Tushnet
> William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law
> 223 Areeda Hall
> Harvard Law School
> Cambridge, MA  02138
> ph:  617-496-4451 (office); 202-374-9571 (mobile); 617-496-4866 (fax)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu 
> [mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of guayiya
> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:34 PM
> To: Nelson Lund
> Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: "Present ... from any ... Foreign State"
> A new exam question:
> The President receives China's new ambassador.  The envoy offers to 
> the President a special digital watch.  In addition to its ordinary 
> functions, each day the watch displays a new message of a diplomatic 
> character.
> May the President accept the watch without congressional approval?  
> Must he inform Congress of the messages' content?
> Daniel Hoffman
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