The United States is a country of laws and regulations that are designed to keep us all in line with the Constitution.
If you want to browse through all of the hundreds of such laws and regulations, you go to something called The U.S. Code.
If you go to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, you will find some very interesting information about nepotism. In Section 3110 of Title 5, you can read this:
b) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.
In laymen’s terms, this means that if you work for the government and you’re in charge of a particular agency, or you have jurisdiction over that agency, you can’t hire a relative.
But President-elect Trump just said that he is hiring his son-in-law to serve as one of his top advisors.
H’m. Perhaps we should look more closely at section 3110 of Title 5.
((a) For the purpose of this section—
(1) “agency” means—
(A) an Executive agency;
(B) an office, agency, or other establishment in the legislative branch;
(C) an office, agency, or other establishment in the judicial branch; and
(D) the government of the District of Columbia;
Obviously, the President and those who advise him are in the Executive branch.
Maybe this part doesn’t mean Presidents? Mr. Trump keeps saying that the conflict of interest laws don’t apply to the President. Maybe the nepotism laws are the same.
But here is what the section says:
(2) “public official” means an officer (including the President and a Member of Congress), a member of the uniformed service, an employee and any other individual, in whom is vested the authority by law, rule, or regulation, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals, or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an agency
It clearly does include the President, and he does have the power to hire his advisors.
The next paragraph of section 3110 seems to seal the deal. It defines the word “relative” for purposes of the law.
3) “relative” means, with respect to a public official, an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
I’m not a lawyer, but this looks pretty damn clear to me.
Presidents can’t hire their sons-in-law without violating the U.S. Code of law.
Why isn’t this all over the news? CNN says that it will be a fine line, and will be a test of the nepotism laws. But I can’t see how Mr. Trump will be able to get around this one.
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