My Morning Constitutional: Congress has approved the Titles of Nobility Amendment; Katy, bar the door!
Forget about the raging congressional debates about guns, sequestration and immigration. More momentous legislation is at hand, my friends. I'm talking about amending the Constitution. The following constitutional amendment has been approved by the United States Senate (by a four-to-one margin) and the House of Representatives (by an incredible thirty-to-one margin):
If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain, any title of nobility or ... accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States ...
And because this so-called “Titles of Nobility Amendment” (TONA) has been ratified by just shy of the required three-quarters of the states, it remains very much in play.* My first reaction is to wonder whether Queen Latifah, Elvis (you remember the King, right?), and perhaps even such minor royals as the Duke of Earl are at risk.
Suddenly, all that “Artist Formerly Known as Prince” silliness makes sense.
Of course, I'm not personally worried abut TONA, since I’ve never claimed to be noble (shut up) nor been employed by a foreign monarch or state. Yes, I feel pretty safe ... or at least I did before I looked up “emolument.” That concept includes “compensation.”
Nobleman or not, I almost had a spontaneous royal flush when I learned that. You see, I’ll soon be coming into a small fortune, or emolument – courtesy of a foreign power. It all started off quite innocently, really; I was just trying to help a friend out of a bind. But now, I’m starting to think it’s just not worth it – no matter how much cash I’m supposed to get, or how badly my assistance is needed.
Maybe it’s not too late; I sure hope that Nigerian prince hasn’t deposited the money into my bank account yet.
*TONA could become law this year, though Congress adopted it way back in 1810, and it’s been more than 200 years since a state last ratified it. So technically, it’s still in play.
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