GREENSPAN WARNED OF POTENTIAL VIOLATION
CONGRESS MUST CONSENT TO KNIGHTHOOD
By David M. Bresnahan
August 28, 2002
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is about to violate the U.S. Constitution by accepting an honorary knighthood.
Because Greenspan is not a citizen of the United Kingdom it will be an "honorary" knighthood and he will not be able to use the title "sir," but the knighthood still comes under Article I, Section 9 of the U.S Constitution.
"No person holding any office of profit or trust under [the United States], shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state."
Greenspan has been warned by the Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta-based constitutional public interest law firm, that he should "follow the letter and intent of the U.S. Constitution" before agreeing to accept an honorary knighthood from British Queen Elizabeth II.
"Mr. Greenspan, as the U.S. government's appointed head for fiscal and monetary policy, must seek the consent of Congress before receiving a British title," said Phil Kent, SLF president. "Our Founding Fathers were unequivocal when it comes to the matter of U.S. government officials receiving honors and titles from foreign powers - you just can't do it, without the express approval of Congress, which serves as a check against potential conflicts of interest."
Kent points out that former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, as well as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, received similar honorary knighthoods - after they left public office. "The rich history of British acknowledgment of American service to world freedom and prosperity should continue, but it must continue according to the U.S. Constitution, to which we owe our allegiance," said Kent.
There is no word from Greenspan on his plans.
© David M. Bresnahan - All Rights Reserved
David M. Bresnahan [email protected] is an award-winning independent investigative journalist. He maintains an archive of his work at http://www.InvestigativeJournal.com and offers a free e-mail alert so you will not miss any of his news stories or commentaries.