Gifts, Offices, and Corruption
Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 107, p. 1, 2012
25 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 11, 2012
The American founders brought an original attitude towards offices and gifts which separated them from Europe. Gifts, which were part of European diplomatic culture, were recast as corrupt influences. And offices were viewed with fear of their corrupting power, given the examples of Europe. The "corner-stone" of the new Constitution, according to one delegate, was the provision designed to prevent lucrative offices from being sold and traded for political power. This Essay, a response to Seth Barrett Tillman's challenge to my previous writing on founding era anxiety about corruption, is a partial exploration of the scope of the clauses relating to gifts and office holding.
Keywords: corruption, gifts, offices, constitutional theory
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