THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF
"EMOLUMENTS" IN THE CONSTITUTION
Robert G. Natelson*
This Article explores the original meaning of the
word "Emolument(s)" in the Constitution. It identifies
four common definitions in founding-era political
discourse. It places the constitutional use within its
context as part of a larger reform movement in Britain
and America and as driven by other historical events.
The Article examines how the word was employed in
contemporaneous reform measures, in official
congressional and state documents, in the
constitutional debates, and in the constitutional text.
The author concludes that the three appearances of
"emoluments" in the Constitution had a common
meaning, which was "compensation with financial
value, received by reason of public employment."
Natelson, Robert G.
"The Original Meaning of "Emoluments" in the Constitution,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 52:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol52/iss1/4