OPINION

Congress' unconstitutional pay freeze

Its failure to implement cost-of-living adjustments violates the 27th Amendment — introduced by James Madison in 1789 and ratified two centuries later.

, The National Law Journal

   | 2 Comments

Its failure to implement cost-of-living adjustments violates the 27th Amendment — introduced by James Madison in 1789 and ratified two centuries later.

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What's being said

  • George E. Lewis II

    This analysis presupposes that the provisions of the 1989 Ethics Reform Act creating the cost-of-living formula for congressional pay raises survived adoption of the 27th Amendment. I suggest that those provisions were invalidated by the adoption of the 27th Amendment in 1992. The proof of this proposition is that Congress could not lawfully have passed the automatic pay raises to take effect between elections after adoption of that amendment. Furthermore, Article I, Section 3 (election of senators by the respective legislatures) was overridden by the Seventeenth Amendment. If a provision of the Constitution can be made a nullity by an Amendment, then certainly an Act of Congress cannot survive a subsequent Amendment contrary to the Act. George E. Lewis II Attorney 203 North Gadsden Street, No. 6 Tallahassee, FL 32301-7633

  • NitPicker

    This analysis presupposes that the provisions of the 1989 Ethics Reform Act creating the cost-of-living formula for congressional pay raises survived adoption of the 27th Amendment. I suggest that those provisions were invalidated by the adoption of the 27th Amendment in 1992. The proof of this proposition is that Congress could not lawfully have passed the automatic pay raises to take effect between elections after adoption of that amendment. Furthermore, Article I, Section 3 (election of senators by the respective legislatures) was overridden by the Seventeenth Amendment. If a provision of the Constitution can be made a nullity by abd Amendment, then certainly an Act of Congress cannot survive a subsequent Amendment contrary to the the Act.

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