Barack Obama is the third president in the history of the United States to receive the Nobel Peace Prize – Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt won it before him.
Not only is Obama under fire for receiving the award when he is a wartime president and applying for the prize when he didn’t even have the chance to prove his peacefulness, but a constitutional scholar with The Heritage Foundation is concerned with the constitutionality of the president’s acceptance of the prize. Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states the following:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office or Trust under them, 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.
I would have to believe that the award is unconstitutional. But in an era when the constitution goes ignored I highly doubt that much will come of this. More importantly, if anyone in Congress had the courage to press the issue, could the president be impeached for the offense?
B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies director Matthew Spalding, says that since the award is technically property of the United States, the president has 60 days to return the award for proper disposal. No doubt anyone who tries to demand the president turn over the award would be branded an Obama-hater or racist.
Defending the choice of Obama Thorbjorn Jagland has said the prize should be an “instrument for peace rather than [a] stamp of approval.”
Unconfirmed reports says Obama plans to donate the 1.4 million associated with the prize to undisclosed charities.