This section prevents either state or federal government, including ballot initiatives, from delegating these public functions to any private organization, corporation, or individual.
Please note, this doesn't prevent delegation to independent commissions, an option states have begun to explore.
But to safeguard accountability to the public and to consist with Section 9 the officers of any commission must be elected or appointed and its staff must be civil servants.
The Constitution doesn't delegate any right or power over governance outside of our representative government. These electoral functions are far too central to our system’s functioning to exempt from public accountability
(see Public vs Private Conduct, Ending Private, Partisan or Foreign Electoral Control, and Redistricting Without Gerrymandering).
Political parties have had growing involvement in the political process for a long time. This section doesn’t prevent any involvement, but partisanship has become a serious problem in government.
This amendment doesn’t address party involvement in government in general. It requires public control of these specific functions,
ending simple partisan abuses and complex collusive practices like parties’ “trading” years or races.
Accountability in the political process is a large subject, but it’s time we did the heavy lifting. We need it more every year, and it won’t correct itself. Each of these is appropriate for amendment because they involve fundamental principles of governance (see Making Elections Work).
• This page demonstrates that the Constitution implies and even expresses that public electoral functions must remain public.
• The Impartiality Clause works with Sections 1 and 3 to place reasonable limits on partisanship.
• Balancing Electoral Powers helps to keep state and federal electoral powers in balance.
• Preventing Voter Fraud and Foreign Nationals and Voting address the accountability of voters and local electoral officers.
Article I, Section 9:
"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no Person holding any Office of Profit 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."
Amendment XXVIII, (proposed), Section 2:
"[…] and impartially conducted elections, […]No private person or entity will conduct granting, apportionment, districting, or the holding, tallying, monitoring, or auditing of elections."
The governance conduct the Titles of Nobility clause prohibits is
creating another level of governance, a granted, privately-held right to govern.
No power in the Constitution can be transferred with a private transfer of property,
or be immune from accountability to the people.
The Public Elections clause restores and details this clause.
What does the Title of Nobility clause in Article I, Section 9 mean?
Interpreted narrowly, it might seem that only Dukes, Earls and so on would be prohibited.
But it's not a refutation of the concept of noble blood.
First, it addresses government grants rather than divine favor.
"Royal blood" had already been refuted here, in 1776.
Second, its corresponding clause forbids our government officers' accepting not just titles
but presents, money, or offices from foreign governments unless Congress okays it*.
Why aren't the paired clauses exactly the same?
Article IV, Section 4 defines our form of government as republican, not royalist,
and Articles I, II and III make clear that we don't use nobles but elected and appointed officers.
Then why have the first clause at all?
Because titles of nobility aren't just for show: titled nobles govern people.
The second clause prevents official or entangling involvement with foreign governments of all kinds,
not just monarchies; so its partner clause prevents official or entangling involvement with our government.
Privatized governance functions aren't representative,
the form of governance Article IV, Section 4 guarantees us.
Amendments IX and X don’t allow it either: it creates another unit and level of
governance rights and powers besides the individual, the people in the aggregate, the Constitution,
and state (states charter local governments), District of Columbia and United States government.
Property, including shares, can be sold or inherited.
Tying any governance function's rights and powers to it effectively grants a title of nobility to its owners by creating another kind of property, of government and of personhood.
Since no such unit or level would logically consist with many clauses
or relate to any ordained and established rights or powers in any coherent way,
it wouldn’t be feasible without rewriting the whole Constitution,
generally a sign of a bad idea.
There are already safeguards in the text to keep Presidents or members of Congress from accepting bribes (see McDonnell v USfor the fundamental ones).
Article I, section 6 prevents members of Congress from double-dipping – they can’t hold any other government office while serving. This safeguard is designed to keep them from granting money or powers to each other, or to accept it from state machines or private actors.
And in Article II, section 1, the Domestic Emoluments clause prevents Presidents specifically from profiting from any federal or state appropriation or contract. This existing safeguard is designed to keep privatization from being too tempting in the executive branch, and to keep Presidential candidates from accepting bribes from state machines or private actors.
Article II, section 1:
“…The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall be neither increased nor reduced during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them. […]”
The two safeguards above cover two forms of bribery: among government officers, or from private actors to government. This leaves the Titles of Nobility clause covering the other kind of bribery:
from government to private actors.
Except for judges,
appointments that outlast administrations have fixed terms,
keeping them subject to the electorate at one remove.
And because even Supreme Court Justices can be impeached for bad behavior,
no position is for life in the royalist sense.
But even though several clauses prohibit privatization of government functions in different ways,
it still happens.
We've tried to avoid Section 9 problems by using contracts.
But making decisions regarding granting, apportionment, districting
or the holding, tallying, monitoring or auditing of elections
is too much power over the electorate's role in the political process to be privately exercised.
Every clause in this amendment depends on public electoral functions remaining accountable to the people - and the people can't impeach or refuse to reelect private contractors.
We can't even break the contracts.
The Public Elections clause adds a focus for legislation and enforcement.
This is the only proposed solution as of 2016 that keeps our central electoral functions public.
Making the political process more accountable requires it (see Ending Private, Partisan or Foreign Control). It doesn't replace any clauses, however, or limit their action to electoral functions.
Amendment XXVIII, (proposed), Section 5:
“The United States will fund the direction of exercise of its offices.”
Section 5 works with this section by requiring that only the United States may guide official decisions,
not party or other private interest (see Disarming Corruption).
Section 1, which establishes Constitutional governance of campaigning, works with this section
by keeping certification and funding public
Article IV, Section 4 already vests the responsibility to monitor and audit in the United States.
Monitoring will probably be done by the Executive branch, which enforces the law,
but the General Accounting Office (GAO) of the United States, under the Legislative branch,
is likely to conduct the audits.
*(Although not the question at hand here, the current question of whether this list includes a President’s corporate profits isn’t very promising: the courts consider corporate profits shielded from personal liability by the very nature of corporate shares, and the list’s other terms – “present, office, or title” – are all things that are given directly to a person, not to a corporation to be subsequently divided among shareholders. The “noscitur a sociis” canon requires similarities in lists to be upheld.
This means we’d have to either amend the Constitution to add shared benefits or redefine corporations to end the personal liability shield. Since the corporate liability shield has been a legal and economic disaster, we’d vote for ending it.
The other problem is that the clause is being pushed as a means of impeachment when all it takes to overcome it is Congress' okay. Since both houses' majorities match the President's party, they'd just okay it. Because of this, this whole controversy seems phony.)