Constitutional FAQ Answer #28 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #28

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Q28. “What exactly does the last amendment
regarding representatives and senators pay mean?”

A. It basically boils down to this: The members of the House and Senate may
give themselves a raise in pay if they want to, but it may not take effect
until after another election year. The intent is that if the people do not like
the raise that they have given themselves, they can use that as an issue in the
voting and decide that they don’t want their Representative or Senator in
office any longer. The amendment, unfortunately, has been severely limited
by the U.S. courts, because of a legal technicality called “standing.” No U.S.
tax payer, or group of tax payers, has standing to bring a 27th Amendment suit
over pay increases because no one tax payer is particularly harmed by such a
raise; nor can a member of Congress bring suit. A case was brought before
the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2001, but the Court refused to hear the

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010

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