(Conference Paper: Loyola University of Chicago Law School, Fourth Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium Conference Paper)
My abstract was peer reviewed by Professor Michael J Zimmer (and colleagues) and selected in a competitive process.
The Constitution of 1787 uses a variety of language in regard to "office" and "officer."
It makes use of several variants on "office under the United States," and it also uses "officer of the United States," "office under the Authority of the United States," and, sometimes, just "officer" without any modifying terminology. Why did the Framers make these stylistic choices (if a choice it was)?
(And what was the Constitution referring to in Article VI's obscure "public trust under the United States" language?)
From time to time commentators have suggested answers. One such view was put forward in 1995 by Professors Akhil and Vikram Amar. They opined that each of these categories were indistinguishable: each category referred to Executive Branch and Judicial Branch officers, including the President (and, apparently, the Vice President).
I contest their atextual position.
If you are interested in the "officers" dispute, or if you just want to know where the bodies are buried...this paper is for you. "Six Puzzles for Professor Akhil Amar." Sometimes the title says all you really need to know.