What is Emolument?
Emolument refers to the compensation, income or benefits earned from work or a certain position. It includes wages, fees and allowances. It can also refer to any additional advantage or profit from a job.
The term "emolument" originates from the Latin "emolumentum" with meanings related to profit and the process of grinding corn - perhaps indicative of payment for services. Emolument amounts may vary based on the nature and length of service. Although it's an old-fashioned term, it's still used in legal scenarios.
Origin of Emolument
The Emoluments Clause aims to prevent government officials from profiting from their positions in society.
The Foreign Emoluments Clause is designed to prevent foreign influence and corruption. It originated from the European tradition of gifting to foreign leaders. The prohibition of gift acceptance eliminates potential sway on the recipient.
The Domestic Emoluments Clause serves to maintain the President's independence and prevents salary manipulation as a form of influence.
The Ineligibility Emoluments Clause is meant to separate powers of governmental branches and to prevent Presidential influence over the legislature.