Fields of Study: American Politics; Political Theory
Peter is a first-generation student and CSU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science emphasizing in American Government, Law, and Policy & a minor in Legal Studies. He is also master’s candidate, focusing on American Government and Political Theory who successfully defended a professional paper in the Spring of 2018. He profoundly thanks his defense committee for their support and help in completing his work on “emoluments,” especially his advisors, Dr. Holly J. Boux & Dr. Courtenay W. Daum.
Titled: “A Critical Review on the Meaning of ‘Emoluments’ in the United States: From Latin Roots and the Privy Council, to Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump,” Peter’s paper deeply challenge U.S. District Court, Judge George B. Daniels’ legal opinion in CREW et al. v Trump (2017) as an analytically, incomplete legal review in determining what the original public meaning of “emolument(s)” was during the framing era in the United States. His findings closely align with U.S. District Court, Judge Peter J. Messitte’s recent ruling on the meaning of “emoluments” in the on-going proceedings in The District of Columbia & The State of Maryland v. Trump, concerning alleged violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses. Both Peter and Judge Messitte deeply review the etymology and history of the term from its Latin roots and use in English Common Law, to framing era meaning and beyond to come to their individual legal opinions.
While similar in tone and support for judicial review’s role in defining the term constitutionally, Peter’s tenor & scope depart from Judge Messitte’s by reviewing an often-overlooked historical document, the “Olive Branch Petition” (1775) and its use of the phrase “emoluments of victory and conquest” to more clearly define the term in the context of noble titles and hereditary advantage in colonial era America. In its entirety, Peter’s work is a call to action for the American People to recalibrate their understanding on the meaning of all three uses of “emolument” in the Constitution or to face continued challenges to the “keeping” of their Constitutional Republic.
Peter is continuing his research in his free time as he completes his final degree requirements. He is currently developing a research project that explores “emoluments” in the context of the advantages of incumbency and name-recognition in American’s electoral preferences. He is heavily relying on the teachings of Dr. Kyle L. Saunders as he forms a new research question on the topic. Aside from research, Peter is originally from the Western Slope of Colorado and enjoys long hikes to the top of “14ers” with his dog, Orwell and reviewing dystopian prose in the context of the history of political thought and democratic theory.