Home > Causes and Culture > Constitutional strict constructionism: What a pain the a#&!

Constitutional strict constructionism: What a pain the a#&!

Appeal set to go to the United States Supreme Court on Hillary Clinton’s constitutional eligibility  to serve as Secretary of State.

Judicial Watch has announced on their website that they have filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in their lawsuit on behalf of Foreign Service Officer David C. Rodearmel, which challenges the constitutional eligibility of Hillary Clinton to serve as Secretary of State.

The original lawsuit was dismissed by the U.S. District Court in October 2009 after a three-judge panel ruled that Rodearmel did not have proper standing to bring the case. The appeal seeks a review of the ruling on standing and reasserts the original question concerning Hillary Clinton’s eligibility.

The original lawsuit was brought by Rodearmel because he maintained that  as a Foreign Service Officer and employee of the State Department, he would be violating the oath he took in 1991 to “support and defend” and “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution of the United States.

Rodearmel has asserted that Hillary Clinton’s appointment to the office of Secretary of State violates the “Ineligibility Clause” contained in Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution which strictly prohibits Senators and Representatives from  being appointed to any office in the Federal government that had its salary increased while they were serving in either House. The exact clause is:

Article I Section 6.

(clause 2)

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

The lawsuit reminds the Court that the salary of the U.S. Secretary of State was increased at least three times during Clinton’s most recent  term as U.S. Senator, which began January 4, 2007 and does not end until 2013. The Congress attempted to skirt the constitutional issue by passing what is known as a “Saxbe Fix” in December 2008, legislation that reduces the salary of the Secretary of State to the level it was at on January 1, 2007. The so-called “fix” has been done before, but the Supreme Court  has never clarified the issue.

Judicial Watch maintains that a “Saxbe Fix” is an insufficient remedy because the “Ineligibility Clause” is an absolute prohibition which is violated upon appointment, regardless of the enactment of a salary modification.

A discussion of the case is included in the video below:


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