Judicial Watch targets Clinton as constitutionally ineligible
By Linda Bentley | February 11, 2009
Joint resolution called an ineffectual attempt to evade the restrictions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief on Jan. 29 on behalf of David Rodearmel against Hillary Rodham Clinton, contesting the constitutionality of her appointment to the office of U.S. Secretary of State.
Rodearmel has been a commissioned U.S. Foreign Service Officer employed by the U.S. Department of State since 1991. He is also a retired U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Reserve Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Prior to becoming a Foreign Service Officer, Rodearmel served as a military lawyer and intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He’s received numerous awards and commendations from both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. military; his degrees and credentials just continue on from there.
When he became a commissioned Foreign Service Officer in 1991, Rodearmel took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …”
He took that same oath when he became a military officer in 1977, has remained true to his oath throughout his career and says he intends to remain so through the duration of his employment as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.
Prior to Clinton becoming the U.S. Secretary of State on Jan. 21, 2009, she served as U.S. Senator from the state of New York. She was elected to her first six-year term in Nov. 2000 and was reelected in 2006 to a term that would not expire until January 2013.
During Clinton’s tenure in the Senate, the compensation paid to the U.S. Secretary of State increased several times and, according to the complaint, it was raised three times since Clinton began her second term in January 2007.
And, Article I, Section 6, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, “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.”
While Clinton is clearly ineligible to hold such civil office, Attorney Paul Orfanedes said the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution on Dec. 10, 2008, to become effective at noon on Jan. 20, 2009, reducing the “compensation and other emoluments” of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State to those in effect on Jan. 1, 2007, as “an ineffectual attempt to evade” the restrictions.
Orfanedes argues the joint resolution signed into law by President Bush cannot change the fact that the “compensation and emoluments” of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Clinton’s tenure in the U.S. Senate, including as many as three times during the second six-year term to which she was elected.
He asserts Clinton is ineligible to hold any civil office under the authority of the United States until the second six-year term to which she was elected expires in January 2013.
Rodearmel would be required to serve under, take direction from and report to Clinton, which he claims is in direct and unequivocal conflict with the oath he took to defend.
To continue in office under Clinton, Rodearmel would be required to violate his oath as a condition of continued employment.
Clinton’s appointment otherwise constructively discharges Rodearmel from his employment as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State if he is to remain faithful to his oath.