Monday, February 2, 2009

Dragging Foggy Bottom to Court

On December 2 last year, Judicial Watch announced its opinion about Hillary’s eligibility to serve in a cabinet position: "There's no getting around the Constitution's Ineligibility Clause, so Hillary Clinton is prohibited from serving in the Cabinet until at least 2013, when her current term expires," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Barack Obama should select someone who is eligible for the position of Secretary of State and save the country from a constitutional battle over Hillary Clinton's confirmation. No public official who has taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution should support this appointment. And aside from the constitutional issue, Hillary Clinton's long track record of corruption makes her a terrible choice to serve as the nation's top diplomat."

On December 10, 110th Congress passed S.J. Res.46 “Ensuring that the compensation and other emoluments attached to the office of Secretary of State are those which were in effect on January 1, 2007.”

Judicial Watch, an organization which describes itself as “a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law,” has now filed a lawsuit against newly sworn-in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on behalf of U.S. Foreign Service Officer and State Department employee David C. Rodearmel, (Rodearmel v. Clinton, et al., (District of Columbia)). The lawsuit maintains that Mrs. Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as Secretary of State and that Mr. Rodearmel cannot be forced to serve under the former U.S. Senator, as it would violate the oath he took as a Foreign Service Officer in 1991 to "support and defend" and "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution of the United States.

Mr. Rodearmel, a Foreign Service Officer since 1991 currently holding an FS-02 rank explains:

“This is not a partisan, political or personal issue. I have faithfully served under six prior Secretaries of State of both parties, and under eight Presidents since first taking the oath to uphold the Constitution as a young Army officer cadet. During a prior assignment as State Department representative on the faculty of a U.S. service academy, we taught our cadets: “Officers serve the Nation for one and only one purpose: to support and defend the Constitution.” As a commissioned State Department Foreign Service Officer, a retired Army Reserve Judge Advocate Officer, and as a lawyer, I consider it my Constitutional duty to bring this case to the courts.”

Count I of the complaint includes item 22: "Plaintiff is suffering and will continue to suffer significant, irreparable harm by reason of Defendant Clinton's unconstitutional appointment and continuance in office as U.S. Secretary of State."

I should note that Judicial Watch reportedly filed no less than 18 lawsuits against the Clinton Administration and has its own Hillary Watch page. It has also been accused in the past of "abusing -- the use of civil lawsuits as a political weapon against the [past] administration." I wonder if the organization is going to take Interior's Ken Salazar to court, too? And Senator Gregg, if he becomes the newly minted Secretary of Commerce?

More info here on Judicial Watch. Wait - it looks like Judicial Watch has its very own lawsuits to deal with. Founder Larry Klayman (who reportedly sued his own mother) in a legal tussle with current JW president, Tom Fitton and others, now has a new purpose – "Saving Judicial Watch (Cleaning Up Corruption From Within My "Own" Organization)" and -- they slugged it out in courts in 2006. Apparently, that is still ongoing.


In any case, Rodearmel v. Clinton, et al. should soon land in a three judge panel's lap for expeditious disposition (S.J. Res.46). As to appeals, the SCOTUS will “accept jurisdiction over the appeal, advance the appeal on the docket, and expedite the appeal.” Should be done by President's Day, 'ya think?

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