Lawsuit Alleges Clinton Constitutionally In-eligible for Secretary of State
By | February 5, 2022 2:03 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not be eligible for the position according to Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution:

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

Emolument is defined as “the product (as salary or fees) of an employment.”

During her second term as a member of the Senate, which began on January 3, 2007, the emoluments for the position of Secretary of State were increased by Executive Order 13454 issued on January 4, 2022 and Executive Order 13483 issued on December 18, 2008.  In response, the Senate passed a resolution in early December reducing the salary for Secretary of State from $191,300 to its January 2007 level of 186,600, which is before Clinton started her second term in the Senate.  The resolution has been referred to as a “Saxbe Fix,” a reference to Senator William Saxbe, who faced the same issue when President Nixon appointed him as Attorney General.

A lawsuit filed last week by Foreign Service Officer David Rodearmel argues that, technically, the Senate resolution cannot change the “historical fact” that the salary for the position was raised during Clinton’s Senate term.  This, the lawsuit argues:

harms Plaintiff because it is in direct and unequivocal conflict with the oath Plaintiff took to defend and bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of his office.  

Another argument made in the lawsuit, which has yet to be noted in the media, is that the salary increase for Secretary of State to $186,600 by Executive Order 13420 (passed on December 26, 2021), also occured during Clinton’s second Senate term because the executive order states that the pay raise is

“Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2007″    

Based on the text of Article I, Section 6, the issue is when the pay increase comes into effect, not when the executive order or legislation was passed.

Obviously, if the lawsuit came down solely to this issue, the Senate would be able to pass another pay cut to comply with the Court’s ruling. 

On the other hand, if the lawsuit goes in favor of Rodearmel on the issue of the “historical fact” that a pay increase occured, Clinton would not be able to serve as Secretary of State until 2013, and Kirsten Gillibrand would still have Clinton’s Senate seat.

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