Sunday, February 08, 2009

Judicial Watch: They're Back...

Remember Larry Klayman and Judical Watch, back in those heady days when the only thing that mattered was Monica?

Allow me to refresh your memory, via Slate

It's Larry Klayman, the Clinton-hating, polymorphously litigious chairman and founder of Judicial Watch.

...At the moment, he has libel suits going against David Segal of the Washington Post and Harvey Berkman of the National Law Journal. He apparently feels victimized by Jewish journalists because (he wrote recently), "as a Jew with close ties to social as well as economic conservatives--and as a Jew who believes in Christ--I guess they perceive me as a threat to the liberal Jewish creed, a kosher Uncle Tom."

Taking a deposition from former Clinton aide Paul Begala, he pressed Begala for the name of his priest in La Porte, Texas. In another deposition, with former Clinton aide Harold Ickes, he made Ickes so mad that he threatened to piss on Klayman's rug. Klayman once sued his own mother. A character on NBC's West Wing named "Harry Klaypool," who heads a group called "Freedom Watch," is apparently based on Klayman.

According to a January 29 press release, Judicial Watch (now sans Mr. Klayman, who has left to found, has filed suit against Hillary Clinton, alleging the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause preculdes her from serving as Secretary of State. See Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit Challenging Hillary Clinton Appointment on Behalf of State Department Foreign Service Officer:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has 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., (D. 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.

Under the "Emoluments" or "Ineligibility" clause of the U.S. Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to a civilian position within the U.S. government if the "emoluments" of the position, such as the salary or benefits paid to whoever occupies the office, increased during the term for which the Senator or Representative was elected.

Specifically, article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution provides, "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 encreased during such time." The text of the provision is an absolute prohibition and does not allow for any exceptions.

According to Judicial Watch's lawsuit, the "emoluments" of the office of U.S. Secretary of State increased three times during Mrs. Clinton's most recent U.S. Senate term. That term, which began on January 4, 2007, does not expire until January 2013, regardless of Mrs. Clinton's recent resignation. The lawsuit notes that Congress attempted to evade this clear constitutional prohibition with a so-called "Saxbe fix" last month, reducing the Secretary of State's salary to the level in effect on January 1, 2007. This maneuver, first used in the Taft Administration, has been more frequently used in recent years by both parties, allowing notably Republican Senator William Saxbe to become U.S. Attorney General in 1973 and Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen to become Treasury Secretary in 1993. A similar "fix" has been enacted for Senator Ken Salazar to join the Obama Cabinet as Secretary of the Interior.

Well, that didn't take long...

- Garry J. Wise, Cancun

Update:  February 9, 2009

More on Mr. Klayman's plans "to give the Obama socialists hell in the next four years and his ongoing rift with Judicial Watch here 

- G.J.W.

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