Written by Tom Fitton
Judicial Watch continues to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of a Foreign Service Officer challenging Hillary Clinton's constitutional eligibility to serve as Secretary of State. On November 3rd, we filed a "Notice of Appeal" as a first step in asking the United States Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit, which we filed on behalf of U.S. Foreign Service Officer David Rodearmel on January 29, 2009.
The appeal became necessary when a special three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the lawsuit on October 29th on the grounds that Mr. Rodearmel lacked "standing" to bring the lawsuit. (Under applicable law, any appeal goes directly to the Supreme Court.) The panel, which reviewed the lawsuit on an expedited basis, did not issue any rulings on the constitutional merits of Judicial Watch's legal argument.
But according to Article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution (known as the "Ineligibility Clause"): "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."
This clause is an absolute prohibition and the Constitution does not allow for any exceptions. Now, it is a matter of fact, as noted in Judicial Watch's court filings, that "the 'compensation and other emoluments' of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. 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."
Therefore, according to the Constitution, Hillary Clinton cannot serve as Secretary of State. This should have been case closed, but then Congress got involved.
In an attempt to get around the "Ineligibility Clause," Congress voted to "roll back" compensation for the position of Secretary of State to the level in effect on January 1, 2007. However, as we've noted in our complaint, "This [fix] does not and cannot change the historical fact that the 'compensation and other emoluments' of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. Clinton's tenure in the U.S. Senate."
With respect to the issue of standing, you can read our court filing for the complete response. But, in a nutshell, Judicial Watch contends that Mr. Rodearmel "has demonstrated that he is being injured in his employment by being required to serve under, take direction from, and report to a constitutionally ineligible superior, Mrs. Clinton" and that he has "been placed in a position where he either must violate his oath of office or risk substantial, adverse consequences to his employment."
Mr. Rodearmel's goal here is nothing less than the vindication of the U.S. Constitution. The "Ineligibility Clause," may be seen by this administration as a nuisance, but it was designed by our Founding Fathers to protect against corruption, limit the size of government, and ensure the separation of powers among the three branches of government.
On far too many occasions, the "Ineligibility Clause" has been ignored in favor of political expediency. And President Obama may have set a record for constitutionally "ineligible" presidential appointments. In addition to Hillary Clinton, at least two other Obama appointees -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Army Secretary John McHugh -- are also ineligible to serve in their positions under the "Ineligibility Clause." We hope the Supreme Court assumes jurisdiction over this matter and puts a stop to these end-runs around the Constitution.
Judicial Watch Files FOIA Lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Daley's Office to Obtain Records Related to Olympics Bid
A few weeks ago, I told you Judicial Watch had initiated an investigation into President Obama's failed attempt to bring the Olympics to Chicago. (Click here to see my interview with Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck discussing the effort.) Our investigation focuses specifically on White House Senior Advisor and "Olympics Czar" Valerie Jarrett, who previously managed a number of slum projects in Chicago before joining the Obama administration (including a few involving convicted felon and former Obama campaign donor Antoin "Tony" Rezko.)
As you may recall, President Obama tapped Jarrett to lead the Olympics effort, despite her personal and business ties to Chicago and the fact she personally led the Olympics bid for Chicago before entering The White House. And in order to get around the obvious ethical concerns here, the Obama White House granted Jarrett one of their infamous conflict of interest "ethics waivers." (Other potentially conflicted White House officials with Chicago-ties include Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Advisor David Axelrod.)
Now our theory here is that the White House Olympics lobbying campaign may have been an attempt by the President and Jarrett to benefit (and enrich) their cronies in Chicago, including the Mayor of Chicago himself, Richard Daley. (Jarrett, in fact, used to work for Daley.) That's why we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Chicago mayor's office. And since Mayor Daley has failed to produce any documents, this week we filed a lawsuit.
Here's what we're after:
We filed this straight-forward request on September 5, 2009. The Mayor's office acknowledged receipt of the request on October 1 and granted itself an additional seven days for processing, but failed to abide by its self-imposed deadline. Following an administrative appeal by Judicial Watch, a response was due by November 3rd. However, to date, we haven't received any documents or even an explanation as to why these documents should be exempt from disclosure.
The Obama administration is downplaying the ethical issues involved with its Olympics bid, but there is no question in my mind that this is a scandal worth investigating. Why else would Obama's "Olympics Czar" need an "ethics waiver" to lead the campaign to bring the Olympics to Chicago? Mayor Daley's illegal refusal to release documents about the Olympics bid seems to be a rather transparent effort to protect President Obama and other key White House officials.
Ft. Hood Murders -- Political Correctness Kills
This week's Veterans Day celebrations took on a more somber tone in the wake of the massacre that took place at Fort Hood last Friday, when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded dozens of others in a shooting spree on the nation's largest military base.
Of course, it didn't take the press long to uncover what the government evidently knew all along - that Hasan was an Islamic extremist who had openly expressed anti-American views and had connections to terrorists.
According to The London Telegraph:
"Col Terry Lee, a retired officer who worked with [Hasan] at the military base in Texas, alleged Maj Hasan had angry confrontations with other officers over his views....
'He was making outlandish comments condemning our foreign policy and claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans,' Col Lee told Fox News.
'He said Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place.' He said that Maj Hasan said he was 'happy' when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June."
Bloomberg, meanwhile, reported that a doctor who attended graduate school with Hasan said the Muslim convert had called the war on terrorism "a war against Islam," and "used a presentation for an environmental health class to argue that Muslims were being targeted by the U.S. anti-terror campaign."
Well this week we learned that the FBI did, in fact, intercept emails between Hasan and an extremist imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a spiritual advisor to a number of the 9/11 hijackers. Anwar al-Awlaki, by the way, praised Hasan as a "hero" following the shootings last week. He is a most significant English proponent of jihadist terrorism and has been under investigation (if you want to call it that - as he was detained and then let go) by our government.
The FBI maintains that two Defense Department investigators had produced an assessment of Hasan after reviewing these emails and his Army personnel file, but chose not to further investigate Hasan because his email correspondence seemed to legitimately relate to a research paper. Case closed.
I realize hindsight is 20/20, but here we have a radical Muslim in the U.S. Army instigating angry confrontations with fellow soldiers about U.S. foreign policy, spewing anti-American rhetoric and communicating with a supporter of terrorism. And the FBI knew all about it. Hasan's fellow officers were concerned. Yet nothing was done to address the situation?
Here's my take. Hasan was spared the intense investigation he deserved because of politically-correct policies implemented by the federal government, including the FBI. After 9/11, the federal government instituted an effort to court so-called mainstream Muslim organizations in order to guard against charges of religious bigotry and racial profiling as it pursued its war on terrorism. This has created an environment where military and intelligence officials are afraid of calling attention to serious threats to national security for fear of offending Muslims.
In 2007, Judicial Watch produced a special report uncovering the deep connections between these so-called "mainstream" Muslim organizations (like the Council for American Islamic Relations) and Islamic terrorism. (Click here to take a look.)
Layered on top of this political correctness are the incomprehensible bureaucratic roadblocks to and fears of aggressive terrorist investigations. I thought communications issues between intelligence agencies, law enforcement and other government agencies were supposed to have been solved since 9/11. It looks otherwise and now over a dozen are dead and dozens more injured.
Who would have imagined after 9/11 that our government would sit still as a military officer communicated with jihadists connected to 9/11 and subverted our military because of his radical Islamic views.
To call this a scandal doesn't even begin to cover it. You can be sure that your Judicial Watch will continue to do its part to not only investigate what happened here, but to also push for a stronger defense of our nation from this murderous movement.
Until next week...