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January 30, 2009

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Eli

As Don explained, the purpose of the restriction is to prevent politicians from creating a cushy job and then getting appointed to it. This isn't the case here for several reasons:
1. The pay increase was a minor one, intended only to match the increased cost of living.
2. It has already been removed, so there is no benefit to Ms. Clinton.
3. She and Bill are so wealthy that she would certainly take the job for free if necessary.
4. This suit has nothing to do with the financial corruption that the law intended to prevent. Rather, it's simply a desperate attempt to prevent her from being Secretary of State for reasons having no relationship to the law they're trying to invoke. If this were a criminal case involving a traffic stop leading to other charges, we'd call it a "pretext stop" and it would be thrown out by the court here in Washington State. Rodearmel isn't worried about what is good for the United States. It doesn't matter who Obama appointed to the job -- he'd still search for a way to oppose the nominee. He's only trying to hamstring the Obama administration in hopes that the President's administration will become as great a failure as that of Bush, regardless of the harm such a failure would cause to the country and to the rest of the world. He should be ashamed.

Nick

Judicial Watch is correct. The media knew about this months ago but Obama and the Senate still went ahead with the appointment despite the clear Constitutional prohibition. Hopefully this lawsuit will help teach the feds a lesson they have long forgotten: that the Constitution still matters.

Don Gallup

A small town, lets call it Rinkydink town, passes a law in 1912 that sets a speed limit at 15 mph. Being a small backward town, Rinkydink does not change this law over the years and suddenly finds itself in modern times, 2008. The sheriff, being the great defender of the law that he is, says that the law means what it says regardless of any other consideration, decides he is going to enforce the law and gives some auto driver a ticket for speeding at 25 mph. The case is heard in the local county court.
The problem:
The letter of the law is that it is illegal to drive over 15 mph. This is strongly defended by the the stalwart sheriff.
The judge decides that the intent of the law was to prevent horses from being killed by one of the three automobiles in the town of Rinkydink in 1912.
As there are no longer horses in Rinkydink and the speed limit of 15 is beyond comprehension in todays world, the judge rules in favor of the auto driver and against the Sheriff who slinks off swearing that the Judge is un-American, and that Rinydibk will soon fall apart if the law is not followed. Soon the Rinkydickers will be committing murder with no legal hinderance.
But the judge has decided that a purpose of law is to bring justice in a logical way, and that the auto driver clearly was not going to kill a horse, disregards the Sheriff's letter of the law tantrums.

Of course. the most logical way to have handled this problem was to change the law sometime between 1912 and 2008. But it also happens to be a fact that laws governing Rinkydink prevent the amendment such laws unless the signatures of 200 people are gathered. As the population of Rinkydink has never been over 199, it has been impossible to change the written law and Rinkydink must rely on other means of keeping up with times. These other means include legal interpretations that bypass the letter-of-the-law reading of laws that clearly have no relevance.
But the sheriff, in his zeal for the correct way, files a lawsuit which is thrown out as frivolous.

The intent of this analogy is NOT to make a comparison between Hillary and a horse but to construct an easy to understand restating of the meaning of letter and intent of laws.
To change Constitutional laws by amendment is a very difficult thing to do. So difficult, in fact, that laws such as the Constitutional claus referred to may never be changed. We will have to live with it despite the possibility that our interpretation was not the intent of the Founders. This, in fact, is how the Courts have operated over the past 200 years. Like it or not.

Patriotsthink

We are not promised justice, just the opportunity at justice.

James Madison's notes on the debates that formed the Constitution explain the reason for the clause. Madison himself argued against "the evils" of corrupt governments where legislators created salaried positions – or increased the salary of positions – and then secured appointments to the comfortable jobs they just created. Others agreed that such tactics were evident in Colonial and British government, and they wrote Article 1, Section 6 to prevent the practice.

What's needed is a constitutional amendment. Figure the odds.

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