No, the Supreme Court will not be kicking Clinton out of office

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case that Secretary Clinton is ineligible to be secretary of state due to a clause in the Constitution that says no member of Congress can be appointed to a government job if the salary for it was increased during that member’s current term (see Article I, ...

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case that Secretary Clinton is ineligible to be secretary of state due to a clause in the Constitution that says no member of Congress can be appointed to a government job if the salary for it was increased during that member's current term (see Article I, Section 6, Clause 2), as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

When Clinton was a senator, Congress increased the salary for the secretary of state to $191,300, but to allow her to accept the cabinet post Congress later decreased it to $186,600, the amount it was when she began her second Senate term. The AP article states that similar moves have been made previously to allow members of Congress from both parties to serve in the cabinet.

The case, Rodearmel v. Clinton, 09-797, was brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, on behalf of State Department employee David Rodearmel who says that working for Clinton violates the oath he took as a Foreign Service officer to "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution.

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case that Secretary Clinton is ineligible to be secretary of state due to a clause in the Constitution that says no member of Congress can be appointed to a government job if the salary for it was increased during that member’s current term (see Article I, Section 6, Clause 2), as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

When Clinton was a senator, Congress increased the salary for the secretary of state to $191,300, but to allow her to accept the cabinet post Congress later decreased it to $186,600, the amount it was when she began her second Senate term. The AP article states that similar moves have been made previously to allow members of Congress from both parties to serve in the cabinet.

The case, Rodearmel v. Clinton, 09-797, was brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, on behalf of State Department employee David Rodearmel who says that working for Clinton violates the oath he took as a Foreign Service officer to "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution.

I’m not a law expert, but it seems that the spirit of Clause 2 wasn’t violated. The salary was increased, but the increase was later rescinded, which prevented Clinton from benefiting from a pay increase she was able to vote on.

(In the photo above, Clinton is sworn in to her secretary-of-state post on Feb. 2, 2009, by Vice President Joe Biden, as husband Bill, daughter Chelsea, and mother Dorothy Rodham look on.)

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.