Justice Dept. Seeks Dismissal Of Suit Over Secretary Of State Role

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Justice Department is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that argues Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot legally serve as secretary of state.

The suit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch is based on an obscure section of the Constitution called the emoluments clause. It says no member of Congress can be appointed to a government post if its pay was increased during the lawmaker's current term.

Clinton was a senator when the secretary of state's salary was raised to $191,300. Congress lowered the salary back to $186,600 so she could take the post.

The department says that remedy has been used so several other members of Congress from both parties could serve in the Cabinet, and it says the lawsuit has no merit.

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