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Disgusted, But Not Surprised

I think any American, no matter how they feel about health care, ought to be outraged by this tactic. Dave Kopel asks whether it’s even Constitutional.

10 Responses to “Disgusted, But Not Surprised”

  1. Makes me wonder if this is the time, and way, to revive the Thune Amendment.

  2. Scott says:

    This is admittedly strange, and it pertains to the house, but then again, the filibuster requiring a 60-40 vote in the senate to pass anything is also not in the constitution. And the republicans have lived by it, to the tune of a 140+ times in barely over a year.
    So if anyone is going to be “outraged by this tactic” regarding whether or not a procedure is in the constitution, be fucking consistent.
    If the republicans have no problem shutting everything down with 41 votes, then they (you?) are crying up the wrong tree here if 41-59 doesn’t bother them.

  3. Bruce says:

    Scott, please provide some evidence that the GOP members of the Senate have actually prevented the closure of debate on legislation brought to the floor of the Senate 140 times this year.

    I don’t recall debate having been started on 140 bills this year. Let’s see, the Senate took up Reid’s health care bribe fest (which they passed – no filibuster possible), the jobs bill (Brown voted for it – again, no filibuster,

    From which bodily orifice did you extract that number of 140?

  4. Treestump says:

    What I’m wondering.. is that if obama signs this obviously unconstitutional bill through these means.. is it an impeachable offense? For violating his oath to uphold
    and protect the constitution?

  5. Sebastian says:

    Generally speaking, violating an oath of office isn’t a crime, so no. It is probably not an impeachable offense. But there’s only been two impeachments in all of United States history, and no one has actually been removed from office after trial by the Senate. I’d say that the case law on this is wide open. It wouldn’t be a “high crimes and misdemeanors” type deal, but does that limit the impeachment power? I’d say it does, but can the removed President sue? None are questions we can really answer.

  6. Treestump says:

    I can understand that, but this is more of an active subversion, rather than an “accident’. Well if nothing else, it would explain why so many federal agencies are arming up….. They expect trouble, and a lot of it!

  7. Sebastian says:

    Oh, this is active subversion for sure. I’m doing a post currently on the constitutional issues.

  8. Xrlq says:

    Case law on grounds for impeachment is “wide open” in the sense that there has never been any and never will be. A few parts of the Constitution, impeachment included, are so closely tied to one specific branch of government that courts kick them as “political questions” or as otherwise “nonjusticiable,” both of which are Courtspeak for “we’re not touching this with a 100-foot pole.” So while it would indeed be unconstitutional to impeach and convict a President for acts that do not rise to the level of either “high crimes” or “high misdemeanors,” no court will ever second-guess Congress’s determination as to what a “high crime” or “high misdemeanor” is. If Congress wanted to impeach Obama for the “high misdemeanor” of “being a friggin’ douchebag,” they could. But they won’t and, IMO, shouldn’t.

    Impeaching a President for signing a bill that turns out to be unconstitutional strikes me as a HUGE stretch. Yes, it would make Presidents think twice before signing a law they knew was constitutionally vulnerable, but in so doing, they’d also remove the most straightforward means Congress and the President have for asking courts to reconsider precedents they think were decided incorrectly. A few years back, the Supremes came within one vote of ruling school choice unconstitutional. If its proponents had faced impeachment, they likely wouldn’t have dared to enact that reform in the first place. On the flip side, if every ruling against an unconstitutional statute spawned impeachment hearings, judges would think long and hard before striking down ANY law as unconstitutional. Bad, bad idea.

    Also, a little reality check is in order. Suppose we lived in a bizarro world where signing any law that turns out to be unconstitutional is an impeachable offense. Wouldn’t *voting* for that same bill be an impeachable offense, too, for the same reason? And if so, what are the odds that any Congress will impeach and convict a President for the impeachable “high misdemeanor” of signing their own bill into law?

  9. Treestump says:

    Its not the bill itself that i’m wondering about. Thats why we have courts. Its the process. If this bill is “deemed” passed, but not actually voted on, that clearly violates the constitution in the manner it was passed. This would apply to any legislation, not just this one. Its the process, not the content that has me curious. I can agree wholeheartedly that impeachment for signing law is a very very very slippery slope to go down.

  10. RC says:

    Generally speaking, violating an oath of office isn’t a crime, so no.

    We really ought to change that…

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