Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
2 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Bush Impeachment First Follow up - People go Rushing for a Copy of Jefferson's Manual

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)

opednews.com

When you scoop the rest of the press on an item like this, the story takes on a life of its own. I cannot possibly respond to all the emails I received on the subject (my apologies) and I have received threats, condemnations, congratulations, atta-boys as well as all sorts of questions about how this happened and whether or not something like this is appropriate or can 'fly'. It is to the latter that I will devote some time in this Op-Ed.

First, this action by the Illinois legislature and now that of California and Vermont caught a lot of people off guard. How can a state legislature do this? It seems so out of line to most people. But to Thomas Jefferson and the framers, it was right in line with their way of thinking about the power of a state legislature. Most people forget the important role that state legislatures play in selecting the President and how much additional power was initially given to state legislatures. Before Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution was modified by the seventeenth amendment in 1913, the state legislatures themselves selected the US Senators for each state. The people of each state had no direct right to vote for their senators. The people still have no direct vote for President. Article 2 section 1 of the Constitution says "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." The Twelfth amendment then goes on to describe how those electors go about their business to elect a President and Vice President.

Now that we see that it is not all that unusual for a state legislature to impact the office of the President, what might happen if one of these state legislatures votes to submit recommendations for impeachment to the House of Representatives? My guess is that the Speaker of the House would go running to the House Parliamentarian for guidance. The House Parliamentarian is not a member of congress per se but is an individual appointed by the Speaker of the House to guide the house on all issues regarding House Rules and Parliamentary procedure. This is one of the many places where this gets interesting. The current House Parliamentarian, John Sullivan, is fairly new, having been appointed only 11 months ago. The Previous House Parliamentarian, Charles Johnson, served over ten years and was widely regarded by members on both sides of the aisle as non partisan and an expert on the rules and procedures of the House. Mr. Sullivan is likely to be called on shortly to render one of the most important judgments on the rules of the House in the last 100 or so years. How will he make his decision? It is likely to be guided by a number of documents and precedents. Every two years, the new congress adopts a set of rules, this 109th congress being no different. The rules for this congress can be viewed at http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/109th.pdf . One will note that the Final Rule of this US House of Representatives, Rule Twenty Eight, General Provisions is as follows:
RULE XXVIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. The provisions of law that constituted the Rules of the House at the end of the previous Congress shall govern the House in all cases to which they are applicable, and the rules of parliamentary practice comprised by Jefferson 's Manual shall govern the House in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Rules and orders of the House.
Also of probable note to Mr. Sullivan will be "Parliamentary Reference Sources: House of Representatives" - by Thomas Carr, http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/rl30787.pdf Updated March 16, 2004 which has as its Summary:
House procedures are not based solely on the chamber 's rules. The foundations of House parliamentary procedure also include constitutional mandates, rules of parliamentary practice set forth in Jefferson 's Manual, published precedents, rulemaking statutes, committee rules, "memorandums of understanding" regarding committee jurisdiction, the rules of each party 's caucus or conference, and informal practices. Parliamentary reference sources provide information about how and when these foundations of House procedures govern different parliamentary situations.
----------------------------------
Where all of this will take Mr. Sullivan is anyone's guess, but I see nothing yet in the House Rules which would prevent a legislature's impeachment resolution from being accepted as a proposed bill in the House. Stay tuned for more articles from me on the Bush Impeachment situation as it progresses.

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Support the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

http://www.ibtimes.com/blog/steven-leser_103/bio/

A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

McCain Campaign Violated McCain-Feingold law with Palin Clothing Purchases

McCain attacked 18 year old Chelsea Clinton in 1998 now says Palin's family & kids are off limits

McCain says "Horseshit" on National TV During Debate

North Korea – Impending Missile Launch May Require US Military Action

Palin: Drill Baby Drill, but blame Obama for the Spill!

Palin to McCain - Oops I did it Again

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

But this administration's blatant disrespect for t... by Herb Wiser on Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 10:44:26 AM
Bush is an complete idiot.... by Gregory A Reece on Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 5:33:07 PM