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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/13/21

Expulsion - A Question of Constitutional Law

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Do Members of the House of Representatives up for expulsion vote in their own defense?

ARTICLE 1 SECTION 5 CLAUSE 2 US CONSTITUTION

This is the pertinent section pertaining to expulsion of members of Congress for behavior. This is where the 2/3rds vote of members is required to expel members for seditionist behavior. There seems to significant information on various Constitutional law sites about each Congress making up its own rules.

THE TEXT "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member."

A question for any Constitutional Law expert: When 32% of the House is involved in the SEDITIONIST CAUCUS - guilty by their own actions of trying to overthrow free and fair elections - a 2/3rds vote to expel becomes almost impossible- unless those members who are charged with actions prompting the expulsion proceeding are barred from voting in their own defense. So are members up for expulsion allowed to vote against their own expulsion? If only 68% of the membership is allowed to vote on the expulsion of one or all of the seditionist members it would require only 2/3rds of the remaining 296 members or 196 votes.

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Graduate of the Univ of TN in Public Administration, owner of Mountain Sound Inc and Seismic Systems. Longtime blogger on politics, genealogy, loudspeaker manufacture, and Tennessee.

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Barry Bozeman

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After visiting a half dozen Constitutional Law sites, I have not found a specific answer to the question I raise here. Do you have an opinion?

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 5:04:05 PM

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Rob Kall

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Comment by Rob Kall:

Very interesting question. If Pelosi calls for removing all the ones who voted to invalidate millions of voters ballots, thus feeding into the insurrection that happened, that would make it very doable.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 5:05:28 PM

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Barry Bozeman

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I wrote to Professor Peter Smith of George Washington Law school - citied in an article on Fact Check concerning impeachment.

This was his reply:

Mr. Bozeman,

Thanks for your question. I think the conventional understanding is that all members would have a vote. Even if they didn't, the Constitution requires a vote of two thirds, and usage in the Constitution suggests that this means two-thirds of the total number of Reps. (In other provisions, the Constitution refers to voting requirements of two-thirds of those "present," which is different.) As a consequence, even if those subject to expulsion don't vote, you'd still need 290 votes.

Best,

PJS

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 9:34:06 PM

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Jim-el Moore

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Those who would recuse themselves from the vote might be deemed honorable, and be exonerated.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 9:39:20 PM

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