Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Congress must prove it's an equal branch of government

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message P. A. Triot

George W. Bush has thumbed his nose at congress once again by claiming executive privilege to prevent his aides from complying with a congressional subpoena.

Never mind that there is no provision in the U. S. Constitution for executive privilege.

Limited executive privilege has been recognized by the U. S. supreme court to extend only to actual conversations the president has had with aides and the advice those aides offered the president.

That's a far cry from Bush's sense of an executive privilege that covers any and all aspects of the aides' jobs-even those aides' conversations with officials of the Department of Justice.

The supreme court's ruling defined executive privilege in 1973 when congress took the matter to court in a quarrel with Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. It was that court ruling that eventually led to Nixon's resignation as president.

There is no reason now for congress to take Bush to court over the same matter. Both congress and the president know the limits the supreme court placed in executive privilege-that's settled law.

The Constitution provides for three co-equal branches of government: legislative (congress), executive (president) and judicial (courts).

John Marshall, the nation's fourth-and probably greatest- chief justice, had to prove the judicial branch was equal to the other two branches in the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), in which the supreme court invalidated a provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789. Thus, the judicial branch staked out it's power of judicial review of laws enacted and signed.

Now, 200 years after Marshall's move to prove the judicial branch is an equal branch of government, congress needs to offer its proof- simply act. It's truly past time for the impeachment process to proceed against Bush and his vice president.

Congress needn't go to the supreme court whimpering that the president is exceeding his authority and asking the court to do something.

Such a move could take months and months before the supremes decide, longer in fact than the impeachment process could unfold.

That Bush flashed the middle-finger salute at congress is no surprise. But it does amount to another count of abuse of authority and distain for the Constitution he has sworn to "preserve and protect."

Members of congress also swear or affirm to preserve and protect the Constitution (as do federal judges and supreme court justices). They need to prove that by taking the initiative.

Here are grounds for impeachment of the president and/or vice president:

 Ordering the attack of a sovereign state (Iraq) when that state posed no significant threat to the United States-an international war crime (Bush)

 Lying to congress (and the American people) about the presence of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear capabilities, in Iraq in order to gain support for an invasion of that country-a felony and an insult to America (Bush and Cheney)

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

P. A. Triot Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

P. A. Triot is the pen name of a retired journalist.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

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

Palin a liability; McCain's judgment fails

Neocon ideas, free-trade theory discredited

Examining Palin's qualifications, judgment not sexist

McCain's health an issue; answers demanded

Presidential campaign: issues or character

Norquist pledges likely to trigger GOP death knell

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend