Skip to comments.Faithful John Boehner To Faithless Barack Obama: Checkmate? (interesting read)
Posted on 07/25/2014 7:45:17 AM PDT by cotton1706
House Speaker John Boehners proposed lawsuit against Barack Obama is causing a great deal of chatter in Washington. Political stunt, as Obama has called it? Or, maybe, checkmate, Obama?
There is a quiet gap in the U.S. Constitution. There is no explicit mechanism to discipline a president who fails to carry out his Constitutional duties. This gap sat there, barely noticed, for centuries. Barack Obama, apparently, noticed it. He is exploiting it. That exploitation is a serious departure from Constitutional principle whether or not one supports his policies, whether one is a progressive or conservative.
John Boehner now is mobilizing a Congressional lawsuit to put a stop to it. This is not about Obama doing his job. This is about Obama not doing his job and, indeed, deviating, flagrantly, from an explicit Constitutional duty.
Although the Supreme Court is loathe to arbitrate between the political branches, this is not that. This is about the president adhering to the Constitution. There are reasons to believe that the Supreme Court may see this president as in flagrant Constitutional dereliction.
The Constitution requires the president to take a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, before taking office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution sets forth, at Article One, section 3, a presidential obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Obama, manifestly, has not committed an impeachable offense.
What planet is this writing living on??
For the First time in US history you have a True Criminal as President
“It’s called Impeachment!”
Yes that’s true, but the impeachment is to charge an official with high crimes and misdemeanors and as with Clinton, these people are very slippery and they eliminate any paper trail.
And the courts are not involved at all in impeachment (other than the Chief Justice presiding in a trial if the president is charged, the Vice-President presides in all others).
The lawsuit, it seems to me, is an attempt to get both the legislative and the judicial to check the executive. We’ll see what happens.
You have to build a case for impeachment , sell it to the American people and then get their support.
The bar for impeachment has been set higher for this President and he is taking full advantage of the fact that he is relatively immune from impeachment.
The process has just started and out of the box 33%-45% of Americans are in favor of President Obama’s impeachment and removal from office.
The number will get higher as time goes on.
It’s possible to envision a world where, in the near term, over 50% are in favor of impeachment and removal from office and the Republicans have enough control of the Senate to actually pull it off.
And WHEN, not if, the lawsuit fails Obama will have standing to continue acting as king. Boehner will cave even more, if possible, and the Obamasteamroller will move in to high gear.
"High" in the legal and common parlance of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of "high crimes" signifies activity by or against those who have special duties acquired by taking an oath of office that are not shared with common persons. A high crime is one that can only be done by someone in a unique position of authority, which is political in character, who does things to circumvent justice. The phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" when used together was a common phrase at the time the U.S. Constitution was written and did not mean any stringent or difficult criteria for determining guilt. It meant the opposite. The phrase was historically used to cover a very broad range of crimes.
In the Washington Post reprinting of the Judiciary Committee's review of Impeachment in 1974, the review states, ""High Crimes and Misdemeanors" has traditionally been considered a "term of art", like such other constitutional phrases as "levying war" and "due process." The Supreme Court has held that such phrases must be construed, not according to modern usage, but according to what the framers meant when they adopted them. Chief Justice Marshall wrote of another such phrase:
"It is a technical term. It is used in a very old statute of that country whose language is our language, and whose laws form the substratum of our laws. It is scarcely conceivable that the term was not employed by the framers of our constitution in the sense which had been affixed to it by those from whom we borrowed it."
The constitutional convention adopted high crimes and misdemeanors with little discussion. Most of the framers knew the phrase well. Since 1386, the English parliament had used the term high crimes and misdemeanors to describe one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown. Officials accused of high crimes and misdemeanors were accused of offenses as varied as misappropriating government funds, appointing unfit subordinates, not prosecuting cases, not spending money allocated by Parliament, promoting themselves ahead of more deserving candidates, threatening a grand jury, disobeying an order from Parliament, arresting a man to keep him from running for Parliament, losing a ship by neglecting to moor it, helping suppress petitions to the King to call a Parliament, granting warrants without cause, and bribery. Some of these charges were crimes. Others were not. The one common denominator in all these accusations was that the official had somehow abused the power of his office and was unfit to serve.
As can be found in historical references of the period, the phrase in its original meaning is interpreted as "for whatever reason whatsoever". High indicates a type of very serious crime, and misdemeanors indicates crimes that are minor. Therefore this phrase covers all or any crime that abuses office. Benjamin Franklin asserted that the power of impeachment and removal was necessary for those times when the Executive "rendered himself obnoxious," and the Constitution should provide for the "regular punishment of the Executive when his conduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused." James Madison said, "...impeachment... was indispensable" to defend the community against "the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate." With a single executive, Madison argued, unlike a legislature whose collective nature provided security, "loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic."
"In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction"
Nothing about other branches not doing their duty.
With the Media support of Obama and their embargo on anything negative or damaging about Obama, including the suppression and outright ridiculing of serious scandals, how else are you going to get your out?
Grandstanding is your their only option. The media will fight back and carry Obama’s water as always, but they will have to report so that will at least get the word out
Both Judge Napolitano and Mark Levin, Constitutional Attorneys are skeptical of Boehner’s move.
They say that if this suit fails, it will give legitimacy to Obama’s misdeeds.
They say it could take years of adjudication and Obama could be long out of office before a decision.
They say that Obama has been packing the Federal Courts with leftist appointees.
They say that historically the courts have been unwilling to step between the President and Congress in situations like this.
AND, MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, they point out that the HOUSE is NOT “CONGRESS”. CONGRESS is the House PLUS the Senate - and, right now, we are SURE Harry Reid will not sign onto this.
I am very skeptical also of any expectations of significant action from an individual who has demonstrated historical inpetitude as an opposition leader, i.e. John Boehner.
Further, there are grounds for impeaching this monstrosity. Violation of the Bill of Rights - 1st, 2nd and 10th Amendments for starters AND TREASON. He has provided aid and comfort to the enemies of America.
If Boehner really wanted to do something significant, he’d move to IMPEACH ERIC HOLDER.
"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present"
What could be more clear than that?
Not so sure that's right.
Since no President has been successfully removed since 1789, I would say the bar is pretty high already.
That won’t happen. Assuming the ‘Rats circle their wagons and none of them jump ship, it would require 67 Republican Senators to remove Obama. No way that happens before his term expires.
I agree with you but the point of an impeachment is not to just merely put a black mark on a public official, but to remove them from office. And if the “charge” is frivolous and wouldn’t stand up to a senate trial, then it’s a waste of effort.
Obama has demonstrated himself to be a very tricky man, not responsible for anything, it’s always the other guy or some low level underling.
Actually, there was no such gap, since at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and even down to the present, there were and are two: impeachment and writs of mandamus. The Founders assumed implicitly the framework of the common law, and at common law, courts could compel government officials to carry out their legal duties with a writ of mandamus. Unfortunately the SCOTUS’s implementation of the Rules Enabling Act has abolished the ability of Federal District Courts to issue writs of mandamus, so a suit seeking one would have to apply directly to the SCOTUS — which I presume a suit by the House against the President would do.
“If Boehner really wanted to do something significant, hed move to IMPEACH ERIC HOLDER.”
THAT would be significant. But I think Holder’s leaving anyway and the House would then have no power to charge.
Technically you are correct, but I think it’s pretty certain that there would have been one President impeached and removed if he hadn’t resigned before the proceedings were conducted.
The story says there's a Gap in the Constitution, well, where? The Constitution is
explicitly clear on how to deal with POTUS when he breaks his oath.
In fact, the House can defund everything once his oath has been ignored and
all his powers can also be taken away.
So where in the hell is this Gap? The real Gap in between Boehner' ears
because he Also is not abiding by his sworn OATH of office!
So impeach Obama, then Biden gets sworn in. Will Biden also continue their master plan?
Ok, impeach that POS also. What's the Problem?
So sad that we have to wait for the poll numbers to percolate before we can act. Truly mob rule.
What's even sadder is that those poll numbers may never get high enough to push the policrooks into action. So then we can never stop a rogue President because the polls didn't justify it.
The key point left out of the article is what would happen if the Supreme Court ruled in Boehner’s favor.
What’s the remedy?
Unless the lawsuit involves a specific injury to Congress, apart from just failing to execute the laws faithfully, I don’t see a remedy, so Boehner will have to get specific.
For example, all of the unilateral changes to Obamacare could be the issue. Boehner would have to argue that Obama wasn’t executing the law properly, and that the law should become effective as written.
Presumably, the court could then order that all of Obama’s rewritings of the law were unconstitutional and must be voided.
Similarly, if Obama’s not implementing immigration law as written (and no doubt he’s not) and if that were made an issue, the court could rule that his implementations were not in the law and were therefore unconstitutionally authorized.
Boehner, contrary to what appears to be the majority opinion in here, is no dummy, and he knows both the politics, and how the system works, so I wouldn’t write off his effort as a waste of time just yet.
But the author of the article surely failed to get to the main point, which is what is to be the remedy if Boehner’s suit is successful in the Supreme Court.
The Constitution sets forth, at Article One, section 3, a presidential obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
What remedy from the court does Boehner seek? The court cannot do anything - even if it agrees.
So take your last point as an example. If the remedy were that the Supreme Court rules that Obama's soft amnesty of Dreamers, children, and others was unconstitutional and voided, thereby making them illegal again, would Boehner really want to do that? I thought he wanted the opposite.
So, you think Boehner wants the border overrun and Honduran children shipped directly here? Guess he shouldn’t make that a point in his lawsuit then, but I doubt that’s what he wants.
If we’re going to grant amnesty in any form, and we will because some form of amnesty will pass overwhelmingly in a GOP-controlled Congress next year, it needs to be done legally. That’s the point.
The question is whether or not a lawsuit brought directly to the Supreme Court, and upheld, can direct it to be done legally. Or do you just want to talk about amnesty?
I think anything he does will be used against him in the court of public opinion by ruthless Democrats.
Greg Gutfeld calls for Obama’s impeachment almost every night on Red Eye. The have a segment entitled IMproving PEACHes for MEN Today. And he often asks the panelists if the question at hand is reason to impeach Obama. It is great stuff. DVR Red Eye like I do. It is a good show.
You’re assuming that the lawsuit will address immigration. I was just citing that as an example. I doubt it will because it could blow back on the GOP for the reason you state.
Fortunately, he’s rewritten enough laws, particularly Obamacare, that there’s plenty of material to choose from.
That leaves Obama's rewriting of Obamacare, which is dicier because Congress wrote a lot of discretion of the Secretary into the law. Still, there is plenty there regarding employer and individual mandates being waived for some but not others, wholesale exemptions to politically connected groups, the federal subsidy, etc., to focus on there.
Then there is also the EPA regulatory abuses, shutting down coal and oil production, the IRS abuses, now the Patent office abusing the Redskins, and on and on.
Not entirely right.
The Senate can impose two penalties upon conviction. One, removal from office, is moot after a resignation. But the second, a lifetime disqualification from "any office of trust or profit under the united States" can be imposed on any one at any time.
I am warming to the lawsuit approach, where before I was as skeptical as Levin and Napolitano.
It is "out of the box" thinking for sure.
What if USSC considers the Congress the legitimately aggrieved party, and a President has to give an account as to the Constitutionality of his actions in every case?
The nub of the matter is not a matter of misuse of executive power. Its a matter of failing to carry out an unequivocal Constitutional directive. A Supreme Court refusal to give Congress standing for this this would say, by implication, that a president blatantly can ignore his Constitutional duty faithfully to carry out the laws. That implication would be certain to be exploited by future presidents of both parties. This is a subtle design flaw that only the Supreme Court can cure.
Might Congress some day be able to remove a President on a simple majority vote on the basis of dereliction of Constitutional duty and fidelity?
Now flip it around -- what's good for the goose, so to speak. What if the Executive Branch turns around and requires the same thing of Congress, and the Courts mandate that everything Congress does and spends money on must have it's basis found stated in Constitutional authority?
Before you know it, we're all reading the Constitution and it is a meaningful document once again.
I'm still not 100% on board and I think it needs a little noodling to make it practical as well as Constitutional, but imagine the possibilities for imposing Constitutional discipline on rogue government.
What are you saying makes sense, but I still have a lot of trouble trusting Boehner.
But the charges are not frivolous, are they. Boehner's law suit on the other hand is just silly.
Remember when the Republicans recaptured the House and promised that every spending bill must contain the Constitutional authority to justify it? Most freepers know more about the Constitution than their congressman, but they do not get invited to the same parties.