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If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Illinois Impeachment Proclamation: A State Bill Requiring Only A Simple Majority

This hopes to clarify some apparent confusion about what the State level impeachment efforts.

There is a difference between a bill -- calling for Congress to investigate the President, requiring 51% for approval -- and a state impeachment effort against a state official. The two are different creatures.

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Based on the lessons of Vermont, we’ve been tracking the excuses not to pass a state proclamation calling for impeachment.

We've discovered a new one. There appears to be some confusion about the Illinois bill calling for Congress to investigate.

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Background: What a State-led Impeachment Effort is

One of the provisions of the State Impeachment effort is to test whether the local citizens are serious about holding elected officials accountable.

The goal of this exercise is to assert the rule of law and protect the Constitution.

To achieve this goal, the people have to sit down with the rules, look at the process, and decide what they want to do. One task is to review the laws of the land and then proceed.

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Illinois Constitution

Let's consider the Illinois Constitution:
(c) No bill shall become a law without the concurrence
of a majority of the members elected to each house. Illinois

There's nothing in the Illinois Constitution about 2/3 vote required to pass a bill, rather a simple majority or 51%.

A bill calling for an investigation

The confusion is understandable. There's a difference between a State Proclamation and a State Impeachment. A State Proclamation is a bill -- requiring a simple majority -- while a State Impeachment effort -- directed at a State official in Illinois is different.

Notice the following language in the Illinois Constitution, which applies only to state impeachment efforts, not a proclamation or bill.

No person shall be convicted without the concurrence
of two-thirds of the Senators elected.[ Click ]

It is important to understand what is happening. Some may misunderstand what the State Proclamation is doing. The proclamation is a simple bill. It is not an impeachment.

Rather, the bill is simply an act of the State legislature. The actual impeachment would occur in the US Congress, completely separate from the State of Illinois.

Further, the Illinois Legislature is not proposing that the State of Illinois impeach the President; rather, what the bill is doing is asking the Congress to put this issue on the agenda for a debate, investigation, and -- if there is evidence -- starting an impeachment.

There is no language in the Illinois Constitution that binds the State Legislature to meet any impeachment-related threshold. Rather, this is a simple bill.

Whether Congress does or does not act on this bill is part of the important question. What the State Legislature of Illinois would do -- if the proclamation were passed -- would test to see if the US Congress at the Federal level will or will not rise above their party and assert their oaths under 5 USC 3331.

The important thing is that the American voters -- in all 50 states -- understand and digest what is happening. The issue isn't whether Illinois does or does not support the rule of law -- that is something for the voters of Illinois to observe; rather, the issue is whether the US Congress -- when given a valid state level proclamation calling for the US Congress to investigate then if warranted impeach -- rise above their party loyalty and say, "We must find facts to determine if there has been a crime."

On their own, Members of Congress have not done this. Rather, they've chose inaction. The States do not agree.

Jefferson's Manual and Section 603 of the House rules allow a State to submit a State Level proclamation to Congress calling for an investigation related to crimes by federal officials. There is clear precedent for this. This is not novel. This was done in 1903 against Judge Swayne. The State of Florida issued a proclamation, and the US Congress took a vote to investigate.

There are two important points from the Swayne Precedent:

  • 1. The Congress voted without consulting the House Judiciary Committee to order an investigation;

  • 2. After the investigation, despite no agreement in the Judiciary Committee on what happened, the House Judiciary Committee returned a report and the Congress voted a second time, this time to impeach.

    The point is that despite one party controlling Congress, a state proclamation can direct an RNC-controlled Congress to vote on whether to investigate; then whether there is or is not sufficient basis to charge the President with a crime.

    Some suggest that this will never happen because the RNC controls the Congress. That may be true. The issue is whether the RNC rises above their party loyalty, and asserts their oath per 5 USC 3331. Also, the other issue is whether the RNC follows the House rules and votes on this proclamation. Under the House rules a state proclamation is privileged meaning that all other House business stops, and the House has to vote on the matter.

    The House may choose to do nothing. That is acceptable. The point isn't what Congress does or doesn't do. The point is:

  • A. The voters will -- before the 2006 election -- see what Congress does;

  • B. The voters will know whether the RNC controlled congress puts its loyalty to the RNC, or to the 5 USC 3331 requirements to assert their oath of office.

    Nobody is saying what the Congress has to do. Rather, the issue is that the voters will get to see whether the Congress that they have elected is serious about their job, or needs to be replaced.

    * * *

    Let's consider the Illinois Proclamation. It is merely another tool to trigger the US Congress to act.

    Again, the question is whether the elected officials are loyal to their oath or their party. Regardless what the US Congress does, the state-level voters -- ideally -- will discover this answer before the November 2006 election.

    In turn, based on what the US Congress does when voting -- either up or down on the request to investigate based on the Swayne precedent -- the voters will know (or should know) where the national leadership stands on the rule of law.


  • A. The Congress is serious about facing facts, making decisions based on facts, and asserting their 5 USC 3331 obligation to their oath and protect the Constitution; or

  • B. The Congress is not serious about their oath, not fit to be leaders, and should be replaced with those who are willing to assert the rule of law, make judgments based on facts, and ensure the US Constitution is protected.

    This is not about polls. This is about criminal law. It is not relevant that -- as measured by the polls -- the voters may agree to non-sense, be confused, or have supported illegal activity.

    If there is confusion, the way forward is to provide clarification. For the moment, the right answer is to put the polls aside, and focus simply on two things:

  • 1. What is going on -- the facts; and

  • 2. What is the law -- the standard of conduct.

    The way forward is to examine whether Americans are serious about facing the truth and examining reality based on the standards we have agreed to follow.

    America is based on the rule of law. The voters do not have the power to unilaterally agree to violate of the law. Rather, only the Courts may decide who has or has not violated the law.

    The core problem facing America is that Americans in the wake of 9-11 have thrown up their hands, run to the Executive, and ignored the separation of powers. This is why 9-11 was planned, and why this White House and Attorney General rely on 9-11 to assert more legal non-sense.

    The way forward is to focus on the facts, the law, and assert the rule of law over those who are abusing power and violating rights.

    * * *

    Case Study

    Let's consider a sample error. You'll notice there are some interesting links at the bottom of the the selection.

    Brandon Lee incorrectly reports that the Illinois Legislature requires 2/3 of a Senate vote to approve a proclamation:

    The chances of the resolution achieving a 2/3 majority in the senate as stipulated by the Illinois state Constitution are slim to nil considering the Dems hold a 31-28 majority, which is far less than 2/3.Ref

    This is not correct.

    To reiterate, there is a difference between:

  • A. A state proclamation calling for the US Congress to investigate and impeach the President -- this is a bill requiring only a simple majority, or 51%; and

  • B. A State-level impeachment/trial in Illinois directed against a state official, which is not a state proclamation.

    Read this section of the Illinois Constitution -- nobody can change the law or Illinois Constitution, nor dissuade others from asserting the law or their oath of office.

    That is illegal.

    It remains to be understood whether this is a deliberate effort to dissuade the State of Illinois from asserting their oaths of office, or a simple error.

    * * *

    There's another election after 2006, then the Senate may further tip away from the RNC, all but ensuring a lawful conviction/remval from office in the first weeks of January 2009 [ Two-thirds of the Senate are up in the air, 2006/2008: Click ] The Hague does not recognzie Presidential pardons as a defense or immunity to war crimes.

    * * *

    It's good news when people start talking about potential solutions.

    It's a problem when the Constitution of a State -- permitting a state proclamation calling for the Congress to investigate – gets misquoted, and a lawful proclamation asserting the rule of law gets shut down or ignored on the basis of incorrect information.

    If the country is going to assert the rule of law, you'll have to start pointing to the law. There's nothing here that says "2/3" is the same as a "majority of the members".

    Maybe someone can find another more credible reason why Illinois can't/won’t pass this state proclamation calling for impeachment. At this point, there’s every reason to believe that the proclamation could be passed. It remains to be understood what excuses Illinois uses to justify inaction. Hopefully Illinois will heed the lessons of Vermont.

    To date, the only defense this White House has is to throw sand in people's eyes. Where they can't justify their actions based on the law, they'll go to great lengths to create confusion to dissuade others from taking needed action.

    Take notes America, the RNC can only rely on non-sense and ignorance as their defense. With a nation like this -- willing to support absurdity, not the rule of law -- you should be concerned. This nation's Constitution and rule of law already exists and cannot be "taken away" by the masses that defy or remain ignorant of the law.

    Ignorance is not a credible foundation to assert the rule of law or protect the Constitution.

    The current “leadership” in DC relies on ignorance and creative twisting of the law to justify abusing power and violating rights.

    They have no legal foundation.

    They are criminals.

    They belong in jail.