Constant's pations

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Expanding Congressional Outposts To Check Executive Abuse

Think geographically. The US Attorneys, as an extension of the President's sole Article II executive power, are located in 90+ locations.

Each US Attorney has the power to gather evidence. They can go to court to get warrants to arrest and prosecute.

Why doesn't Congress have a matching system? I'm not talking Members of Congress' office, but outposts -- like the Federal Buildings where US Attorneys are located -- that fall under direct Congressional control, and have the power to conduct independent investigations. Unlike auditing, these would have the power to conduct Congressional legislative hearings, fully disclosed with open transcripts, and act like a court, but under the legislature.

We've got courts all over the place; and US Attorney and FBI offices everywhere.

Why not have a third forum for Congress -- at the local level -- to publicly, simultaneously conduct reviews of these many Federal Activities?

Prosecutions do not hapen one at a time around the country. No reason Congressional committees should only have one hearing at a time in the District of Columbia. Let's get these Congressional hearings started across the country and give the President multiple forums to worry about at the same time. He won't be able to keep up with things, just like We the People have been forced to "not keep up" with his abuse of power.

Change means creating new Congressional outposts to verify the President is changing, not doing more fo what inspires the conclusions is is engaged in illegal rebellion and war crimes.

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Congress can issue a subpoena, but if the Executive does not agree to cooperate, then we go to lengthy court reviews.

Fine, until the DOJ Cooperates with the subpoena, the Congress is not required to cooperate with DOJ: No money.

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There could be a parallel system -- outside the US Attorney's office -- where by the Congress independently conducted fact finding, and use the legal process to compel the DOJ to cooperate, especially on legal issues.

GAO audits are not the only option.

The issue before us is the US Attorney abuse of power; non-cooperation with the Constitution; and the refusal of the DoJ AG to turn over evidence.

There should be a system in place where Congress can go directly to the source of the information and find out the facts. Each act of a DoJ Staffer is subject to rules which Congress can defined.

The President could be stripped of authority to make rules for DOJ; and Congress could control that rule-making authority.

Instead of letting the US Attorneys hae their own outposts, the Congress could have their outposts: Each operating as a sub-tenant of Congress, with the full subpoena powers to engage in discovery into illegal Presidential activity; and fact finding to review illegal Presidential crimes.

Now, private citizens and people who want to openly provide information to Congress can do so. Yet, the President has the power to prosecute.

There' nothing ttha says Congress cannot create a similar system as the US Attorneys have; but that reports only to Congress.

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Rather than let all administrators have only reporting to the President, what if within each division there were physically three branches of government who have to agree.

Instead of having a single administrator, inject into the leadership a Representative of the Judicial and Legislative Branches. They must agree that the proposed plans are lawful, Constitutional, and consistent with the Rule of Law and laws of war.

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The problem appears that the President's number of employees -- responding only to Executive authority, but ignoring the other two branches -- isn't' the issue. It's the horizontal roadblocks to injecting legislative and judicial power into the Executive.

If the President says his bureaucracy cannot be intruded; then Congress may create another bureaucracy that is exclusively legislative: With the ability to engage in fact finding, monitoring, and oversight.

Either the US Government -- across all departments -- lets the three branches of government have more visibility on equal footing -- or the Congress needs to have an inpedendent system to intercept, audit, and monitoring the President's ongoing discussions, plans, and enforcement actions.

Can't have it both ways: Expansive power without review; but an assertion the Congress cannot review that power.

If we accept that the President shall have broad power; then Congress has broad power to review that power. Cannot assent to expansive Executive Power, but a reversal of Legislative.

Power is not a zero-sum-game where the Executive Power takes power away from Congress. No, there are no new powers. Rather, the Executive volume, degree, and diversity of power needs to be matched by similar volume, degree, and diversity of legislative power.

Matching principle needs to apply. This needs to include the Judicial Branch.

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I'd like to see a more obvious link between Article I Section 8 powers, and specific things that Are done in these Congressional outposts.

Let's get the "Raise and support" power under Congress by transferring all raising and supporting functions from the President to Congress.

Arguably, because the President "controls" the function of contracting, he has the incorrect perception that his "new power" which he alone controls. No, Congress has this power.

State militias need to have a direct reporting commander -- in times of peace -- to the Congressional leadership, not the President.

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Move Customs and IRS to Congress: Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Move the Federal reserve to Congress: To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

Move Commerce Department to Congress: To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

Move all INS rule making to the Congress: To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Move the US Mint to Congress: To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

Move US Attorneys who focus on securities and counterfeiting to the Congress: To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

Move the Postal System and all communications systems to the Congress: To establish post offices and post roads;

Move the patent office to Congress: To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To make rules how Congress alone will define whether to agree or not agree with the President's efforts to ram into the Judaical system incompetent legal counsel who have committed war crimes [Bybee]: To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

Prosecute cases where US Attorneys, DOJS taff counsel, and White House counsel -- in violation of Geneva -- make rules permitting illegal abuse in vioiation of Geneva: To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

Shut down funding for anything the President does to redine illegal conduct as permissible in re laws of war and prisoner detentions: To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

Transfer all DOD contracting to Congress: To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

Transfer all depot repair andmaintannce from DOD to Congress: To provide and maintain a navy;

Transfer all DOD rule making offices in OSD to Congress: To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

Place the militias under Congressional control during all other times: To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

Transfer all training from DOD to the Congress: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Deny the President ot make rules at any forts at Guantanamo, and transfer all rule-making functions in re prisoner detention camps from DoD to Congress: To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

Pass all laws which shall enforce through any lawful means enforcement of the laws: To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

The last clause allows Congress to make rules applicable to officers who are overseeing Guantanamo. Congress gives money, and attached with that is the legal and judicial power of oversight and regulation. If the President does not assent to Congressional rule making or judicial power, it is illegal for Congress to provide funding to that activity.

Time to get Congress prosecuted if they refuse to transfer functions from DoD that this President has abused in secret.