Monday, May 01, 2006

season opener

even though vermonters were among the first townsfolk to set the state impeachment initiative in motion, they were quickly overtaken by illinois and california, whose resolutions beat theirs in the race to their respective state legislatures. (see my previous post "tremors".)

not to be outdone, some vermonters chose not to wait for their state representatives to weigh in on their resolutions, which were introduced last week.

this morning they delivered three resolutions to speaker of the house dennis hastert. they also secured a promise from their congressman bernie sanders to see that their resolutions would be duly introduced to the floor:

at 9:00 a.m. et this morning ellen tenney of rockingham, vermont, and julia dewalt of newfane, vt., presented to the staff of speaker of the house dennis hastert petitions from three towns in vermont (their own two towns plus marlboro) calling for the impeachment of president bush. the towns had each passed resolutions to send the petitions.

these are the first of many petitions from towns, cities, and possibly states across the nation that will be arriving at congress's door. they are presented under the guidelines of jefferson's manual, section 603, and will be referred to a house committee, probably the judiciary, for consideration.

similar resolutions have now been passed by at least 13 cities and towns, and have been introduced in three state legislatures, with more expected this week.

following delivery to hastert's office, tenney and dewalt visited congressman bernie sanders' office, and his staff promised to make sure the speaker's office followed through by sending the petitions to the clerk and to the house judiciary committee.


without a doubt the legitimacy of their municipal resolutions will be challenged. without a doubt they will be quietly tabled, as any initial attempts to move towards impeachment will be, legitimate or otherwise. but without a doubt more are scheduled follow.

so, as the first articles of any kind to reach the house, i officially declare impeachment season open!

let the games begin! it's going to be fun watching the republicans play impeachment whack-a-mole!

update:

thanks to commenter constant, it looks like any attempt to "quietly table" the resolutions will not be met without a fight:

the purpose of this isn't to fall into the trap of "waiting for" or "deferring to" "the committee."

rather, the resolutions must — as was done with [the 1903 impeachment proceedings against florida judge charles swayne]force the congress to vote on the matter.

remember what was done during swayne: the florida proclamation directed/asked the full house to vote on the proclamation, then it went to committee.

then — here's the key — despite the committee not agreeing over what happened with swayne — as is likely the case going to be with bush — the judiciary committee then had to provide the results to the full house for a second vote.

we have to figure out how to do the same: force the house to confront this, and not bury it in committee.


1 comment:

Constant said...

Yes, impeachment season has started!

Thanks for posting this. If I may there's one minor clarification, if the petitions/proclamations are tabled, there is always the Swayne Precedent that can force a House vote regardless what the Committee does or doesn't do.