Sunday, February 22, 2009

Expelling Bee

Ah, Roland Burris. What happens next?

This is different from the debate on seating, with each house judging its own members, which is procedural. Barring a resignation by the egomaniacal freak, the matter falls under the same Article 1, Section 5, which rather unhelpfully provides that "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member."

The framers and commas, not so much. You know, the whole "well-regulated militia" thing? The question is, you can punish for "disorderly conduct," but is that operative with regard to expulsion? If so, what is disorderly conduct??

We have no predent to decide this. The Senate has not expelled a member since 1862, and every expulsion to date was because they were TRAITORS. One in the 18th century, and then that whole Confederacy thing.

[On that note, with apologies to my southern brethren--I still fervently believe that every senior political official of the so-called Confederacy should have been hanged as traitors, along with every commissioned officer in the so-called Confederate army. You do not make war on this nation lightly. I applaud Lincoln with his "malice toward none" approach, but if it had been me, malice all around! Treason should be painful.]

1 comment:

I'm Not Ned said...

Yeah, I was against the Senate seating him on grounds of a questionable appointment. They had that authority but now they are on different ground. They've accepted his credentials so it's impossible to revisit.

I doubt they will be able to promote a "disorderly behavior" charge. There will need to be debate on whether the behavior pertains to acts in Congress or reaches broader. I believe the rules of British Parliament, from which this draws, refers to "contempts or breaches of the privileges of the House." This gives the Senate little recourse with Burris.

The Senate didn't have the spine to deal with the Blago appointment appropriately when they should have so I doubt they will even consider their options now.

We are stuck with him.