HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » How should the constituti...

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:00 PM

How should the constitution be fixed?

When this nightmare ends, the constitution should be amended to make sure this never happens again. But how?

Some needed amendments are obvious. The electoral college has to go. Partisan gerrymandering has to be abolished. Citizens United has to be overturned.

But I think additional amendments are needed:

1. The president's power to pardon should not be absolute. Presidents should not be able to pardon people whose crimes occurred during their administration, for example. I also think presidents should be barred from pardoning previous presidents. The "let's move forward" attitude has done real damage to the Republic.

2. There needs to be clarity on whether a sitting president can be indicted.

3. Presidents should also be unable to interfere with independent counsels.

thoughts?

68 replies, 1673 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 68 replies Author Time Post
Reply How should the constitution be fixed? (Original post)
cab67 Sep 2019 OP
cynatnite Sep 2019 #1
cab67 Sep 2019 #4
cynatnite Sep 2019 #12
DrToast Sep 2019 #2
maxsolomon Sep 2019 #6
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2019 #10
tinrobot Sep 2019 #38
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2019 #54
meadowlander Sep 2019 #67
cynatnite Sep 2019 #11
DrToast Sep 2019 #13
cynatnite Sep 2019 #16
DrToast Sep 2019 #18
cynatnite Sep 2019 #19
DrToast Sep 2019 #20
cynatnite Sep 2019 #21
DrToast Sep 2019 #23
cynatnite Sep 2019 #25
tinrobot Sep 2019 #39
Celerity Sep 2019 #22
cynatnite Sep 2019 #27
cab67 Sep 2019 #7
DrToast Sep 2019 #14
cynatnite Sep 2019 #17
TidalWave46 Sep 2019 #31
cab67 Sep 2019 #48
Cuthbert Allgood Sep 2019 #59
DrToast Sep 2019 #60
Cuthbert Allgood Sep 2019 #64
DrToast Sep 2019 #65
Mike Nelson Sep 2019 #3
cab67 Sep 2019 #5
marble falls Sep 2019 #8
qazplm135 Sep 2019 #9
Karadeniz Sep 2019 #15
MineralMan Sep 2019 #24
guillaumeb Sep 2019 #26
cab67 Sep 2019 #49
guillaumeb Sep 2019 #66
cos dem Sep 2019 #28
3catwoman3 Sep 2019 #41
cab67 Sep 2019 #50
Laura PourMeADrink Sep 2019 #29
elleng Sep 2019 #30
kurtcagle Sep 2019 #32
Polybius Sep 2019 #45
cab67 Sep 2019 #52
smb Sep 2019 #33
cab67 Sep 2019 #53
elocs Sep 2019 #34
customerserviceguy Sep 2019 #36
cab67 Sep 2019 #55
customerserviceguy Sep 2019 #35
cab67 Sep 2019 #56
GulfCoast66 Sep 2019 #37
Polybius Sep 2019 #43
GulfCoast66 Sep 2019 #47
tinrobot Sep 2019 #40
LiberalFighter Sep 2019 #42
Falcata Sep 2019 #44
Polybius Sep 2019 #46
LiberalFighter Sep 2019 #57
Polybius Sep 2019 #63
C_U_L8R Sep 2019 #51
NewJeffCT Sep 2019 #58
ecstatic Sep 2019 #61
lagomorph777 Sep 2019 #62
meadowlander Sep 2019 #68

Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:09 PM

1. "fixing" the constitution would require new amendments...

That's about as likely as tRump apologizing for anything.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:13 PM

4. I know the likelihood is low.

But I'd like to see an effort to promote them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:22 PM

12. The 2nd amendment is the only one I would fix...

fucking commas!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:11 PM

2. Eliminate the Senate and Electoral College

That would solve like 95% of the problems.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:14 PM

6. I wouldn't mind a Senate that is proportionally representative.

VT, MT, WY get 1 Senator, CA gets 10. that sort of proportion. break the stranglehold of the rural states on the Legislative Branch.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maxsolomon (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:19 PM

10. A proportional Senate defeats the entire point of the Senate.

And no, I don't think it should be eliminated entirely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:50 PM

38. But is the "point" of the Senate valid ?

I would argue that it is not.

It disenfranchises tens of millions of people because of how a few lines were drawn on a map.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tinrobot (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 12:27 AM

54. Ok. We simply disagree here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 08:19 PM

67. I think it's useful for checks and balances to have one body with longer terms than the other

and having to answer State-wide instead of just to individual districts.

I.e. have House members with two years terms who are elected by districts and then have Senators with six year terms but all the senators have to run state-wide in each state.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maxsolomon (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:21 PM

11. That's why we have a house of representatives...for proportional representation. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:25 PM

13. That just sounds completely illogical to me

The very existence of the Senate means we don’t have proportional representation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:28 PM

16. The house of representatives for proportional representation...

The senate for two per state.

What's illogical? The framers designed this for every voice to be heard. The senate for each state and the house for more individualized representation.

To do away with the senate goes against what the constitution stands for, IMO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:31 PM

18. The framers designed black people to be slaves

So I’m gonna need a better argument than “that’s what the framers wanted” before I approve of anything.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:34 PM

19. I gave you the argument. Here's something to clarify it better...

Congress is divided into two institutions: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The two houses of Congress have equal but unique roles in the federal government. While they share legislative responsibilities, each house also has special constitutional duties and powers.

To balance the interests of both the small and large states, the Framers of the Constitution divided the power of Congress between the two houses. Every state has an equal voice in the Senate, while representation in the House of Representatives is based on the size of each state’s population.

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/about-congress/two-bodies-one-branch

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #19)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:36 PM

20. I understand it's purpose perfectly well. That doesn't mean it's a good idea

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:37 PM

21. Doing away with it is a worse idea. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:39 PM

23. Agree to disagree!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:42 PM

25. Look at it this way...

The senate is being run like shit because of Moscow Mitch. It's a disgrace what he's done to that chamber. McConnell is the reason that a SCOTUS seat was stolen from Obama.

If it were ran properly, opinions would be far different.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:53 PM

39. If there was proportional representation, Mitch would never have happened.

The problem isn't Mitch, it is the disproportional system that put him in power.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cynatnite (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:38 PM

22. We do not have true proportional representation in the House either, we have a first-past-the-post

single member district system (the result being only 2 real parties.) If we had true proportional representation, there would be a multitude of smaller parties in our 'parliament' (ie. the House.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:43 PM

27. I understand, I didn't want to get that specific about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:14 PM

7. Why the Senate?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:25 PM

14. I can't think of a reason we need it.

All I see is harm that comes from it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #14)


Response to DrToast (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:46 PM

31. How does your idea happen without giving...

Florida and Texas ten Senators?

Asking very respectfully.

Cali and NY would also get a ton.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TidalWave46 (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:19 PM

48. I don't have an answer.

I can see merit in both sides. That’s why I asked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:04 AM

59. You clearly don't understand how a bicameral system works.

Add to that that is isn't just the two chambers. One can theoretically get turned over every two years. The other can only, at maximum, get 1/3 turned over every 2 years. So one is supposed to be responsive to the quick changes in society and the other is supposed to be more stable over time and less likely to change with trends. That's genius.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #59)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:13 AM

60. I understand it perfectly fine.

I just think it sucks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DrToast (Reply #60)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 10:56 AM

64. So please do tell why a unicameral system would be better.

And make sure you address the checks and balances issue, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cuthbert Allgood (Reply #64)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 11:40 AM

65. Simple

It would more closely reflect the will of the people. And you’d no longer have a chamber (the Senate) that effectively has veto power over the proportional representation of the other chamber.

I’m baffled that anyone can look at the current state of government and believe it’s working. It’s straight up founding father worship and it’s ridiculous. They weren’t gods. See: Slavery and 2nd Amendments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:13 PM

3. Those are changes...

... worth considering. I would like an ERA passage, but an even more inclusive one... something saying that people here must be treated fairly, with specific language about men/women, gay/straight, ethnic groups, religious beliefs...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mike Nelson (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:14 PM

5. I'd forgotten about the ERA.

And I thank you for reminding me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:15 PM

8. The only solution to gerrymandering is to start realizing how important your vote ...

is and how important who your state legislators are, reapportionment is constitutionally in the hands of state legislatures.

The Electoral College is to keep Texas, California and New York from electing your President in the face of the choice of everyone else.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:15 PM

9. the one real wish

is to go back in time and make it explicit that the Founders intended the Constitution to be a living document that grows and changes with the times. Not some "universal and timeless" document that covers all possible issues for all time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:28 PM

15. All three are good suggestions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:40 PM

24. Very, Very Carefully.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:43 PM

26. A better question might be, how can we fix the GOP?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to guillaumeb (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:21 PM

49. Can it be fixed?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Reply #49)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 08:15 PM

66. A good question.

The GOP needs the racist vote to hold the gerrymandered South.

The GOP needs to cater to the 1% at all costs.

So how do they change without losing their funding and a large portion of their base?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:44 PM

28. Some ideas...

1. Money is not speech
2. Corporations are not people
3. Gun regulations are not forbidden.
4. The idea of citizen militias is obsolete.
5. Electoral college is gone.
6. Presidents can be indicted.
7. Advice and consent means if you don't vote on someone's appointment, you have given implied consent.
8. Supreme court justices serve for 18 years, with staggered terms, that's it. Each president normally gets 2 appointments per term (other than extras required for retirements or death).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cos dem (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 09:23 PM

41. I like #7.

We would have Merrick Garland were that how Hingis were done.

I would add that no one legislator can block a bill or action he or she does not like. Too much power for one person to have.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cos dem (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:22 PM

50. I would give Supreme Court justices 12 years.

But term limits are a good idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:45 PM

29. Atty General must have 2/3 Maj to get confirmed. No more cronies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:46 PM

30. Several things I wouldn't mind changing,

but I have deep concern to opening the entire constitution to the hands of those 'others.'

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 07:51 PM

32. Reconstitute judiciary.

* Move attorney general and DOJ to the judicial branch.
* Senate and House must approve judicial appointments.
* Enlarge SCOTUS to 19 members.
* SCOTUS term limited to 12 years.
* Eliminate "acting" appointmen's in the executive department. Any position that remains in acting status for more than three months shall be considered as approved by Congress.
* Make SCOTUS a non-party affiliated elected position.
* Overturn Citizens United.
* Institute votes of no confidence, which would force a new election if house and,senate pass 60% threshold.
* Make pardon power subject to approval by Congress.

Most of these are not covered by the Constitution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kurtcagle (Reply #32)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:09 PM

45. "Senate and House must approve judicial appointments"

That would work pre-90's, but these days that would require the House, Senate, and President to all be from the same Party. It's too divisive now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kurtcagle (Reply #32)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:27 PM

52. I'm not sure I agree with the last one.

I follow the wrongful conviction news closely. State legislatures have shown remarkably little interest in righting past judicial wrongs.

I would rather limit the pardon to prevent conflicts of interest.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:23 PM

33. My List

1. Remove Electoral College
2. Base House representation on actual number of voters in previous decade's elections (penalizes vote suppression, rewards vote facilitation).
3. Time limit for Senate confirmation decisions -- failure to vote yea or nay within a reasonable period (120 days?) counts as "yea".
4. Mechanism for reining in pardon power (perhaps 2/3 vote to nullify a pardon).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to smb (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:30 PM

53. I like #2

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)


Response to elocs (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:42 PM

36. Well stated. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elocs (Reply #34)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 07:19 AM

55. I didn't say this was likely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:41 PM

35. There are only two ways to change the Constitution

The first one involves having a two-thirds majority in each side of Congress, followed by ratification of three-quarters of the states. Good luck getting anything through that path.

The other way is a Constitutional convention, which is allowed to consider ANYTHING, and has never been tried.

Not gonna happen. The only prevention for a future Trump is collective memory of the last one. That might last for fifty years or so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 07:21 AM

56. I thought the memory of Bush jr would have prevented Trump.

Took less than 50 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:49 PM

37. Scrap the whole thing except the amendments.

We need a 1000 seat Parliament with a prime minister. Sound like too many? Germany with less than a 3rd of our population has over 700.

Yeah, I know I’m dreaming. But I love dropping my hope on my conservative Acquaintances. Heads explode. Too many Americans see the constitution as holy, like the Bible. It was good for it’s time. No longer works.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #37)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:04 PM

43. That would require a ConCon

I like your ideas though!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Reply #43)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:19 PM

47. Oh, I know it will not happen in my lifetime.

Or my kids, if I had any.

But the question was how to change the constitution. I gave my answer.

Funny thing is, I’m generally considered a moderate on DU!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 08:54 PM

40. How about lifitng the limit of 435 members for the House?

No amendments required.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 10:41 PM

42. Simplist would be to ban Republicans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #42)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:07 PM

44. One party rule is a disaster waiting to happen...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #42)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:10 PM

46. Civil War II is not a good solution

That's exactly what banning Republicans would lead to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Polybius (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 08:47 AM

57. Republicans weren't banned back then.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #57)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 10:32 AM

63. A second Civil War can be completely different reasons than the first one

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:27 PM

51. Constitution's fine. Voters need fixing.

Truth and education is the Republican's enemy. Bring it on with lots of bright sunshine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:01 AM

58. My thoughts

1) Results of FBI background check is made public for President and VP, as well as a summary of health records.

2) Make it mandatory for candidates for federal office to disclose their past several years of tax returns. If the candidate has had any financial issues like bankruptcy, all documents related to the bankruptcy must be disclosed.

3) Presidents that override the FBI on security clearances must clearly document that it was on their authority and note WHY it was needed.

4) Citizens United must be overturned - all donors to political candidates & causes should be disclosed.

5) Mandatory that investments/businesses are placed in a blind trust. Fines and then mandatory seizure/selloff are ways to enforce.

6) Fines and mandatory divestment as a way to enforce Emoluments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:40 AM

61. Wow, where to begin?

I agree with your points, especially about the electoral college. I know some of these suggestions can't be done through the Constitution and must be passed as laws:

Every citizen is automatically granted the right to vote at 18 years old and shall retain that right until death. Only requirement is that you keep your address current in the system so that you can vote in the correct district.

Every citizen should have at least 4 weeks to vote early. Voting kiosks shall be available at many locations.

All voters shall get 2 printed copies/receipts of their vote. One kept for their own records, the other deposited into the bottom of the voting kiosk or mailed? Voters should have the ability to verify that their votes were counted online. Recounts and audits are performed using the vote printouts.

Presidential candidates must release their tax returns, must disclose all businesses and investments, and must divest from all businesses. Foreign campaign donations, even in tiny amounts, should be illegal.

We need some sort of fairness doctrine because the lies and propaganda being put out by the right is very dangerous at this point. Ironically, trump might be impeached due to crimes he committed because he believed right wing conspiracies aka fake news.

Also, to get our elections on track to finally deal with current issues instead of fighting the same battles of the past:

Women must have the right to control their own bodies, once and for all.

Second amendment needs to be clarified. Gun purchasers must be prescreened for mental instability and if cleared, they must undergo extensive safety training. No assault weapons. And since we don't know how technology will evolve, no weapons of war. Period.

13th amendment needs to be amended to remove the clause that still allows slavery and indentured servitude as punishment for a crime.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:46 AM

62. clarity on whether a sitting president can be indicted

It already is clear, and the argument below states why that is.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/yes-constitution-allows-indictment-president

Credit: Matthew Kahn
In a recent opinion piece, I argued that the text and structure of the Constitution, a serious commitment to the rule of law, and plain good sense combine to preclude a rigid policy of “delaying any indictment of a president for crimes committed in winning the presidency.” When a scholar I admire as much as Philip Bobbitt strongly disagrees and argues otherwise in this publication, I need to rethink my position and respond—either confessing error or explaining why I continue to hold to the views I originally expressed
....he says my explanation “depends on an artful reading of Article I, Section 3, which provides that ‘the Party convicted [by the Senate in an impeachment proceeding] shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment,’” trial, conviction and punishment as provided by law. Bobbitt argues that the “natural import of those words” is that the “Party convicted” has to be a person “who has in fact [already] been convicted, i.e., who has gone through an impeachment process prior to being subject to indictment.”

I have no quarrel with that argument, although Professor Bobbitt assumes I do. I read the language of Article I, Section 3 as leaving subject to indictment and trial an official who has been impeached, convicted and removed for an impeachable offense that happens also to be a crime. Without that language, it might have been argued that the ban on double jeopardy would preclude such post-removal proceedings that seek to punish the removed official criminally for the very same conduct that led to the official’s conviction and removal by the Senate. But that language says nothing at all about the amenability to indictment and trial of an official who hasn’t yet been removed through impeachment. It is the Constitution’s unspoken but clear commitment to the rule of law, and to the proposition that even the president is not above the law, that establishes the basic point that being president doesn’t mean being immune to indictment.

All that Article I, Section 3 adds with respect to an official who has been removed through impeachment and conviction is that such an official cannot invoke the Senate conviction as a bar to subsequent criminal prosecution. That such an official “shall nevertheless be liable” to the criminal process says only that he shall “remain” liable to that process—just as he would have been prior to removal. In other words, the impeachment process doesn’t serve as a crime-laundering device.

Ironically, it is Professor Bobbitt who has read Article I, Section 3 in a manner unsupported by the natural import of its words. He has read the statement that someone removed through the impeachment process “shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law” as though the Constitution states that anyone removed from office for committing an impeachable offense shall, upon being convicted by the Senate, for the first time become “liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.” His reading would suggest that amenability to the federal criminal process springs from the ether once an officer has been put through the impeachment wringer and been found wanting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 08:38 PM

68. Mixed member proportional

is the system used by the two healthiest and least corrupt democracies operating today (Germany and New Zealand).

You vote for the MP in your district, but then you also vote for a party. A certain percentage of the MPs are directly elected and then "list" MPs drawn up by the party fill out the remainder of the seats until the percentages match the party vote.

This makes it easier for smaller parties to get seats and requires coalition building in order to get to a majority. It puts a lot more of the focus on issues instead of "teams" and cults of personality.

The two party system (which isn't even in the Constitution) is the problem. It holds progressives back because moderate Democrats know they can ignore them and still get their votes and it drives Republicans further and further to the right trying to hang on to the Evangelicals, white nationalists and the rest of the lunatic fringe.

It's way past time that the US had at least six parties - Socialist, Green, Moderate Dem/Centrist, Libertarians, Fiscal Conservatives, and Christo-fascists. A coalition of three or four parties from the first five would be able to stay in power providing reasonably continuity and get actual work done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread