Random thoughts on the farcical #impeachment #show #trial.

Where's #ChiefJustice #Roberts?

To clarify, the Senate is NOT required to employ the services of the Chief Justice in the conduct of an impeachment trial except when the President is on trial.
Excepting presidential impeachments of #Clinton and #Trump, the modern Senate has impeached through a process in which the matter tried in committee, rather than before the whole Senate, and then and submitted to the Senate for ultimate judgment by the entire body.
In fact, this method was used in the modern impeachments of federal judges @RepHastingsFL and #WalterNixon.
Both #Hastings and #Nixon were #convicted of impeachment and #removed from office.

Resolving constitutional disputes over their trial in committee, #WilliamRehnquist abruptly declared the chosen method of trial an aspect of the Senate's sole prerogative to try impeachments.
After he accepted #bribes, after he #falsified #evidence to avoid conviction, after #lying under oath, as you can see from his @Twitter handle, #disgraced former judge #AlceeHastings was, nonetheless, permitted by the Senate to pursue subsequent office under the US Constitution.
Still, where is the Chief Justice?

His absence confirms to all that whatever the #kabukitheater event in the #Senate actually is, what it actually is not is the #impeachmentofapresident.
But if it isn't the impeachment of the president, or of another public officer, is it impeachment at all? In other words, does the Constitution endow the Senate with power to try private citizens that have been impeached by the House of Representatives?
Normally, when the federal government acts, it is an unsurprising response of many constitutionalists to inquire from whence the #fedgov derived the power to act.
Yes, #constitutionalists demand that every exercise of power by the federal #leviathan be securely fixed to a proper endowment of authority and duty through an express grant of power written in the Constitution.
Now, some will make an appeal to history, or, more precisely, to the history of the Senate's decisions to disregard the Constitution's grant of any power to that body to try private citizens impeached by the House.
The Senate did, in fact, try the impeachment of one of #UlyssesGrant's cabinet members, William Belknap, after he resigned from his office.

But arguing that the Senate must have the power to try #CitizenTrump because it #claimed the power to try Belknap proves nothing:
Think of it this way.

If an abuser strikes her spouse, causing injury, but "gets away with it," it is no argument for the lifetime license of an abuser's violent tendency to say that the violence was, after all, done before.
Or think of it this way:

In EVERY federal lawsuit, the trial court has been instructed by an existing body of binding decisions of #SCOTUS that she must assure herself that the jurisdiction of the Court invoked in the lawsuit is supported by the facts of the matter.
IOW, it is always a duty of a federal judicial officer to confirm, at each stage of litigation, that she possesses constitutionally authorized jurisdiction.
Nonetheless, despite a clear duty of fundamental importance, federal trial judges do get that assessment wrong, more often than you might believe, and either appeals courts or #SCOTUS are required to clean up that mess.
And that cleanup, an Order reversing with instructions to dismiss for want of jurisdiction, teaches us about an important duty of the Senate, at every stage of the impeachment process, to assure itself of its jurisdiction over the matter and the federal official to be impeached.
And, despite #Rehnquist's view that the trial of impeachments is untouchable the prerogative of the Senate, there must always be an available resort to the courts in order to ensure that the Senate does not begin writing its own version of the Constitution.

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More from @JMHendersonSr

11 Feb
Last month, the @HouseDemocrats impeached Donald John #Trump. When they did so, they adopted a resolution proclaiming that their impeachment was done in the name of the #HouseofRepresentatives and in the name of, and for, the United States of America.
That formula, explaining that the House impeached someone and did so in the name of the House and in the name of the United States, is common. Yet the assertion is troubling.

Half or more of the country disapproves of the House’s impeachment, and of the Senate’s trial.
But politicians will still claim they are doing it for us.

They aren’t.

And it is particularly urgent that we repudiate the idea that the House’s 2021 #impeachment of #DonaldTrump was in our name.
Read 38 tweets
9 Feb
Despite #historicalrevisionism (that's a polite way of saying lies), #public #symbolic #lynching holds a distinct and honored role in establishing the conditions necessary to the independence of these former British colonies.
Colonists enraged by repeated abuses conducting #lynches in #effigy of #Crown officials, often accompanied by "funerals for Liberty" in which, having been carried in a coffin to a prominent town location, seemingly deceased, Lady Liberty would rouse from her nightshade slumber.
While #lynching as a tool of #racist #murder and #oppression should be studied and understood by all that love liberty, the #noose deployed by those that invented the USA was a #libertysign, not a #murderweapon.
Read 5 tweets
9 Feb
The following is from my Facebook memories for this date in February 2013:

[Hint: The distinctly anti American approach odd the foreign policy described below marks this as a chapter from the Obama Zone:
To be clear: if you are a captured #AlQaeda operative, with #operationalintelligence regarding an imminently #pendingattack on US forces, property, personnel, or citizens, you have the promise of this administration that you will not be #waterboarded.
OTH, US citizens, if a "high ranking" government official concludes that you "pose a threat of imminent attack against the US," if you are difficult to capture, and if the laws of war are unoffended thereby, you may be #vaporized by a #droneattack.
Read 4 tweets
25 Jan
To be at liberty is the intended design for mankind, at least as comprehended in #Jefferson's fundamental statement of #politicalphilosophy, the #DeclarationofIndependence.

Remember, America's political philosophy is that we are created with rights ... to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness ... that are inalienable.
In the nature of things, these are #politicalrights, that is, they continue to exist and they continue to be affects of our intended design.
Read 6 tweets
22 Jan
Trying to sort through how we catalog #lies and #brokenpromises from @JoeBiden, our demented and lamentable @POTUS46.
When he promised not to ban fracking, and that was repeated by EVERY LAPDANCE MEDIA outlet -- @MSNBC, @CNN, @FoxNews , @CNBC, @FoxBusiness, @washingtonpost, @nytimes, @AP -- is that just one lie?

Or is each separate instance of that lie being repeated its own separate lie?
I mean, we all think some lies are okay, the sort of social lubrications we drop like dander:

The dinner was delicious
Chartreuse suits you so well
Biden's accomplishment-laden life.

But serious lies are different and dangerous. And, I think, fully justify being overcounted.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jan
For two months we've been feted with snarky Jabs noting #typographical and #othererrors in #electionchallenge lawsuits.

You know, #mistakes?
What wasn't a mistake?

It wasn't a #mistake when @TheJusticeDept told a federal court that there were plans to capture and kill members of Congress during the incident at Capitol Hill.
That wasn't a "spacebar" instead of a "comma."

That was a process:

examine evidence
review charging standards
frame thought
formulate words
enter words on keyboard.

This was a whole freaking sentence filled with words; words filled with meaning; meaning expressing intent.
Read 11 tweets

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