|Email Ken Stallings||It's Called Separation of Powers!|
The latest chapter is revealed in the ongoing saga of insanity from that group of freshmen Congressmen who call themselves, "The Squad." This latest twist is from Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who recently stated that she is "working" to determine how to arrest Trump officials who do not comply with Congressional subpoenas. Her precise statement is:
"This is the first time we've ever had a situation like this. So, they're trying to figure out, no joke, is it the DC police that goes and gets them? We don't know. Where do we hold them?"
It's no surprise that Tlaib is ignorant of how our government functions. After all, she's only had over a full year in office as a federal lawmaker. So, it's not as if she has any special requirement, or duty, to become knowledgeable of federal law, and Constitutional roles and responsibilities! Cut her some slack! She spent that first year in office trying to tell us how evil Israel is, and how Islamophobic the American people are. That is, when she's not busy dropping f-bombs on her children.
Nevertheless, consider this to be a public service for woebegone lawmakers, like yourself Ms Tlaib. Be sure to take notes:
Lesson One: Congress writes bills that may become law. The Executive Branch enforces them after they are passed into law! Law enforcement includes all roles related to arrests and prosecutions. The Judicial Branch then determines guilt or innocence, with the presumption of innocence. The accused shall be judged by a jury of peers, making us what is known as a civil law state -- you know -- that pesky notion that the people, known as citizens, get to decide their fate, vice a small collection of self-appointed elites. There is but one solitary exception to this, but more on that later.
Lesson Two: You see, Ms. Tlaib, if we were a common law state, which it seems you wish we were, then we wouldn't need a legislature, as in a common law state, the courts set the law through the concept of legal precedent. Ironic that you fail to understand this, given that you derive your very office on the idea that we the people elect legislators like yourself to create our laws, in coordination with the President of course! You see, in a civil law state, the laws are objectively written by the legislature, and passed into law status by specified procedures. In our country, this happens with bicameral approval of a bill in the House and Senate, and ratified into law with the signature of the President (absent Congressional override). Once a law is created, your role as a legislator in all this is essentially done. The Executive Branch then carries out the laws. That's why the President's oath of office contains the critical phrase, "will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States." It's also why Article II of the Constitution requires that the President will "take care that the law be faithfully executed."
Lesson Three: Note, Congressman Tlaib, that your oath of office contains no mention whatsoever about executing any law of the land! Your oath does, however, specify that you "will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." Supporting and defending the Constitution does not mean that you can operate outside its express intentions.
Lesson Four: In regards to which agency would actually arrest members of the Executive Branch, whom Congress deems in offense of the law, it would be the US Marshals who would perform that task. The US Marshals work for the Department of Justice, which as a federal agency, reports to the Attorney General. Again, ironic isn't it, given the first person whom you would wish to see arrested would be AG Robert Barr, whom you believe is already guilty of something, before something is even actually done! He would have to first receive your contempt of Congress complaint -- you see Congress has to present that complaint to the AG's Department of Justice -- where upon receipt, the Attorney General would need to swear out an arrest warrant for himself, and present it to the US Marshals Service, who would then appoint a marshal to arrest him. Once arrested, he would be held in a federal prison until adjudicated by a federal judge. Of course, AG Barr could just as easily request an immediate hearing by the US Supreme Court to hear argument that your contempt citation is a political grandstanding stunt, devoid of merit. If the majority of the Justices agreed, then your contempt citation wouldn't be worth the price of toilet paper.
Lesson Five: I realize, Ms Tlaib, that all this seems frustrating to you, but that's how it goes in a society where our Constitution doesn't allow one person, or even one small group of people acting in concert, to weld the power to summon people at their will. If you desire to live in a nation with such concentrated power, where things can happen as clean and fast as you seem to wish, we suggest you move to North Korea, where Dear Leader has the power to summon anyone for instant death, incarceration, torture, or any host of capricious actions. Supreme for your comprehension is that we call our method, "Checks and Balances," and it's a core part of our Constitutional Republic.
Lesson Six: In squaring this in your cranium, perhaps you can find time to square something else. In America, we the people determine who our President is -- not some small subset of Representatives in our US House! We kind of like it that way, there's something especially democratic in that notion of the people deciding every four years, vice individuals like yourself deciding for us. Oh, I see your hand is raised. Well, in anticipation of your question, our state-by-state election method (called the Electoral College) is an inherent part of our Federal government system, where we wish to ensure that our Presidents appeal to a majority of states, and not merely to a small number of urban population centers. Thank you for lowering your hand now!
Lesson Seven: Now, insofar as impeachment is concerned, this is that one solitary exception to the otherwise exclusive role that the Executive Branch has with regard to prosecuting actions. However, that pesky Constitution specifies only a select number of things our Legislative Branch can impeach someone for. It reads:
"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." -- Article II, Section IV, US Constitution
That's it! The people whom you wish to impeach must be be guilty of some high crime or misdemeanor crime. There's no other option available, nothing behind door number two, and as a member of the House you get but one floor vote to charge, and the Senate controls and conducts the subsequent trial. The House could appoint you as their special prosecutor in the Senate trial, but let's not get ahead of ourselves too much. Truth is, if you don't like the President's aftershave lotion, then you just have to wait until the next Presidential vote and tell we the people how you feel about things!
Lesson Review: In having read all of this, if you still want to proceed on with impeachment, then summon the courage to first have a true floor vote where the entire House, not merely the Speaker and a few radicals like yourself, can put their name on it for posterity. You see, that way, we the people get to know without any doubt about it, where our elected representatives stand on the issue. There is no moral hiding from one's Constitutional duties. Your sole remedy to rectify an Executive Branch that you believe is acting in an un-Constitutional manner, is to hold an impeachment vote, gain a simple majority in support, and then present the charges to the Senate. A trial in the Senate is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and both sides produce witnesses for examination and cross-examination, and only upon two-thirds majority vote by the Senate to convict shall the executive officer be removed from office.
Thus endeth the lesson! We hope, Ms Tlaib, you were paying attention. Oh, and next time, before you run for public office, please first take the time to learn the duties of the office; you know, before assuming it!
-- Ken Stallings
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