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View Diary: Arizona Supreme Court overturns Colleen Mathis' ouster from redistricting commission (287 comments)

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  •  No, impeachment MUST be based upon clearly (11+ / 0-)

    defined Constitutional standards.

    In the case of the President, Vice President, and civil officers of the United States the standard is:

    ...Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeaors.

    Article 4 of the Arizona Constitution, the written standard cited by the AZ Supreme Court today, is a little more clearly defined:

    (10) After having been served written notice and provided with an opportunity for a response, a member of the independent redistricting commission may be removed by the governor, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the senate, for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.

    In their ruling (pdf) they state:

    The Court concludes that the letter of November 1, 2011, from the Acting Governor to the intervenor Colleen Mathis does not demonstrate “substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office” by the intervenor Mathis, as required under Article 4, Part 2, Section 1(10) of the Arizona Constitution;

    So it is clear that writing a letter saying "I don't like you" is not enough to impeach someone the governor and her Senate cronies didn't like.

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:12:46 PM PST

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    •  so what? (0+ / 0-)

      We already have Supreme Court justices suggesting that torture is just a policy preference.  The Supreme Court must not be given the constitution-killing power to block impeachments.

      We impeach too few presidents, not too many.

      Passengers: Feel free to rearrange the deck chairs, but please remember that the bridge is off limits.

      by happymisanthropy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:23:15 PM PST

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      •  This is an AZ impeachment, not a federal one. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, Eman, SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY, TofG

        'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' -Mahatma Gandhi

        by KingofSpades on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:25:55 PM PST

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      •  Do you even understand the role of Supreme Courts? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, ArkDem14

        Their Constitutional role is to interpret the constitutionality of actions of other branches.

        In this Arizona case, the paragraph I quoted is a part of the state constitution.  Spelled out in language a 4th grader can understand.

        Brewer ignored the constitutional requirements.

        Even more telling is that it took the court a whopping three hours after oral argument to slap her down.  Slam dunk.

        If you don't like U.S. justices, convince your Representative to start impeachment of them.  That is also spelled out in the Constitution.

        "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

        by Eman on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:45:59 PM PST

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        •  I do. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          How much has our country suffered from wrongful impeachments?  Zero.

          How much has our country suffered from failure to impeach criminal presidents?  A lot.

          That's in retrospect.  Looking forward, the risk of failing to impeach an abusive president is ten thousand times worse than the worst possible outcome of a bullshit political impeachment.

          I realize, not everyone thinks in worst case scenarios.

          What if Justice Roberts had blocked the impeachment of W because "torture isn't really a crime?"  

          having both Clinton and Bush impeached and removed from office would have been a much better precedent than neither.

          Passengers: Feel free to rearrange the deck chairs, but please remember that the bridge is off limits.

          by happymisanthropy on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:03:16 PM PST

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          •  I wasn't aware... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, MichaelNY

            That the Arizona Supreme Court could prevent the impeachment of presidents. News to me.

            Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:29:47 PM PST

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          •  I wasn't aware (0+ / 0-)

            That there was ever any chance of Bush getting impeached. I like that we tend to just settle things with elections and term limits, thus leaving impeachment rather unnecessary.

            "If people doled out nutkickings where they are deserved, the world would be a better place." -Marcel Inhoff

            by ArkDem14 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:44:39 PM PST

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            •  You like (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              that Bush got away with ordering torture?  You like the precedent of torturing an American citizen so badly that his mind is completely destroyed?  You like that future presidents have no reason to regard the constitution as anything more than a "goddamned piece of paper?"

              There is no meaningful check on Presidential power unless it is backed by the threat of impeachment.  That's why the Bush administration could laugh at piles and piles of Congressional subpoenas.  He knew they wouldn't pull the trigger, so it would have been insane for him to do otherwise.

              If Congress doesn't have the credible threat of impeachment, Congress is a joke.  And for all the detestable things Bush did, he was absolutely right to treat them like a joke.  

              Passengers: Feel free to rearrange the deck chairs, but please remember that the bridge is off limits.

              by happymisanthropy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:09:00 AM PST

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          •  Dude... (5+ / 0-)

            Impeachment and removal in the context of the presidency is a two-part trial with the House of Representatives acting as a grand jury and the Senate acting as a jury, the impeachment is an indictment by the House of Representatives and removal is conviction by the Senate (with the Chief Justice presiding, all by the constitution).

            It's an actual criminal charge (and there's a reason why it's made prohibitively difficult by the Constitution, and why the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides)

            This is not what happened in Arizona, the Governor and the Senate removed (not impeached, removed) a commissioner without the cause spelled out by the actual statute!

            Politics and more Formerly DGM on SSP. NM-01, 25 (chairman of the Atheist Caucus)

            by NMLib on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:58:47 PM PST

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            •  yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY
              Impeachment and removal in the context of the presidency is a two-part trial with the House of Representatives acting as a grand jury and the Senate acting as a jury, the impeachment is an indictment by the House of Representatives and removal is conviction by the Senate (with the Chief Justice presiding, all by the constitution).

              yes, because otherwise it would be the Vice President's prerogative to preside over the Senate.  At least according to the Constitution

              It's an actual criminal charge (and there's a reason why it's made prohibitively difficult by the Constitution, and why the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides)

              I should note that it takes a two-thirds majority, which is enough to overrule any interference that the presiding officer might attempt.

              This is not what happened in Arizona, the Governor and the Senate removed (not impeached, removed) a commissioner without the cause spelled out by the actual statute!

              My entire thread of comments was about not wanting to see a precedent like this at the federal level, so the specifics of a local case aren't really relevant to what I said.  

              My point is that the least accountable branch of government should not be able to prevent the most chronically criminal branch of government from being held accountable.  Given the historical shortage of desperately needed (successful) impeachments (and removals from office, if you want to be pedantic), anything that weakens Congress's impeachment power is a very bad thing.

              Passengers: Feel free to rearrange the deck chairs, but please remember that the bridge is off limits.

              by happymisanthropy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:22:14 AM PST

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        •  More commonly, high courts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          interpret the meanings of statutes. A minority of their work is based on constitutional interpretation, someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:14:56 PM PST

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