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View Diary: Can "the People" Sue the US Congress? (106 comments)

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  •  Standing may lie... (4+ / 0-)
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    J M F, keepemhonest, elmo, VClib

    ...for example, where rural residents are affected by Post Office closures.

    However, even without the immunity afforded members of Congress for political acts (votin on appropriations), there is no, to my knowledge, federally-cognizable cause of action to pursue.

    The solution here is political.  Best to cast this fight as the Republicans (spearheaded by Issa, one of the richest men in Congress (estimated net worth, $450 million or so) trying to tear down one of the most venerable institutions in the country, the Postal Service, where all of the alternatives will cost you more.

    We reach for the stars with shaking hands in bare-knuckle times.

    by TheOrchid on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:21:17 AM PST

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    •  TO - you are right (1+ / 0-)
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      While some of these issues can be litigated, no member of Congress has any civil legal liability. These are issues of politics that must be dealt with on this basis.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:41:43 AM PST

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    •  Still no standing (1+ / 0-)
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      There is no constitutional right to postal service.  The constitution explicitly states that the postal service will be regulated by the Federal Government (thereby taking if out of the State's control) and authorizes them to levy taxes for it.

      But it does not guarantee any kind of service to anyone.  The government could pass a law to limit delivery to 1 day per week to the geographical center of each ZIP code and it is the individual person's responsibility to come pick it up if they want it.

      Asinine policy to be sure, and one that would be DOA to any congress and cause a huge backlash with the American people, but Constitutionally, there is nothing wrong with that decision.

      I thought for a second that perhaps you could try to get a "Equal Access" argument by saying that Urban residents have federally funded access to convenient postal service while rural residents suffer, but again this would be specious.  Following this logic would allow people to sue because their local post office isn't close enough to their house or something or that residents of New York get their mail in the rain while rural Montanans suffer because the roads are not adequately paved.  This would never be enough to give standing.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 11:53:36 AM PST

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