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View Diary: Montanans Launch Recall of Senators Who Approved NDAA Military Detention. Merry Christmas, US Senate (104 comments)

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  •  The Constitution DOES prohibit recall (9+ / 0-)

    In many different sections, the office of U.S. Senator is determined:

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

    No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    All of these clauses trump any state law or state constitution.

    •  Yep. This. (4+ / 0-)

      The Constitution sets out the length of a Senator's term—six years.

      Not "six years, unless recalled."

      Not "six years, or as long as the people want him or her to serve."

      The only way a Senator's term can be shorter than six years is if he or she dies, resigns, or is expelled by his or her Senate colleagues.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 03:27:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are contradicting yourself (4+ / 0-)

        It says in essence, "six years" unless expelled by other members.  It does not say "expulsion shall be the only avenue" or "The only way a Senator's term can be shorter than six years is if he or she dies, resigns, or is expelled by his or her Senate colleagues."

        You said that.

        What the Constitution does say is the powers not "prohibited"...are reserved to the States...or to the people.

        You can take this as the Founders saying this document is meant to put limits on the powers of the government, not the powers of the people, which go right up to and include the right of armed rebellion in the Declaration of Independence.

        It is absurd to conclude that the Founders intended for senators to be more accountable to other members than to constituents whom they represent.  

        Those who say you cannot recall senators doth protest too hard.  Reps. are up every two years.  Senators have always been a problem, but this bunch just trashed the integrity of a venerable institution the same as if they had turned  over desks and sprayed shaving cream on the walls.  As if "protect and defend" had no meaning whatsoever.  

        •  You completely misread the Constitution. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kalmoth, Airpower, wilderness voice
          It says in essence, "six years" unless expelled by other members.  It does not say "expulsion shall be the only avenue" or "The only way a Senator's term can be shorter than six years is if he or she dies, resigns, or is expelled by his or her Senate colleagues."

          It sets the length of the term, and sets out the conditions by which that term can be left incomplete. A Senator, when elected, gets a six-year term, except under certain conditions the Constitution sets out.

          What the Constitution does say is the powers not "prohibited"...are reserved to the States...or to the people.

          You missed a part there:

          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

          The length of a Senator's term is explicitly stated in the United States Constitution as being six years, and is thus a power delegated to the United States and not reserved to the states or the people.

          You can take this as the Founders saying this document is meant to put limits on the powers of the government, not the powers of the people, which go right up to and include the right of armed rebellion in the Declaration of Independence.

          The people who wrote the Constitution didn't really much like the idea of the "powers of the people" in general, and sure as hell didn't think the people had the right to armed rebellion against the United States government—as seen by the founders' leading the army against armed rebels during the Whiskey Rebellion.

          It is absurd to conclude that the Founders intended for senators to be more accountable to other members than to constituents whom they represent.

          In the Founders' Constitution, the members of the Senate weren't at all accountable to the constituents they represented. They were elected by state legislatures, not directly by the people.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 04:59:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Misread (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ralph Lopez
            The people who wrote the Constitution didn't really much like the idea of the "powers of the people" in general, and sure as hell didn't think the people had the right to armed rebellion against the United States government—as seen by the founders' leading the army against armed rebels during the Whiskey Rebellion.

            Oh Really then why this,

            Second Amendment, Bill of Rights
            A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

            and the this (I love this):

            When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

                He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
                He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
                He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
                He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
                He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
                He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
                He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
                He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
                He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
                He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
                He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
                He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
                He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
                For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
                For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
                For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
                For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
                For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
                For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
                For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
                For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
                For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
                He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
                He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
                He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
                He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
                He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

            In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

            Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

            We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor

            My "Nature" is my Religion

            by winchelenator on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 08:51:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Some brilliant points there Ralph (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Colleen Fernald

          and I agree completely. The people must assert their rights in the face of tyranny by elected officials. And this defense act is a form of tyranny.

    •  Nowhere... (0+ / 0-)

      ....in your post do you emulate your title..ugh, apparently I have been away from KOS too long and she has been overrun by zombies!

      My "Nature" is my Religion

      by winchelenator on Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 08:20:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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