Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Vermont, California & Illinois Take the Impeachment Matter into Their Own Hands

It's about goddamn time.

Funny thing about constant Americans; when it comes to protecting the Constitution and saving the republic, we manage to get past stonewalls.

Inside the Beltway, legislators have been slow to support moves to censure or impeach President Bush and other members of the administration. Only 33 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on as cosponsors of Congressman John Conyers' resolution calling for the creation of a select committee to investigate the administration's preparations for war before receiving congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing of torture, and retaliation against critics such as former Ambassador Joe Wilson, with an eye toward making recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment. Only two members of the Senate have agreed to cosponsor Senator Russ Feingold's proposal to censure the president for illegally ordering the warrantless wiretapping of phone conversations of Americans.

Outside the Beltway, legislators are far more comfortable with censure and impeachment -- at least in the state of Vermont. Sixty-nine Vermont legislators, 56 members of the state House and 14 members of the Senate, have signed a letter urging Congress to initiate investigations to determine if censure or impeachment of members of the administration might be necessary.

Not only in Vermont. A current is moving west through Illinois:
The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.

After Illinois, it's a wave moving into California - Dick Cheney's name is added to the resolution calling for impeachment:
California State Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-Los Angeles) submitted amendments on Friday, April 21, to Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. The resolution references Section 603 of Jefferson’s Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature.

The resolution bases the call for impeachment upon the Bush Administration intentionally misleading the Congress and the American people regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify an unnecessary war that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives and casualties; exceeding constitutional authority to wage war by invading Iraq; exceeding constitutional authority by Federalizing the National Guard; conspiring to torture prisoners in violation of the “Federal Torture Act” and indicating intent to continue such actions; spying on American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Agency Surveillance Act; leaking and covering up the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, and holding American citizens without charge or trial.

Koretz submitted amendments gutting AJR No. 39, a resolution unrelated to impeachment, to the Assembly Rules Committee. The Rules Committee may take up the bill next week for referral, allowing him to formally introduce the amended resolution.

The Assemblyman hopes his resolution will help promote a public dialogue about the questionable activities and errant judgment of the President and Vice President: “At both the state and national levels, we will be paying for the Bush Administration’s illegal actions and terrible lack of judgment and competence for decades—not only in the billions of dollars wasted on the war and welfare for the rich, but in the worldwide loss of respect for America and Americans. Bush and Cheney must be impeached and removed from office before they undertake even deadlier misdeeds, such as the use of nuclear weapons. There are no bounds to their willingness to ignore the Constitution and world opinion—we can’t afford to wait for the next disaster and hope that we can survive it.”

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