Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why not draft articles of impeachment?

The American Bar Association is considering measures to suggest to Congress to restore some of the separation of powers that has been trampled by the Bush administration. In particular this article discusses their efforts to give Congress the right to sue the President to either override or require more explanation of his ridiculous signing statements, such as was attached to the passed anti-torture legislation that gave Bush the appearance of wishing to disregard the legislation.

The Bush administration has also written in response to powerful cases before the Supreme Court, such as the recent Hamdan decision, in which the Bush administration claims that the Court's decision has no influence on any other controversial programs, including the illegal NSA wiretapping activities. This demonstrates a lack of good faith towards the other branches of our government, and they are beginning to fight back. Even if the Republicans maintain control of one or both houses of Congress this fall, I imagine that some of the more renegade (maverick?) Congress members will begin to show some courage, if only as a prop for their '08 presidential campaigns.

My question for these members and the ABA is why are they seeking a difficult legislative and judicial route for challenging the Executive when they could simply begin drafting articles of impeachment? There is no shortage of material there for taking down this administration, and the coup could be swift and just. But that would require a Congress that believes in America and what our country really stands for, not just those wishing to line their pockets with contracts, donations and pork-barrel projects. I have very little faith.

Update: John Conyers, one of the few Representatives with principles, has been right on target with a number of issues ranging from censure, impeachment and the NSA wiretapping scandal. He has recently filed a lawsuit against Bush for illegally signing into law a bill which had not yet passed both chambers of Congress. This isn't an earth-shaker, but it will help give a feel for how much traction Congress has in asserting its authority as a co-equal branch of the government.

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