Bush may have promoted the Iraq War as a beach head of democracy in the Middle East and his Secretary of Defense may be disclaiming the current Administration’s role in recent events– telling a CNN interviewer Obama’s Nobel Prize was awarded on hope after he was “president for fifteen minutes”– but the images shown on that evening’s “60 Minutes” segment reporting on the revolution in Tunisia reflect the timeless truth that “to the victor go the thanks”. CBS’s cameras caught a “Mercia Facebook” message spray painted on the side of a building and a “Yes We Can #Sidibouzid” homage to the Obama campaign slogan and the fruit vendor’s whose act of self-inflagration started the protests that have stormed across the Middle East.
President Obama shared some of the principles he will follow in selecting someone to replace Justice Souter:
“I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives — whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.
I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes.”
“I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role.
I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded, and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time.”
The two parts of this statement might strike many as inconsistent. One may feel there are situations in which the rules established by law may not always facilitate the hopes and struggles of all people– that often parties in court are confronting a law or legal principle that benefits one parties hopes to the detriment to the others. What is consistent with what most believe to be Constitutional principles is that the judicial branch interpret the intent of the legislative branch and the founders, not the hopes of the parties before the bench. It sounds as though the President’s description better suits the conception of a good legislator rather than one charged with applying the law.
Golden boy Olympic swimming multi-gold medalist Micheal Phelps was photographed inhaling marijuana from a glass bong at a University Of South Carolina party in Columbia, South Caroline last November by England’s News of the World. Although not considered performance enhancers, the International Olympic Committee added marijuana and other social drugs to its list of banned substances after Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati tested positive for marijuana during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Should 23 year old Phelps, who received 18 months criminal probation for driving while intoxicated (DUI) in 2004, test positive for the canibis, he could be banned from international swimming competitions, including the Olympics, for four years.
Meanwhile, though a positive drug test could derail the Olympian’s eligibility to add to his 14 Olympic medal count for the USA, an admission of using cocaine and a present day tobacco smoking habit didn’t prevent the other USA golden boy Barack Obama from taking the oath of office as US President.
Illinois v. United States Senate: Sargeant-at-arms and Secretary of US Senate Disenfranchise the State of Illinois
Does the United States Senate have a lawful duty to seat unindicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s appointed and Illinois Legislature designated United States Senator Roland Burris? Judge for yourself. The relevant law:
United States Constitution
Section 3. 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.
Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
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.
Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 10 Section 5 Article 25 (from Ch. 46, par. 25-8)
Sec. 25-8 (10 ILCS 5/25-8). When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election, and the senator so elected shall take office as soon thereafter as he shall receive his certificate of election.
* Expression of the Illinois Legislature’s rights under Article I, Section 3.
Seems simple enough.
Why does this matter? Why does it matter that the the Secretary of the Senate and the Sargeant-at-arms of the Senate, both non-Constitutional officers, are intimidating a United States Senator from taking their place in the Senate Chamber? Well… why do elections matter? Why does the Constitution matter? They didn’t matter in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
An interesting speculation for those few who have been handicapping the chances the powers-that-be will figure out before the planned January 20th inaugural what a small minority of internet bloggers have already discovered– that widely presumed President-elect Barack Obama is not constitutionally eligible to serve as President of the United States. (NOTE: Senator Obama’s ineligibility is on account of the conflict between the requirement the president be a “natural born citizen” and a) the fact Mr. Obama’s natural father was a British citizen at the time of the senator’s birth and b) the less probable fact that the public record contains no proof Mr. Obama disavowed the Indonesian citizenship he may have taken advantage of in his young adulthood to travel abroad and qualify for financial aid at as many as three different American universities.)
It has been reported that the Obama family has been denied their request to move in to the Blair House before January 5th, the day before the scheduled affirmation of the Electoral College vote count. The Blair House is essentially the White House’s guest house– it is located across the street– into which incoming presidents have traditionally been invited to move five days before January 20th inaugurals. The Obama’s made the reasonably seeming request that they be allowed to take up the residence early to enable their children to start school. The White House denied this request.
Could it be that the Bush Administration suspects it is possible that Obama’s Electoral College selection will be derailed before the affirmation of the Electoral College balloting as a result of an unfavorable ruling in one of the petitions before the Supreme Court contesting his “natural born citizen” status? Could it be that Obama transition team sought to surround him with the trappings of an official residence the day before so as to reinforce the symbolic impression that his selection has already been affirmed by the Electors? Could it be that President Bush, no stranger to electoral uncertainty, doesn’t wish to make the traumatic possibility of an electoral default even more difficult by having the office snatched from a presumed president-elect while he appears to be a president-in-waiting living in an official residence just a shotgun blast away from the Oval Office?
Can you picture the stand-off in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue should the people’s choice be denied entry to the White House after he got so close….
Handicappers, stay tuned. This could get very banana republic…
(Tin foil hat pulled tightly around skull, the expressed belief about Senator Obama’s lack of natural born citizenship need not be taken as advocacy for denying his voters’ their wishes. Rather, it is the author’s belief that the Electors, the Courts, Congress, and Mr. Obama should take the steps necessary to insure that no constitutional eligibility questions linger past the inaugural that could diminish the authority of the Office of President. Such steps might include perfecting any existing defects in citizenship, clarifying legislation, a Supreme Court clarification, and/or a Constitutional Amendment. Just as Congress approved legislation today to reduce the salary of the Secretary of State to avoid a violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause should Hillary Clinton serve in that capacity, remedial legislation might be possible to insure the integrity of the Natural Born Citizen clause.)
Share your thoughts by commenting below. And be the first one of your friends to ace the newest presidential trivia. (Supporting our advertisers, supports our research.)keep looking »