Friday, January 15, 2021

Mootness anyone?

Despite his imitation of a cheese-eating surrender monkey on the matter of challenging corruptly-generated electoral vote certifications, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) correctly notes the distinction between a constitutionally prescribed impeachment proceding and a Maxine Waters-AOC mud wrestling contest:
Cotton, in his statement, emphasized his priority on “fidelity to the Constitution,” explaining that “the Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens.”[1]
I'm reminded of Gene McCarthy's characterization of a Texas barbeque as an LBJ branding party that got out of hand. So with the various zealots, bed wetters, and spoil sports in the Congress who think that an impeachment that takes less time than a visit to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada (with the same general objective let it be said) will have a half life of ten years after January 20. Good luck with that, kiddies and I hope Ronald McDonald and Bozo file a class action against each one of you for sullying the clown brand.

The Supreme Court appears to adore technicalities such as "standing" and at least one other court in the land has discovered the hair trigger version of "laches" where if a litigant delays litigating an actual case or controversy for longer than a Nancy Pelosi Brazillian blowout (is that one word or two?) he, she, or it is SOL, to use a technical legal term that has come down to us from the time of King Arthur.

At least, the Court adores technicalities that disadvantage Donald Trump. Let's see how John Roberts handles the Art. I, Sect. 3 requirement that the Chief Justice shall quote unquote preside when the President of the United States is tried. If recent history is any guide John won't blink an eye over screwing Donald Trump by presiding over the trial of President Joe Biden. No, wait! It's so confusing.

As the issue of the propriety of any "conviction" will most assuredly end up in the courts were the supposedly disqualified Mr. Trump to come back in 2024 with guns blazing, his lawyers could raise the issue of "mootness" as addressed hitherto by the Supreme Court:

Cases may be rendered moot because of a change in the status of the parties or in the law, or because of an act of one of the parties that dissolves the controversy.[2]
Annnyyyway, there just is no provision in the Constitution for the conviction of a private citizen, even one previously impeached while holding office. Clearly the Constitution contemplates trials only of serving officials as is evidenced by the plain language of Art. I, Sect. 3 that "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification . . . ." Even disqualification (with the supposedly valid congressional precedent only of a simple majority for imposition) is possible only in cases of "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment." It's an understatement to say that it would be tortured interpretation of the Constitution that removal from office is moot as to someone no longer in office but that it would still be open season on said someone in perpetuity if, in the absence of a conviction, a majority of the senate felt like imposing disqualification the next time the sacred festival of Kwaanza rolls around.

Too, if Marbury v. Madison held that duly enacted legislation could not constitutionally expand the constitutionally-defined jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, then the attempt by a mere single chamber of the Congress to expand its jurisdiction to allow the conviction (and disqualification) of a private citizen must also fail.

So let us see how the Whores of Powertown proceed.

[1] "Tom Cotton: Senate ‘Lacks Constitutional Authority’ to Proceed with Impeachment After Trump Leaves Office." By Ashley Oliver, Breitbart, 1/13/21.
[2] "Mootness: An Explanation of the Justiciability Doctrine." By U/I attorney, Congressional Research Service, 2/7/07 (emphasis added).


Divemedic said...

Bill of attainder?

Col. B. Bunny said...

Whether or not impeachment and conviction is a BoA it is pursuant to a constitutional procedure that is prescribed in the same document that also prohibits BoA. The Framers either didn't see the former as a BoA or allowed for one in the case of removal of officials.

Strictly speaking, voting for impeachment and conviction is a legislative act in the same way that making committee assignments or inviting outsiders to address a joint session are. Doing something probably qualifies as that. However, it is not a "bill" on its way to becoming law. The English parliament could enact statutes without the assent of the king but here the proposed legislation (bill) must first be presented to the president.