Flipping through the TV channels the other night trying to find some mindless program to lull me to sleep, I happened to stop at C-SPAN2 when Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was on the floor of the House giving a speech where he touched on lawlessness. Granted, the speech was being replayed from an earlier time in the session. However, what he was pointing out remains pertinent no matter the time. Gowdy referenced the speech Obama made to the House when in it he said, “I’ll do it with or without Congress,” speaking of course regarding unilateral law-making regarding immigration. In his speech, Gowdy reminded the members of the House that Obama’s statement received plenty of applause from some House Democrats and Republicans. He pointed out that Obama had previously stated on 20 separate occasions that he had not the authority to make law; but, he had proclaimed he was going to do so when speaking to the House.
Bringing into play the Constitution, Gowdy reminded the House of the power of the president, remarking that the Constitution already wielded great authority to the man who holds the office, but it was still Congress who held legislative authority. He referenced the Supreme Court twice ruling against Obama with the House continuing to capitulate by not using the power of the purse or impeachment proceedings. To drive his point home, Gowdy stated that while Democrats held the majority in both chambers and the presidency, no move was made to alter any immigration laws. And, it was not until the majority changed in the House that unilateral action was taken.
He then went on to point out that Democrats, while supporting the lawlessness of a Democratic president now, will cry out for the rule of law and its enforcement should a Republican occupy the office. Gowdy claimed a precedent has been set by the current POTUS to make law through fiat, ignoring the Constitution and rendering the Congress insignificant. Gowdy briefly explained why justice is portrayed as a woman wearing a blindfold, holding a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. It is because justice should be blind to all other circumstances but the law. He reminded those in the House that once the blindfold slips, it is very difficult to put it back in place. In summary, Gowdy pointed out that condoning a president to violate the Constitution and duly legislated constitutional laws sets an example to average citizens that it is acceptable to violate the law reclaiming equality under the law through lawlessness.
Gowdy admitted he viewed impeachment more as a punishment and not a remedy to compel a president to “faithfully execute the law.” But, impeachment is viewed by the founders as a remedy for an executive since impeachment extends only to remove a person from office for offenses outlined in the Constitution that warrants impeachment. Once the president is removed from office by impeachment, the president is still subject to prosecution and punishment should he be tried and convicting in a civil criminal court. (See Federalist Papers 65 , 69, and 47) But, if a Congress comprised of honorable men who duly operate as statesmen had no pre-conceived negative proclivities toward impeachment of a president who engages in actions justifying impeachment, the men occupying the Oval Office would be more likely to follow the Constitution than not. For once impeached and removed from office, the president could be tried in a common court of law for his offenses. And, if convicted, he would be punished according to the law befitting the crime committed.
It is not required that a president commit a crime before the House can impeach him. In Federalist Papers 66 and 77, a president can be impeached and removed for any encroachments, such as usurpation of power. When looking at Obama’s alteration of immigration law via a pen and phone, in essence legislating through changing the law, the House is well within its constitutional duty to apply the remedy of impeachment. A court cannot force the president to abide by the Constitution; neither can any amendment to the Constitution. If a sitting president refuses to abide by the Constitutional limits of his office as contained in the Constitution now, he cannot be expected to abide by additional words on a piece of paper. So, the remedy is impeachment for an executive who usurps powers.
While Gowdy asked what recourse the House had to ensure the president of this republic would faithfully execute the law, he identified the two remedies, power of the purse and impeachment, then dismissed them. The legislative body cannot effectively do its constitutional duty if its members reject or dismiss the remedies the Constitution provides, courtesy of our framers, for dealing with an out of control executive. Gowdy brought up the “remedy” of taking their case to a court; however, he intimated the courts requires plaintiffs have standing, which courts have been reluctant to recognize the legislative body with standing. To add insult to injury, the Supreme Court has ruled against Obama on two separate occasions. Yet, Obama has continued to pursue his agenda in violation of a Supreme Court ruling because the Supreme Court has zero enforcement capability. The Congress has failed to apply the remedy of impeachment or use the power of the purse to thwart usurpation.
Not only is the executive derelict by usurping power, Congress refuses to exercise its power because both chambers are complicit in supporting a presidential violation of limited executive authority in the Constitution. This warrants their removal via the ballot box or recall proceedings that may be contained in State constitutions. But, willfully ignorant citizens continue to place the same career corrupt politicians back in office during the election cycles.
Rep. Trey Gowdy is a likeable representative who appears to possess integrity and a good heart. Many have dubbed him “Bulldog” Gowdy for his relentless “smack downs” occurring in the committees on which he sits, his speeches on the floor of the House, and his chairmanship of the Benghazi committee to disclose the truth. Yet, for all his integrity, goodness of heart, bulldogged determination, and fiery speeches, he, himself, has failed to apply the Constitutional remedy because he dismisses it as a remedy. This, in and of itself, tarnishes Gowdy’s reputation.
Gowdy, a lawyer by trade, is taught like most lawyers in law school to obey the Supreme Court, not the Constitution. Law school conditions lawyers to do this rendering this republic under the jurisdiction of “constitutional law” instead of the Constitution. When one is referencing constitutional law, one is meaning that lawyers accept the meaning of the Constitution to be whatever the Supreme Court says it is. However, the Constitution does not declare the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of constitutionality. The definitive authority on the Constitution happens to be the framers of the Constitution, whose wisdom surrounding the Constitution is found in The Federalist Papers.
The Supreme Court over the years has engaged in usurpation itself for which its members should have suffered the remedy of impeachment for that violation. Usurpation by the Supreme Court is why prayer was removed from school, States and citizens coerced to believe same-sex marriage and abortion are the law of the land (no court makes law, not even the Supreme Court), and Obamacare was dubbed “constitutional” when no authority is given to the federal government by the Constitution to force individuals to purchase any type of product or meddle in health care or health care insurance. Despite all the wisdom of the framers contained in the Constitution, citizens and politicians alike continue to capitulate to a corrupt, usurping Supreme Court to arbitrate constitutionality.
And, if Gowdy does not view impeachment as a remedy, the Constitution provides an additional avenue by which to remove a sitting president. It is the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. But, this is not considered by Gowdy or any other member of Congress, despite many individuals publishing articles arguing effectively for the removal of Obama based upon mental illness conditions. The burning question is “why?”
Both chambers of Congress has engaged in lawlessness right along with the current occupant of the Oval Office. It would be difficult for the body of 535 to hold a president accountable without bringing some flack upon themselves. And, Congress has been derelict in their duty to expel their own under appropriate circumstances outlined in the Constitution.
In thirteen days, barring any outrageous acts of usurpation, the tide is about to change with Trump’s inauguration. One has to wonder if impeachment will be considered a remedy, as will the power of the purse, by the House should they view an action by Trump as qualifying under the Constitution for initiation of impeachment proceedings. It would be a safe bet to say that impeachment will be back on the buffet once Trump assumes office and the House will be eager to use the power of the purse to “reign in” Trump while allowing Obama to skate.
In all honesty, every president has committed an offense(s) deserving of impeachment. However, Congresses, past and present, have been reluctant to use the remedy to stop usurpation and warping of the Constitution to bend toward a president’s will. Moreover, these same Congresses have ignored impeachment as a remedy for Supreme Court justices and federal government department/agency heads who engage in offenses worthy of impeachment. Many arguments by citizens and Congress members have been put forth against impeachment, including “difficult to convict,” “takes too much time,” “don’t believe in impeachment,” “creates a constitutional crisis,” and, but not limited to, “inadequate vice-president.” But, the Constitution does not contain “qualifiers” against impeachment.
While many might like to point at more recent players in the federal government for the troubles being experienced in the united States, the lawlessness of the federal government goes back over 150 years covering multiple presidents, Congresses, department/agency heads and Supreme Court justices. Lawlessness has been all the rage for both parties at the federal government level for quite some time. Once citizens realize the problem, they can begin to exercise the remedies afforded them by the Constitution and their own State constitutions to hold accountable their elected representatives, thereby beginning the return to our Constitutional roots and the rule of law. Until then, lawlessness and corruption will continue in the swamp knowns as Washington, DC, with political, wealthy elite violators operating with impunity while citizens are held to the strictest interpretations of the law, violating the very tenet of the self-evident truth contained in the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal.”