Friday, March 1, 2013

Impeach Scalia!

    The White House's 21st century version of the Suggestion Box, "We the People" Petitions, often draws eccentric and even outlandish proposals, such as the recent call to build a Death Star, a la Star Wars.  The White House even responded with a tongue-in-cheek explanation of why the administration would not get behind this particular idea.  (The answer even included this hilarious assertion: "We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.")  More recently, an (apparently) earnest petition appeared calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:Call for the Impeachment of Justice Antonin Scalia for violating the oath of the office. 
Justice Scalia stated that the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the "perpetuation of racial entitlement," saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn't anything to be gained politically from voting against it. The oath of office requires that I [sic] he remain impartial and protect all persons rights equally under the law. His statement indicates he not only is not impartial, but also is trying to circumvent the constitution. The legislature put in place laws to protect right to vote for all Americans. His statements are political in nature and indicates that it is his duty to circumvent the actions of the two other branches of government.
    Justice Scalia is certainly no stranger to controversy and calls for his impeachment are nothing new.  However, the unique approach of this petition is entertainingly ironic.  The last half of the petition teaches a short civics lesson on how the U.S. government is intended to function and how Scalia is "trying to circumvent" the founding document.

    There's just one problem.  While the petition calls for "the Obama administration to call for the Impeachment of Justice Antonin Scalia," the Constitution is pretty clear on this matter.  Article I, Section 2 states: "The House of Representatives shall ... have the sole Power of Impeachment."  Article I, Section 3 goes on to say: "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments."  The Executive Branch serves no function in the impeachment process.  The petitioner is asking the Obama administration to insert itself into a matter which, one might say, would "circumvent the constitution" and the principle of separation of powers.  Well, as Barney Fife used to say, fight fire with fire.

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