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CNN: Giffords to Resign from Congress

 
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 02:12 pm
@Joe Nation,
Quote:
Agreed.
Where we disagree is who gets to demand the right of a particular State's people to have that right fulfilled?
The answer is : the people of the particular State. It's their representative
.


Given that the only means for a state to enforce it will concerning a senator that is no longer able to function in the middle of his term is to fight another civil war with the federal government it seems somewhat simpler and less wasteful to have the senate used it power under the constitution to expel that member.

Only 2/3 of the senate have the power to address the issue within the framework of the constitution at least.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 03:16 pm
@Joe Nation,
The problem is that BillRM is willing to blithely let the Senate invalidate the votes of the people of a state and substitute their own decision about whether an ailing member is entitled to remain among them and retain his/her own office during a period of incapacitation and recovery.

While BillRM says..
Quote:
every state and that state people have a right to two senators not one.

He overlooks that the people of the state have a right to have the Senator they elected holding that office. Once the Senate, as a body, moves to have that Senator removed, expelled, they are over-riding the democratic process that put that Senator into office. That's a serious disregard for the rights of the people of a state to elect a Senator to serve a term of office on their behalf, which is why expulsion has been utilized only as the most severe form of punishment, and only in the most egregious circumstances, like treason on the part of a member of Congress.

With Joe Biden, and Sen. Ted Kennedy, and Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. Giffords, we have seen that the voters are accepting, and patient, when unexpected medical problems sideline their legislative representatives, and they have also re-elected some of these representatives even when there were some lingering disabilities and medical problems. And the voters will likely be patient with Sen. Mark Kirk during what promises to be a long road to recovery on his part.

It's certainly reasonable that we have a national discussion on this issue, with an objective airing of the voters' views on what constitutes an acceptable length of a medical leave, and exactly how we would define and measure "incapacity", and who would be appointed and entrusted to do that defining and measuring, and how adequate continued representation of a district or state could be assured in the most fair and democratic manner.

But that's not really what's been going on this this thread.

Instead we've had BillRM advocating a misuse of the Senate's and House's powers of expulsion, and Hawkeye referring to Giffords absence from Washington as "a stunt" and trying to impose his own subjective arbitrary notions of time-frames, and his personal value judgments, regarding things like "honor", in lieu of a legislator's right to retain his or her office until that person can appraise their own condition and reach a decision regarding resignation, or until the voters who actually elected that person insist that a decision be made.

And neither BillRM nor Hawkeye have objectively demonstrated that Giffords Congressional district did in fact suffer actual harm or significant disadvantage because she took a few more months to make up her mind than they would have liked, and enough harm to that district that it would have justified the radical measures to have removed her from office that they both proposed. That's not to say that both her district and the Congress would not have benefited more had she not had her life, and her work, so tragically interrupted this past year, but it has not been shown that they actually suffered harm as a result of her taking the year to recover and arrive at a decision.

And, particularly in the case of Giffords, I think the Congressional district, the Congress, and the country, owed her that year. The bullet she took in her brain, in the assassination attempt, wasn't just aimed at Gabby Giffords, it was aimed at the democratic process, the Constitution, the government, and the people of the United States. That's what an assassination attempt of a duly elected government office holder is. No one should begrudge the woman the few extra months it took her to reach the painful decision to resign an office she had worked hard to gain and retain, and in which she had served with distinction when she was able, unless they are very small-minded and totally lacking in compassion.


failures art
 
  3  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 03:21 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

And, particularly in the case of Giffords, I think the Congressional district, the Congress, and the country, owed her that year. The bullet she took in her brain, in the assassination attempt, wasn't just aimed at Gabby Giffords, it was aimed at the democratic process, the Constitution, the government, and the people of the United States. That's what an assassination attempt of a duly elected government office holder is. No one should begrudge the woman the few extra months it took her to reach the painful decision to resign an office she had worked hard to gain and retain, and in which she had served with distinction when she was able, unless they are very small-minded and totally lacking in compassion.


Bingo.

A
R
T
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 03:58 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

This is from your source hawk...




and the act
of expulsion of a disabled or incapacitated Member is unlikely


While it may be possible for the Senate to do just about anything it is as unlikely for them to fly the entire Senate to the moon as it is for them to expel a member for incapacity.

It is always alarming to see how poorly some people pay attention in class.....my arguement is that the House should declare the seat empty and ask the state to send someone to fill it, after they do an expulsion if need be, not that they are likely to do so. Congresses approval rating in the mid teens Is well earned.....they rarely do the right thing.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 04:08 pm
@failures art,
Cops and soldiers take a bullet for us all the time, we don't owe them pretending for the next year that they are doing their job when they clearly are not, and we do not do it. We owed giffords the best medical care that we could provide and a paycheck from some other pretend job, we did not owe her depriving the Arizona 8th of representation for 18 months by making Rep AZ-8 a pretend job.
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
.....my arguement is that the House should declare the seat empty and ask the state to send someone to fill it, after they do an expulsion if need

Right, democracy be damned, and to the hell with the right of the people in that Congressional district to have their elected representative hold her office for the term they elected her to--until either she, or they, decide otherwise
.
The House has no right, or authority, to misuse the punitive power of expulsion, to, in effect, void an election that was held in the 8th C.D. in Arizona. The federal legislators just can't trample on either an individual legislator's rights or the rights of the people in her state who elected her.

And the state can't just "send someone to fill it", there must be a special primary election and a special general election--by the voters in the C.D.--before the seat can be filled.

But this is all BS on your part. You ignore the realities involved so you can indulge in your fantasy scenarios and ignore not exactly small factors, like the entire democratic process, and the fact that the voters in the 8th C.D. were not clamoring publicly and loudly for her resignation. But you're really not interested in "the will of the people" in any regard, certainly not the will of the people in the 8th C. D. in Arizona.

All that you've spouted on this topic is pompous hot air with no substance to it.
Quote:

Cops and soldiers take a bullet for us all the time, we don't owe them pretending for the next year that they are doing their job when they clearly are not,

No one was pretending anything. Giffords was clearly on a medical leave--she wasn't pretending that it was business as usual--and she was entitled to that medical leave, she was covered by federal employees worker's comp. and she was injured while performing her duties. And she didn't have "a job" she was elected to a term of office, and that is an important distinction.
Quote:
we did not owe her depriving the Arizona 8th of representation for 18 months by making Rep AZ-8 a pretend job.

Stop distorting reality. It was 12 months, and not 18, from the time of the shooting to the time of her resignation. And Congress was off for months, and not in session, during that period of time. They don't work a 12 month year, and they don't work a 5 day week.

So she took a couple of more months than you think she should have before resigning. Big deal. And, for that, you'd throw the entire democratic process of how representatives are elected out the window, and allow Congress to void an election which was held in Arizona.

As I said before, the Congressional district, the Congress, and the country, owed her at least that time for her recovery. This was an assassination attempt on an elected government official--and that's an assault on our democracy, the Constitution, the government, and the people of the United States. Too bad if that rubs you the wrong way. Taking a bullet in the head, for being a member of Congress, was not in her job description. There were 434 other members to keep the House running while she recovered. She was more than entitled to that year of recovery, and that medical leave, before deciding to resign. And she was given it. That you begrudge her that simply reflects on how small-minded you are. The only emotion you are comfortable with is anger.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:08 pm
@firefly,
I dont think he will get it or buy it.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:09 pm
@firefly,
I recall recently,in Missouri, they elected a dead man. Course thats really nothing new in our great US of A
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:16 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
The problem is that BillRM is willing to blithely let the Senate invalidate the votes of the people of a state and substitute their own decision about whether an ailing member is entitled to remain among them and retain his/her own office during a period of incapacitation and recovery.


You are a sad joke beside being dishonest as you know if a seat become empty filing it is let up the state in question laws on the subject normally by governor appointment for senate however in some cases the people re-vote.

As far as disregarding the will of the people the people did not send someone who could not do the job that event happen after the fact so unless the people of a state had a great desire to have a mentally cripple or otherwise cripple person in office that leave them with no one to look after their concerns you are once more full of bullshit.

Hell if they had such a desire they can re-vote for a house member in question and send him or her back and in some states they can re-vote for the same person to be a senator during that term.



http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/blvacancies.htm


When a U.S. representative or senator leaves Congress before the end of his or her term, are the people of their congressional district or state left without representation in Washington?

Members of Congress, senators and representatives, usually leave office before the end of their terms for one of five reasons: death, resignation, retirement, expulsion, and election or appointment to other government posts.

While the Constitution does not mandate a method by which vacancies in the Senate are to be handled, vacancies can be filled almost immediately by the governor of the former senator's state. The laws of some states require the governor to call a special election to replace U.S. Senators. In states where replacements are appointed by the governor, the governor almost always appoints a member of his or her own political party. In some cases, the governor will appoint one of the state's current U.S. representatives in the House to fill the vacant Senate seat, thus creating a vacancy in the House. Vacancies in Congress also occur when a member runs for and is elected to some other political office before his or her term is over.

Since Senate vacancies can be filled so quickly and each state has two senators, it is highly unlikely that a state would ever be without representation in the Senate.

Vacancies in the House, however, take far longer to fill. The Constitution requires that member of the House be replaced only by an election held in the congressional district of the former representative.

"When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies." -- Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution

According to the US Constitution and state law, the governor of the state calls for a special election to replace the vacant House seat. The full election-cycle must be followed including political party nominating processes, primary elections and a general election, all held in the congressional district involved. The entire process often takes as long as from three to six months.

While a House seat is vacant, the office of the former representative remains open, its staff operating under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. The people of the affected congressional district do not have voting representation in the House during the vacancy period. They can, however, continue to contact former representative's interim office for assistance with a limited range of services as listed below by the Clerk of the House.

firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 08:24 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
You are a sad joke beside being dishonest as you know if a seat become empty filing it is let up the state in question laws on the subject normally by governor appointment for senate however in some cases the people re-vote.

I'm not dishonest, you just seem to have significant memory problems for what you've been posting.
You were advocating Congress using the punitive power of expulsion to unseat a medically incapitated member, and that would invalidate the votes cast by the people who elected that representive. That's what would subvert the democratic process.

Meanwhile, Giffords kept her seat until she decided to resign it, just as many others have done before her. Members of Congress can, and do, take rather extended medical leaves when their situation necessitates. Representatives from the adjoining Congressional districts make sure the interests of the region are not neglected. The other 434 members keep the House functioning. Congressional district offices continue to serve constituents needs. Nothing grinds to a halt because a House seat is not occupied for a few months. And the Congressional district is not left with "no one to look after their concerns". Cut the crap and get real.

All the Congressional district lacked, during Gifford's recovery, was having a representative actually casting votes from the floor--and in the House, many of those are voice votes, not even recorded votes, they just call out "yea" or "nay" as a group, so the absence of one member is hardly noted. They even usually skip roll call in the House because it just takes too long with 435 members. And the legislation which Giffords sponsored, and introduced just before she was shot, passed immediately following her resignation. So, she even managed a legislative victory despite her period of incapacitation.

Giffords was entitled to arrive at her decision in her own way and at her own time. And there was no harm done to the 8th C.D. in Arizona in the process.

BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 09:03 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
You were advocating Congress using the punitive power of expulsion to unseat a medically incapitated member, and that would invalidate the votes cast by the people who elected that representive. That's what would subvert the democratic process.


Nonsense, I am advocating not allowing a seat to remain empty repeat empty in effect and thereby shortchanging the people right to have their voices hear in congress!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somehow, I question if it is the will of any part of the American population to be shut out of having representation in congress no matter how you try to spin it.

That lack of representation being due to either natural causes such as a stroke or a madman firing a bullet into a congressperson brain it does not matter.

If the congressperson is not able to do his or her job for a prolong period and perhaps forever he or she should resign and if he or she does not do so then the congress should act to protect the people of that district or that state from being shut out of political process.

You wish to grant madmen or the natural occurring medical condition of one person the power to disenfranchised in the case of the house 400 hundreds thousands or so voters and in the case of the senate up to tens of millions for up to two years for the house and up to 6 years for the senate.

To sum up you are crazy…………
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 10:11 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Nonsense, I am advocating not allowing a seat to remain empty repeat empty in effect and thereby shortchanging the people right to have their voices hear in congress!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that Giffords is gone, how do you suggest that the people in C.D. 8 deal with not having "their voices hear in congress" for the next 6 months, until the special primary and general elections result in a new representative? Do you think that being "disenfranchised" will result in mass Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the district? Widespread clinical depression over the lack of a Congressional representative? Do we need to send emergency psychiatric support into the region, to help tide the people over until those special elections are held?

You do realize that most people can't even name their representative in the House, don't you? Most people never contact their Congressperson to express views on pending legislation, let alone do they keep track of how the representative is voting, or whether they are even showing up in the House to vote most of the time. And most have no idea what House committees their representative sits on, or whether their representative ever sponsors legislation, or, if they do, whether any of it ever gets passed. And a great many people never even show up at the polls on election day to vote for a representative in the House. But, here you are, hysterical because, "congress should act to protect the people of that district or that state from being shut out of political process". Laughing

Giffords resigned in her own time and for her own reasons, and nothing awful happened because of that. The people in Congressional district 8 in Arizona were not jumping up and down and publicly and loudly screaming for her ouster prior to that time. They handled their period of allegedly being, according to you, "disenfranchised", quite well. Much better, in fact, than you seem to be taking it.

Take two aspirin and you'll feel better in the morning. Laughing
BillRM
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 10:36 pm
@firefly,
So let me get this straight it does not matter how long a people are without a voice in their own government?

If it take a few months to get a new senator seated why not allow it to take 6 years until the next election if need be is that your position?

There is no worth in reducing the time to the very minimum that is possible and if having represented government is of so little worth in your opinion and not having it does so little harm I am going to assume that you would be just as happy living in a police state where the people had no voice at all.

Love following where your positions lead....................
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 10:46 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
So let me get this straight it does not matter how long a people are without a voice in their own government?


I thought her argument is that if America does not burn down because of it then it is OK. This is a very strange position coming from a police state advocate who is willing to approve of the state abusing the citizens at the drop of a hat.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 11:17 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
So let me get this straight it does not matter how long a people are without a voice in their own government?

How long has it been since you've felt you had a voice in your own government?

In thread after thread, you do nothing but moan and bitch about "crazy" laws you feel were passed by legislators you have little to no regard for, and who you feel are all under the control of special interest groups.

But, of course, you'd be frantic if those people weren't sitting in their Chamber seats voting for all those "crazy" laws you'd like to get rid of. Rolling Eyes

Spare me your flag-waving hypocritical speeches about the devastation of people being "without a voice in their own government" because I've heard how you really feel about your elected representatives.

And the people in District 8 in Arizona had a voice in their government when they elected Gabrielle Giffords. And they expressed their voice when they did not loudly call for her to resign this past year. They gave her the time she needed. You're the one not respecting their voice in their government. From your perch in Florida, you would have wanted to see Congress take their elected representative away from those people in Arizona by expelling her from Congress to vacate the seat. And this is your idea of letting those people in Arizona have "a voice in their own government"? Rolling Eyes

The people in C.D. 8 in Arizona can think for themselves. Had they wanted Giffords out sooner, they would have raised their voices so loudly you would have heard them in Florida. You didn't hear them, did you?

Go, start telling the people of Illinois they better start thinking about getting rid of Sen. Mark Kirk because he's got a long hard recovery from his stroke ahead of him. I'm sure they need your help from Florida. Rolling Eyes

Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 11:35 pm
@firefly,
I heartily agree with everything you've said on this thread, firefly, and I thank you for it. But why do you keep feeding this wild-eyed inarticulate troll?
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:38 am
@Lustig Andrei,
there are two trolls. But I agree that she should stop feeding them.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:41 am
@RABEL222,
And I agree that there are two of 'em. We ought to let them both starve.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:42 am
@RABEL222,
RABEL222 wrote:

there are two trolls. But I agree that she should stop feeding them.


The opposing argument is too good to ignore, you do so at your own peril. Once you boys and girls lost the ability to silence the heretics you became fucked, as the truth always aims to be free.
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:46 am
Quote:

Senate to give Mark Kirk time to heal
U.S. Senate likely to allow indefinite recovery period, as it has for ill members in the past
By Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune reporter
January 25, 2012

WASHINGTON—Ted Kennedy had a brain tumor. Joe Biden had two brain aneurysms. Tim Johnson had a rare brain anomaly that led to strokelike symptoms. Lyndon Baines Johnson had a heart attack.

The lawmakers, all stricken while in public office, were afforded a privilege that comes with Senate service: They weren't at risk of losing their jobs because they weren't able to travel to work.

There is no protocol, constitutional authority, federal law or congressional rule for the Senate to recognize "incapacity" of a sitting member and declare a "vacancy" in the office, according to a 2006 study by the Congressional Research Service.

History shows that Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican who suffered a stroke over the weekend, will be given ample time by his colleagues to recuperate. Kirk, 52, is in intensive care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where doctors said Tuesday he was showing progress but faced a lengthy road back.

Donald Ritchie, historian for the Senate, described it as "a collegial body" that is patient when members miss work for long stretches because of illness.

The 100-member Senate has some members who "are pretty old," Ritchie added. "So we've had a lot of illnesses over the years: strokes, surgeries, all sorts of conditions. And as a general rule, senators feel badly for their colleagues and have given them time to recover."

They've even offered to help ill lawmakers with their duties, as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has for Kirk.

"Senators are part of a small group of individuals, and they go out of their way to help each other," Ritchie said. "Politics aside when it's a personal situation."

Kennedy's brain tumor diagnosis was made public in May 2008, and he kept his Senate seat until his death the next year. He made it to the Senate floor in July 2008 to cast a vote on the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly.

Voting is the one thing a member can't do without being present on the Senate floor, Ritchie said.

Biden, now vice president, had surgery for two aneurysms and was gone from the Senate from February until September 1988, according to the Senate Historical Office.

Johnson, still representing South Dakota in the Senate, was gone for nearly nine months while he underwent a long, grueling rehabilitation. He was back in September 2007 and won another six-year term in November 2008.

LBJ took ill while he was Senate majority leader. He was out from July until December 1955. He later became vice president and then, after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, president. He won the presidential election in 1964.

A lawmaker with frequent absences was Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who died at age 100 in 2003. And Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died at age 92 in 2010, was "in his last year, pretty frail," Ritchie said. "But when (Byrd) was needed for votes, he was there."

Senators with dire health problems may choose to resign, Ritchie said, but some don't.

According to Ritchie, the lawmaker absent the longest from the chamber in the post-World War II era was Sen. Carter Glass, a Democrat from Virginia. Suffering from heart problems, he was out from June 1942 until his death on May 28, 1946. Yet he remained influential while he was ill, because as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, he got things done with the help of aides — and a telephone.

Ritchie said serious injuries needn't be a career-ender. There's the case of Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who was attacked with a cane on the Senate floor by Rep. Preston Brooks of South Carolina in May 1856.

According to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Sumner was unable to return to full duties until December 1859. "His empty desk was a sign of the political tensions of that era," said Ritchie, who said Sumner was ill for years and suffered from vertigo and nausea as a result of being caned by Brooks.

Still, Sumner "went on to become one of the most influential senators in the Civil War and Reconstruction era," according to Ritchie, noting that he authored major civil rights legislation. "It was the only time a senator was physically assaulted on the floor of the Senate," the historian said.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-mark-kirk-senate-illness-20120125,0,7848328.story
 

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