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legislative office holder

Oath Breaker's Bar From Office
  [vote for,

Lately, I've been thinking of a new law or constitutional amendment called "Oath Breaker's Bar From Office". Any legislator that voted in favor of a law subsequently found to be unconstitutional would be barred from office for life effective the date of the unconstitutional law's passage, obliged to disgorge to the treasury all pay and benefits rendered unto him afterward, and his votes from that date forward invalidated and void. Sponsors and co-sponsors would serve 10 years in prison in addition to all the disabilities above.

No more of this "You have to vote for it in order to find out what's in it." In fact they might be a little more careful of what they propose and vote for in those 2000-page bills.

Why do I think this would be a useful addendum to our Republic?:

1. I am tired of the legislature dreaming up snares and traps to fine and imprison the citizenry.

2. Those bastards took an oath:

5 U.S. Code § 3331. Oath of office

An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Obviously, if you voted for an unconstitutional law, you have violated your oath of office. "Break a deal, face the wheel."

daddyvortex, Nov 22 2019


       Wait a minute. I am not a lawyer, nor an American, so please correct me if I have my facts wrong here, but ...   

       I get the impression that the de facto meaning of the US Constitution depends at the margin on the composition of the Supreme Court.   

       So, here's how it plays out:   

       1. Party A gains a majority in congress, and starts passing some laws. These laws are consistent with their interpretation of the constitution at that time.   

       2. Party B wins the presidency.   

       3. A judge dies.   

       4. Party B appoints one of their judges.   

       5. Party B begins a constitutional challenge to one of Party A's laws.   

       6. A political massacre of Party A's legislators ensues - party is disgraced, much of its leadership jailed.   

       7. Party B takes control of congress, starts passing laws reflecting *their* understanding of the constitution.   

       Repeat from the top.   

       The selective pressure of this environment would tend to favour the advancement of independently wealthy reckless narcissists.   

       I understand that you want your politicians to take their responsibilities more seriously, but I suggest that what you most need to promote in those politicians is a healthy fear of the voters, to which due respect for the Supreme Court would be ancillary. How might you promote that? Well, you could increase political competition by lowering financial barriers to entry, and/or changing the voting system. But that's another story.
pertinax, Nov 22 2019


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