Tag: Impeachment

Member Post

 

  “I do solemnly swear 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 will take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and […]

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Bad President, No Biscuit

 

The Constitution is a brilliant document in its way, but the current administration has amply demonstrated one of its weaknesses. For all its careful separation of powers, the Constitution provides no punishment for disobedient executives short of the nuclear option (impeachment). But impeachment is so drastic (and destabilizing for the country) that Congress will always be reluctant to pursue it. And, as any criminologist can tell you, the worst way to regulate bad behavior is through huge punishments that are inconsistently applied. People with poor impulse control can’t be expected to engage in that sort of long-term planning. (I might get caught, I might end up incarcerated for 30 years, I might be impeached, etc.)

When you have a willful child in the Oval Office, bad things will happen. But if Congress wants to motivate the president to obey the laws, threatening to impeach him probably won’t be the ticket. He needs swift, immediate punishments that are manageable enough to be consistently applied. So, for example:

How Impeachment Has Changed

 

ClintonLet me add one more note to my discussion with Peter about the legality of how President Obama has handled the Bowe Bergdahl situation. Peter wrote in response to yesterday’s post:

What I find staggering, though–and I suppose this is really something I should have known, but then Obama has never been president before, has he?–what I find staggering is that when the President of the United States engages in genuine lawlessness, no one can take him to court. Obama enforces ObamaCare selectively, ignores the requirement to report to Congress before releasing prisoners, and permits the IRS to engage in political vendettas…and all Congress can do is hold hearings and sputter.  Either that or resort to the very blunt instruments of withholding appropriations or–dare one breathe the word?–introducing resolutions of impeachment.

Can this be so, Professor Yoo?