Republicans particularly those that control the U.S. Senate, have a unique and deceitful way of influencing events to produce their desired outcome. Since 2016 Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have lied about 2 fake constitutional amendments to force a different outcome than what America’s founding fathers and constitutional framers intended.
There have been 27 constitutional amendments to the United States Constitution since it was put in place on March 4, 1789. Those 27 constitutional amendments range from freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, abolishing slavery, the right of citizens to vote regardless of race or sex, the age a citizen must be to vote, and how many times a person can be elected president. Article 5 of the constitution details the 2 ways constitutional amendments are added to the constitution, of the 2 only 1 has been used to amend the constitution.
That process involves a positive ¾ vote in both the U.S. House and Senate followed by a positive vote by 38 of the 50 state legislatures.
There have been 2 instances that potentially were about to produce a political outcome that Republicans feared, so instead of playing by constitutional rules Republicans decided to simply make up 2 FAKE constitutional amendments out of thin air to prevent it. The 2 fake constitutional amendments that Republicans lie about are:
1) No Person Can Be Added To The Supreme Court in An Election Year
In February of 2016 conservative icon, Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia died of natural causes while on a quail hunting trip in Shafter, Texas. His death caused panic among Republican conservatives because it created the possibility that his replacement would shift the balance of the Supreme Court. Before his death, there were 4 perceived liberal justices, 4 perceived conservative justices, and 1 justice who had ruled either way depending on the case before the Supreme Court.
At the time of Scalia’s death, Democrat Barack Obama was President, which meant to Republicans his replacement pick would be a liberal or a moderate sifting the majority law ideology of the Court away from conservatives. Hours after Scalia’s death announcement Republican Senator Charles Grassley, who was then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both declared that the Senate should not act on any new nomination for a Supreme Court Justice until after the presidential election in November 2016. It has been “standard practice,” Grassley said, “over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year.”
One month later Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia and Majority Leader McConnell preceded to deny Garland a confirmation vote for the rest of 2016. On January 4, 1940, an election year, President Franklin Roosevelt nominated Frank Murphy who was confirmed on January 16, 1940. On February 3, 1988, an election year, the Senate voted to confirm President Ronald Reagan’s nominee Anthony Kennedy’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Both of these election year appointments were done because Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which describes who appoints and how Supreme Court Justices are confirmed, says nothing about not making an appointment to the Supreme Court in an election year.
2) A President Can Only Be Impeached For Committing A Crime
Last November as the House Judiciary Committee was approving the Trump Articles of Impeachment, the ranking Republican Doug Collins would echo the sentiment of Republicans when he said: “we don’t have a crime.” Another Republican member Steve Chabot chimed in “this President isn’t even accused of committing a crime.” Now as the Republican-controlled Senate holds the Trump impeachment trial, Republican Senators are asserting the constitutional lie, even though most constitutional scholars disagree and Article II, Section 4 says nothing about having to commit a crime, a president has to commit a crime to be impeached simply to justify their already decided not guilty votes that they will cast at the end of the trial.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in 1999 as an impeachment prosecutor during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton: “What’s a high crime? How about an important person hurt somebody of low means. That’s not very scholarly, but I think it’s the truth, I think that’s what they meant by ‘high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you have committed a high crime.”
President Trump has even found a lawyer to defend him in the trial who is making up constitutional amendments that don’t exist. Alan Dershowitz said during the Clinton impeachment that a president does not have to commit a “technical crime” in order for it to constitute impeachable conduct. Now as President Trump’s impeachment lawyer he claims that a president does have to commit a crime in order to be impeached.
As America experiences a 4th presidential impeachment in its 244 year history the nation is divided on whether or not President Trump should be removed from office, but the way Senate Republicans keep subverting American democracy by trying to invent constitutional amendments that don’t exist, it raises the question of whether or not all REPUBLICAN SENATORS SHOULD BE IMPEACHED!!!
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.
Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on January 29, 2020.