Will the Senate Expel Roy Moore If He’s Elected?

By Julian E. Zelizer

Some Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have suggested that if Alabamians elect Roy Moore to the chamber in the special election, they’ll expel him. This promise from the GOP might be the best way that leadership can signal to Republican voters that they can vote for Moore despite the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. If he is elected, they will handle the problem.

But the chances of McConnell and his colleagues following through on this threat are extremely small. Historically, the House and Senate have been very reluctant to deploy their most punitive power.

Under the Constitution (Article I, Section 5) the House and Senate each have the authority to punish its members for “disorderly behavior.”  Under the rules Congress has adopted, each chamber has three options for dealing with problematic colleagues. The House and Senate can censure or reprimand a member by a majority vote. This, the least of the possible acts of punishment, is a formal condemnation that still allows the person to remain in office. The House and Senate can also each exclude someone by a majority vote, which prevents an elected member from taking their seat because they lack the technical credentials. Finally, the most severe punishment available to the House and Senate is to expel a seated member for improper behavior, which requires the consent of two-thirds of the membership.

Both chambers have been willing to exercise the least drastic power without much hesitation. During the 19th century, there were numerous censures in the House of Representatives when decorum broke down—ranging from physical acts of violence to unruly language. William Stanberry was censured in 1832 for insulting the speaker; Lovell Rousseau was censured in 1866 for assaulting a member. The Senate famously censured Joseph McCarthy in 1954. Democratic Senator Thomas Dodd was censured …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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As Predicted — Because “Pipelines Are Bound to Spill” — Existing Keystone Gushes 200,000 Gallons of Oil

Thursday's spill is just the latest tragedy caused by the oil company TransCanada. (Photo: SHSPhotography / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Thursday’s spill is just the latest tragedy caused by the oil company TransCanada. (Photo: SHSPhotography / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Some of the worst fears and dire predictions of opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline came true on Thursday when pipeline owner TransCanada announced that more than 200,000 gallons of oil had spilled from the existing portion of the Keystone system in Marshall County, South Dakota.

While the company reported the spill in a public statement, Buzzfeed notes there was an approximately four-and-a-half hour gap between when the company said the breach was discovered at 6:00 am and when local officials say they were notified at 10:30 am. As a South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources told the news outlet, “We’re not quite sure why there was a time gap in there.”

Outside of the company’s statement, there has been no outside or independent verification of the size of the spill or details about the scale of the possible damage.

Those who had warned against the pipeline’s approval for precisely these reasons and continue to work tirelessly to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) project, were among the first to respond to Thursday’s spill.

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“With their horrible safety record, today’s spill is just the latest tragedy caused by the irresponsible oil company TransCanada,” said Ben Schreiber, senior political strategist at Friends of the Earth. “We cannot let the world’s fossil fuel empires continue to …read more

Via:: Truthout

      

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Trump Fails to Rebuke Duterte for Human Rights Abuses in the Philippines

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Jake Tapper Would Prefer Not To Be So Agitated

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The Gun Control Legislation That Even Republicans Like

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Donna Brazile’s Tell-All Is Troubling For the Wrong Reasons

By David Litt “Why am I supposed to be the only person that is unable to tell my story?” asked Donna Brazile, during the early days of her media blitz. Apparently she shouldn’t have worried. Her campaign memoir, Hacks, just debuted at number three on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Still, I suspect […]

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