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Archive of entries posted on January 2011

Constitutional Option Expiring?

The Hill reports that the Senate will adjourn the “magic” first legislative day tonight, thereby ending the opportunity to change Senate rules with a simple majority: “Under the so-called Constitutional option, on the first legislative day of a new Congress, senators can ask for a ruling from the presiding chair to amend the Senate rules and [...]

Could Arizona Replace Representative Giffords?

The answer is yes.  Or no, depending on which edition of the Washington Post you read. On Monday, the Post ran an online story entitled “Arizona statute could endanger Giffords’ hold on seat” (which appears to be no longer available on the Post website) explaining that an Arizona statute requires that an office be deemed [...]

Washington Post on Speech or Debate

The Washington Post has a front page story today on the Speech or Debate Clause, and how it has been used to block certain investigations over the past few years.  The story touches on a number of criminal investigations of Members of Congress over the past few years.  Of particular interest, it discusses the legal [...]

I’m Not Dead . . . . I’m Just in Congress.

In Impeachment and Assassination, Professor Josh Chafetz makes the inventive argument that impeachment, at least presidential impeachment, is best viewed as a metaphorical form of political assassination.  Chafetz argues that impeachable offenses should be viewed as “assassinable” offenses, by which he means the type of offenses that warranted assassination in historical instances known to the [...]

Why Is Tomorrow Different From All Other Days?

In today’s Washington Post, Senator Tom Udall asserts that the Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority, notwithstanding Senate Rule XXII, which requires a two-thirds vote in order to bring debate to a close on a motion to amend the Senate rules.  According to Udall, “[o]n the first day of the new session, [...]

The Radical Implications of Rejecting the Senate’s Continuity

As discussed in my last post, the effort to repeal the Senate filibuster rule is premised on the proposition that the Senate is not a continuing body.  Professor Aaron Bruhl (see “Burying the ‘Continuing Body’ Theory of the Senate”) and others contend that the Senate, like the House, is a temporary body that “dies” at [...]