Iran and Impeachment. The news is unfolding rapidly. What direction is the United States headed? Our go-to for what should be going on is the U.S. Constitution. Anyone up for due diligence? Let’s do it.
Iran: The current debate is whether or not Congress should revise the War Powers Act, which would limit the President’s power to take action, such as the demise of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in recent days.
The following, from the Library of Congress, gives background to the Constitutional debate that is at hand:
“The Constitution of the United States divides the war powers of the federal government between the Executive and Legislative branches: the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Article II, section 2), while Congress has the power to make declarations of war and to raise and support the armed forces (Article I, section 8). Over time, questions arose as to the extent of the President’s authority to deploy U.S. armed forces into hostile situations abroad without a declaration of war or some other form of Congressional approval. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in the aftermath of the Vietnam War to address these concerns and provide a set of procedures for both the President and Congress to follow in situations where the introduction of U.S. forces abroad could lead to their involvement in armed conflict.”
For more, see https://www.loc.gov/law/help/usconlaw/war-powers.php.
What to watch for: Be careful of the minority part trying to have majority powers. The minority and majority parties can change with elections. The law you live under today may change with tomorrow’s election.
What is best? Follow the Constitution, which allows the President to command the Armed Forces to keep American citizens safe. It gives the Congress the power to make declarations of war. That involves time, debate, and conversations. These elements are essential. But think this through: What should be done if a threat is imminent, is not located in their home territory, and the threat can be stopped? Action must be taken when it can be taken for the safety of Americans. As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the President has that power.
Be glad that the War Powers Act is being debated. This gives We the People the opportunity to assess and consider what is constitutional, as it should be.
Impeachment: The House has the power to impeach a President for high crimes, misdemeanors, bribery, or treason. This President has been impeached by the House with no evidence or proof of high crimes, misdemeanors, bribery, or treason. No criminal ordinances or statutes were cited. Nevertheless, the House exercised power, and the current POTUS is an impeached president. Next, the House presents the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The House has not done so. Constitutionally speaking, their job is finished if they choose to hold the articles of impeachment from the Senate.
The Senate tries the President. The purpose is to decide if POTUS will be removed from office. Note that the House of Representatives has completed its job. The House has no say in the trial except to present the articles of impeachment. The Senate makes its own decisions and is not obligated by the Constitution to let the House have any say in when or how the trial is conducted.
What to watch for: whether or not the Constitution process for impeachment will be followed. If a new precedent is set, it will affect Americans for generations to come. Consider whether or not this would be good.
Iran and impeachment both start with the letter “I.” The most important “I” is not in those names but in “I,” meaning individual Americans. Take in to account the lasting effects the actions of our elected officials will have on the Constitution. Those actions affect you, me, and our posterity.
Considering these things is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??