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Writ of Mandamus to House Dems: Quickest, Easiest Way to Get Impeachment on the Table

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:38 PM
Original message
Writ of Mandamus to House Dems: Quickest, Easiest Way to Get Impeachment on the Table
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/23776

Writ of Mandamus to House Dems: Quickest, Easiest Way to Get Impeachment on the Table
Submitted by davidswanson on Tue, 2007-06-19 17:42. Activism | Congress | Impeachment

Because the Congressional Democrats in the first half of the 110th
Session have paid no attention to voters giving them a House majority
and a mandate to end the Iraq occupation and the Bush administration-
but all attention to Pelosi/Emanuels frets about the 2008 election-a
method exists to get their attention now, quickly, and easily that
each impeachment group in all corners of this country can do

Its to have a Writ of Mandamus arrive in each of their local offices
on Monday, July 16 charging each with breaking their oath of office
to support and defend the Constitution and permitting the Bush
Administration to overthrow the Constitution and our democratic form
of three branches of government. And failing to apply the stipulated
remedy-impeachment-designed by the Framers to prevent these high crimes.

They can prevent a court finding them in contempt by: Signing on ASAP
to co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Kucinichs HR 333 to impeach Cheney; 2)
Authoring a bill to impeach both Bush and Cheney and dropping it into
the hopper; Compelling Rep. John Conyers, as chair of the House
Judiciary committee, to bring HR 333 to a committee vote and, thence,
to the House floor for a vote.

Mandamus is a tactic that can be used as quickly on a spineless
representative just as quickly as a group in her/his district can get
an attorney to file this action in the federal court. A court may
quash it, but in the last two years several favorable rulings have
been issued in 6 states (Texas, among them, on Houston city corruption).

The thrust here, however, is more to get the reps attention that
they are complicit in destroying the Constitution. If the courts
grant mandamus, its a big bonus. If Karl Rove terrifies them and the
thoughts of losing big campaign funds terrifies them even more, lets
terrify them with this 700-year-old (Edward II, 1311 AD) court order
compelling public officials to do their sworn duties.

more...
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Proud to be First to K&R! DO THIS!
:kick:
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting idea...
A writ of mandamus is used to compel public officials to do something they are legally obligated to do. The question, of course, is whether a court (considering how many wingnut judges W has appointed) would actually issue such a writ. Maybe it's worth a try.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Definitely.
Adorable.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Wait...does the "writ" have to be issued in State Court before it's served to Congressperson?
I thought a lawyer could file a writ and have it "served" to a congressperson. If the congressperson didn't follow the writ then the lawyer could take that person to court...asume it would be DC Court?

How does this work...from when the lawyer writes the writ? Where does the writ go after that and who is the person to see that it's carried out? :shrug:
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes. The lawyer petitions for the writ, but a court has to issue it.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. So it has to go to DC Court meaning all Dem House Members will get writs that have to be challenged?
in the DC Court? Is that what it means? What if not all Dem Districts can get a lawyer to file a writ on their Congresscritter. Does that mean that those who could get the lawyers to do writs can go ahead and file? Does it mean we just need "some writs" and not all?
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I think writs would have to issue from the courts in the districts where
Edited on Tue Jun-19-07 07:27 PM by ocelot
the congresscritters are from, and it can't be in federal court, because there is no longer a provision for mandamus in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. So If I wanted to compel my congressman (Keith Ellison) to pursue impeachment, I think I'd have to petition the district court in this district (Minnesota 5th). Under Minnesota law, at least, here's what I'd have to prove to the court:

Mandamus is an extraordinary legal remedy that courts issue only when the petitioner shows that there is a clear and present official duty to perform a certain act. Kramer v. Otter Tail County Bd. of Commrs, 647 N.W.2d 23, 26 (Minn. App. 2002) (quoting McIntosh v. Davis, 441 N.W.2d 115, 118 (Minn. 1989)). To be entitled to mandamus relief the petitioner must show three elements: (1) the failure of an official to perform a duty clearly imposed by law; (2) a public wrong specifically injurious to petitioner; and (3) no other adequate remedy. Id. (citing Demolition Landfill Servs., L.L.C. v. City of Duluth, 609 N.W.2d 278, 280 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. July 25, 2000))."

A sticky wicket is that the specific rules and requirements might vary from state to state. So this couldn't be done in one proceeding under the same standards.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Thanks...it seems this would not be easy...and certainly not able to be done by July 16th.
Many Dems here in NC come from conservative districts and the local court (whatever it is) is probably Repug/Fundie. Finding a lawyer who doesn't worry about losing Repug business and a court that would be fair in some of these districts would be very hard if not impossible.

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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. The courts in fantasyland might touch this but in reality no
federal court is going to take up this.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. I would bet no court would do it
impeachment is not an obligation. Nor can any court compel Congress act on impeachment.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. That was sort of my feeling. There has to be an established legal obligation
to do something in order for the writ to issue, but impeachment is a political act that is never actually *required* by law. Might be worth a shot but probably wouldn't get very far. If the Supremes ever got hold of it they'd shoot it down for sure -- after all, they gave W the job in the first place.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. If it were possible
all it would take would one judge, somewhere, to force impeachment of ANY president.

The idea is insane.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Good point.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Awesome idea
:kick:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. So it means that we each in every House District in our State need to find a lawyer
who will file this "Writ." Then it has to go through the states courts? IOW'ds... in my district in NC I need to find a lawyer who will notify my Congressperson on July 16th. What happenes after that?

Would think that some retired Dem lawyers who keep up their license would be perfect targets for us Dems to look for in our State Districts. We will have a hard time doing this with active Dem lawyers practicing who will be targeted by RW for getting involved. But there's probably lots of lawyers who remember the 60's who might sign on to help us. :shrug:
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
16. Doesn't it have to go from a *court* and not a legislature?
I know wikipedia isn't a law library, but it says:

> Mandamus is a judicial remedy which is in the form of an order from
> a superior court to any government, subordinate court, corporation
> or public authority to do or forbear from doing some specific act
> which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing,
> as the case may be, and which is in the nature of public duty and
> in certain cases of a statutory duty.....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandamus

That seems to indicate that this particular remedy cannot emanate from the Congress, which is, after all, a legislative body.

It would seem to indicate, rather, something that would go to the Supremes. Them again.

But what do I know.

Hekate

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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
17. A Court is not going to touch this with a 50 foot pole
What a joke. Yeah, courts are going to order members of Congress to start impeachment. More like, you don't like what your Congressman is doing? Kick the bum out in 2008.

Someone has never heard of the Concept of separation of powers and what Courts have ruled regarding this over the years.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. It won't work, for all the reasons already mentioned.
I think there's a lot of grasping at straws because Bush really needs to go and we can't make it happen; our congresscritters mostly don't want to go there. So there's some creative thinking going on. But since one of the requirements for mandamus is that the act sought to be compelled must be one that is clearly required by law, it just ain't gonna happen. Impeachment is always a political act, not a legal one.
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ISUGRADIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-19-07 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. That is the problem. Courts are very reluctant
to interfere with Congressional decisions. Impeachment is not the same as let's say funding the courts or things Congress must do.
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