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(77,240 posts)
Mon Jan 16, 2023, 10:41 AM Jan 2023

Voters have few options to remove George Santos from Congress - aside from waiting until the next el [View all]

Voters have few options to remove George Santos from Congress – aside from waiting until the next election

Jonathan Entin
Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

(The Conversation) There are mounting calls from both politicians and voters to force the newly elected apparent fabulist U.S. Rep. George Santos from Congress following revelations he fabricated his background and other details of his life.

But New York’s 3rd Congressional District voters, who elected Santos as their representative in November 2022, cannot directly force him out of office until the next election, in November 2024.

It appears that Santos, who beat Democrat Robert Zimmerman during the 2022 midterm election, has woven a web of lies about his personal and professional background, some of them touching on on major historical and tragic events. Santos falsely claimed, for example, to have Jewish ancestry and said that his maternal grandparents fled to Brazil during the Holocaust. He also said that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks seemingly “claimed” the life of his mother – who actually died in 2016.


Although a local weekly newspaper raised questions about his background in September, the story did not gain traction until The New York Times published its own story in December 2022. If the voters had known about these lies before the election, Santos might have lost.

As a scholar of constitutional law and public policy, I think it is important to understand that voters have limited options at this point. Forty states provide for the recall of state and local elected officials. But there is no federal recall law that could lead to the removal of someone like Santos from Congress.


The Constitution says that members of Congress can be impeached and removed for treason, bribery or other offenses. The Constitution does not specify grounds for expulsion – or actually removing someone from office – leaving that to each chamber of Congress to determine. .................(more)


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