Monday, October 5, 2009

What is a misdemeanor under the constitution and why it is important

Although I can be sympathetic to the effort to prove Barack Hussein Obama is ineligible to be president, the simple truth is nothing will come of it. The fact is while Obama is in the oval office (even only occasionally as he seems to be) the president can and (with a robotic Democrat congress), is doing great harm to the country and more destruction is on the way.

However this quixotic effort is not the only way Obama could potentially be removed from office, but (unfortunately) with the same result, i.e., nothing will come of it. Nonetheless, unlike the eligibility issue, this one is more provable.

Can we actually impeach Barack Hussein Obama? Should we impeach Barack Hussein Obama?

Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." (Emphasis added)

The phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors," imports a concept in English Common Law that was well-known to our Founding Fathers but is greatly either misunderstood or totally ignored today. "High crimes and misdemeanors" essentially means bad behavior. has succinctly and clearly summarized the historical significance of including the term "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the Constitution:

"’High crimes and misdemeanors’ entered the text of the Constitution due to George Mason and James Madison. Mason had argued that the reasons given for impeachment - treason and bribery - were not enough. He worried that other "great and dangerous offenses" might not be covered... so Mason then proposed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ a phrase well-known in English common law. In 18th century language, a ‘misdemeanor’ meant ‘miss-demeanor,’ or bad behavior."

In other words, "high crimes and misdemeanors" does not refer to a criminal act as many believe because our founding fathers fully intended to allow for the removal of the President for actions which were... egregious... grossly incompetence... grossly negligence... outright distasteful... or, in the case of Barack Hussein Obama, actions which clearly show "malevolence toward this country and constitution, which is unabated."

The subject of impeachment was the subject of a great deal of discussion as the Constitution was debated as it was adopted from the English concept of this idea. In England impeachment was a device to remove from office someone who abused his office or misbehaved but who was protected by the Crown. (1) It was used in the early constitution proposals and the discussions concerned such questions as what body was to try impeachments and what grounds were to be stated as warranting impeachment. (2) The attention of the founders was for the most part fixed on the President and his removal, and the results of this narrow focus are reflected in some of the things left unresolved by the language of the Constitution.

During the debate in the First Congress on the ''removal'' controversy, some contended by that impeachment was the exclusive way to remove any officer of the Government from his post, (3). Madison said impeachment was to be used to reach a bad officer sheltered by the President and to remove him ''even against the will of the President; so that the declaration in the Constitution was intended as a supplementary security for the good behavior of the public officers'' (4). However the language of Sec. 4 does not leave any doubt that any officer in the executive branch is subject to the power.

Examining records of the discussion of what should qualify as grounds for removal of the president is very interesting. At first it was determined that the Executive should be removable by impeachment and conviction ''of mal-practice or neglect of duty'' and subsequently this was changed to ''Treason, or bribery'' (5). Mason objected to this limitation, saying that the term did not encompass all the conduct which should be grounds for removal; he therefore proposed to add ''or maladministration'' following ''bribery.'' Upon Madison's objection that ''[s]o vague a term will be equivalent to tenure during pleasure of the Senate,'' Mason suggested ''other high crimes and misdemeanors,'' which was adopted without further recorded debate. The phrase in the context of impeachments has an ancient English history, first turning up in the impeachment of the Earl of Suffolk in 1388 (6).

Treason is defined in the Constitution (7); however, "high crimes and misdemeanors, which, in England had comprehended conduct not constituting indictable offenses (8), is not. In debate prior to adoption of the phrase (9) and comments thereafter in the ratifying conventions (10) were to the effect that the [president] should be removable by impeachment for commissions or omissions in office which were not criminally cognizable. And in the First Congress' ''removal'' debate, Madison maintained that the wanton removal from office of meritorious officers would be an act of maladministration which would render the President subject to impeachment.

During the effort to impeach Justice Chase, the theory of extreme latitude was expressed by Senator Giles of Virginia during his impeachment trial... ''The power of impeachment was given without limitation to the House of Representatives; and the power of trying impeachments was given equally without limitation to the Senate. . . . A trial and removal of a judge upon impeachment need not imply any criminality or corruption in him . . . [but] nothing more than a declaration of Congress to this effect: You hold dangerous opinions, and if you are suffered to carry them into effect you will work the destruction of the nation. We want your offices, for the purpose of giving them to men who will fill them better.'' Though Chase was acquitted it had more to do with more to do with the political divisions in the Senate than to the merits of the arguments, it did establish that no indictable crime was necessary to impeach for "high crimes and misdemeanors."
This interpretation was used in the president Johnson impeachment.--President Johnson was impeached by the House on the ground that he had violated the ''Tenure of Office'' Act (11) by dismissing a Cabinet chief. The theory of the proponents of impeachment was succinctly put by Representative Butler, one of the managers of the impeachment in the Senate trial.

''An impeachable high crime or misdemeanor is one in its nature or consequences subversive of some fundamental or essential principle of government or highly prejudicial to the public interest, and this may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, without violating a positive law, by the abuse of discretionary powers from improper motives or for an improper purpose.'' (12)

In conjunction with later impeachments of federal judges, several successful impeachments in this Century support the idea that the constitutional requirement of ''good behavior'' and ''high crimes and misdemeanors'' may conjoin to allow the removal of judges who have engaged in seriously questionable conduct, although no specific criminal statute may have been violated. For example, both Judge Archibald and Judge Ritter were convicted on articles of impeachment that charged questionable conduct that did not amount to indictable offenses (13).

It’s not difficult to find high crimes and misdemeanors justifying impeachment according to the definition of the phrase as used by the founders and as described subsequently.

Here are just a handful of the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Barack Hussein Obama, our president:

- Obama has overseen the unconstitutional effective takeover by government of banks, the largest insurance company (AIG), and General Motors (GM) and Chrysler... the bulk of the U.S. auto industry, thus depriving bondholders, shareholders, and others of their property.

- Obama has overseen the effective takeover by government of banks, the largest insurance company (AIG), and General Motors (GM) and Chrysler... the bulk of the U.S. auto industry, thus depriving bondholders, shareholders, and others of their property

- Obama has appointed countless "Czars" to oversee everything from the closing of Guantanamo to the food we eat. These Czars don't have to be. Approved by the Senate. The Czars have unprecedented power and report only to Obama. Members of both parties are disturbed by these extra-Constitutional excrescences

- Obama lied to the American people when he said we could keep our private insurance, knowing full well that his legislation would inevitably drive private insurers out of business.
- Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service investigated Kevin Johnson, a big buddy of the president, for misuse of funds from an AmeriCorps grant. Whereupon Obama vindictively fired Walpin to cover for Johnson. A subsequent investigation vindicated Walpin’s judgment in the matter.

- Obama is actively pursuing cap-and-trade legislation. Instead of taxing the very air we breathe, it would instead, in a manner of speaking, tax the air we exhale and give the government unprecedented control over the economy and American businesses.

-Obama is running up our debt at an alarming rate. In just 9 months since Obama assumed office, our National Debt has gone up by over a trillion dollars. To put that figure in perspective, it took George W. Bush 8 years to add 4.8 trillion to the National Debt.
And these matters are only some of the misdemeanors (as defined by the Founders). Doesn’t it appear as if Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the country?

On numerous occasions in his world-wide apology tour Barack Hussein Obama said that America is not a Christian nation despite surveys that say the contrary. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he wrote of Muslims and Arabic immigrants: "… I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." When he spoke at Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, the White House insisted that the name of Jesus, be covered. Georgetown complied. In 2006, he said; "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation." He went to Egypt and said, "You might say that America is a Muslim nation."

Why go to such lengths to deny the Judeo Christian heritage of the United States? Surely Barack Hussein Obama knows that our personal liberties flow directly from our Judeo Christian heritage... that there is no surer way to destroy our republic than to deny that heritage.

There is no doubt that America was founded on Judeo Christian heritage.

President Thomas Jefferson: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"

President Andrew Jackson called the Bible; "the Rock upon which our republic rests."

President John Adams said; "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion."

Patrick Henry said, "It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains."

George Washington, in his Farewell Address said; "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."

Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America, wrote extensively on the relationship between the Christian religion and liberty in American: "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

It is clear to patriots that every jab at the Judeo Christian heritage of this great nation is a blow to the very foundation of our nation and strikes at our freedom and liberty. Barack Hussein Obama hasn't only denied this heritage of this nation; he has as president bad-mouthed America itself at every opportunity.

For example, Obama said, "America has been arrogant." thus giving our enemies and our allies every reason to believe that we are less resolved to defend ourselves and hence more vulnerable to attack.

Following his inauguration, Obama ordered Gitmo closed within a year without having any idea where to put the terrorists, despite the fact that it was (and is) the best possible facility for detaining terrorists.

His first presidential phone call was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Fatah Party in the Palestine territory. According to press reports he told Abbas; "This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office."

His first one–on-one TV interview was not with NBC or ABC, but with Al Arabiya, where he said:

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."

He immediately issued an Executive Order halting military commissions which resulted in charges being dropped against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the vicious terrorist accused of planning numerous terrorist attacks against Americans, including the USS Cole bombing in which 17 U.S.
sailors died.

While treating the Queen of England with casual familiarity, he obsequiously bowed from the waist to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, leader of a Muslim nation that won’t permit Christian worship within its borders... under penalty of death.

I believe that Barack Hussein Obama is one of the most dangerous men in the world today and when it comes to his plans for transforming the United States into his idea of a socialist utopia Obama is not yet finished.

President Obama is going all the way back to Karl Marx; he believes it's his mission to promote "equality of outcome" over "equality of opportunity" even if Americans must suffer a lessening of our way of life. Barack Hussein Obama is a very dangerous man and one of the greatest threats to our personal liberty today.

To make sure Americans can do nothing to thwart his agenda, Obama appointed Attorney General, Eric Holder who despises the 2nd Amendment. If Holder had his way, he would take away our guns, leaving us defenseless not only against gangs and hoods, but also the encroaching federal government. It was the healthy and rational fear of government that led to the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution of the United States.

We can but unfortunately won’t do something to stop this maniacal narcissist. There’s only one answer.

Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Barack Hussein Obama's words and actions clearly rise well beyond the level of "bad behavior" and our Founding Fathers left us a remedy for presidents guilty of bad behavior.

"The Obama presidency is the disease; Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution, is the cure."


(1) W. Holdsworth, History of English Law (London: 7th ed. 1956), 379-385; Clarke, The Origin of Impeachment, in Oxford Essays in Medieval History, Presented to Herbert Salter (Oxford: 1934), 164.
(2) Simpson, Federal Impeachments, 64 U. Pa. L. Rev. 651, 653-667 (1916).
(3)Annals of Cong. 457, 473, 536 (1789), Id. 375, 480, 496-497, 562, Id., 372.
(4) W. Willoughby, op. cit., n.294, 1448. [This point was established by a vote of the Senate holding a plea to this effect good in the impeachment trial of Senator William Blount in 1797. 3 A. Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington: 1907), 2294-2318; F. Wharton, State Trials of the United States During the Administrations of Washington and Adams (Philadelphia: 1849), 200-321].
(5) M. Farrand, op. cit., n.4, 88, 90, 230, 172, 186, 499.550.
(6) T. Howell, State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors from the Earliest Period to the Present Times (London: 1809), 90, 91; A. Simpson, Treatise on Federal Impeachments (Philadelphia: 1916), 86.
(7) Article III, 3. [The use of a technical term known in the common law would require resort to the common law for its meaning, United States v. Palmer, 16 U.S. (3 Wheat.) 610, 630 (1818) (per Chief Justice Marshall); United States v. Jones, 26 Fed. CAS. 653, 655 (No. 15,494) (C.C.Pa. 1813) (per Justice Washington), leaving aside the issue of the cognoscibility of common law crimes in federal courts. See Act of April 30, 1790, Sec. 21, 1 Stat. 117.]
(8) Berger, Impeachment for ''High Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' 44 S. Calif. L. Rev. 395, 400-415 (1971).
(9) See id., 64-69, and 550-551.
(10) E.g., 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions on Adoption of the Constitution (Philadelphia: 1836), 341, 498, 500, 528 (Madison); 4 id., 276, 281 (C. C. Pinckney: Rutledge): 3 id., 516 (Corbin): 4 id., 263 (Pendleton). Cf. The Federalist, No. 65 (J. Cooke ed., 1961), 439-445 (Hamilton).
(11) Trial of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States on Impeachment (Washington: 1868), 88, 147.
(12) Id., 409.
(12) Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 430.
(13) Broek, Partisan Politics and Federal Judgeship Impeachments since 1903, 23 Minn. L. Rev. 185 (1939). [Grimes, Hundred-Ton-Gun Control: Preserving Impeachment as the Exclusive Removal Mechanism for Federal Judges, 38 UCLA L. Rev. 1209, and 1229-1233 (1991).]

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