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originally posted by: Xcalibur254
a reply to: neo96
I thought the point was obvious. The Dem controlled House is actually passing bills. The GOP controlled Senate is doing nothing.
So why are the Dems being perceived as doing nothing?
originally posted by: LSU2018
originally posted by: carewemust
I believe most Democrats in the country think today's impeachment vote will be to remove President Trump from office.
Boy are they in for a surprise!
Have to be... There's no other reason they would be so giddy.
The Anomalous Ruling in COGR v. Lynch The disquieting ruling in the Fast and Furious litigation and its immediate and long-range disruptive consequences for effective investigate oversight demands closer, albeit somewhat repetitive, examination. The binding law with respect to executive privilege in the D.C. Circuit was established by the court’s rulings in Espy (1997) and Judicial Watch (2004). Those decisions made an unequivocal distinction between the constitutionally-based presidential communications privilege and the common law deliberative process privilege, which the presiding judge in COGR v. Lynch ignored. While both have common general goals—to protect in some degree sensitive internal executive deliberations—and both are qualified privileges, the resemblance for purposes of legal significance and impact ends there. The Espy court’s unanimous opinion emphasized the severe limits that the deliberative process privilege, as a common law privilege, would have as a shield against congressional demands since it would be more easily overcome by a showing of need. The court twice remarked that if there is a plausible showing that government misconduct may have occurred, the privilege “disappears.” At one point it stated: “[W]hen there is reason to believe the documents sought may shed light on government misconduct, ‘the [deliberative process] privilege is routinely denied’ on the grounds that shielding internal government deliberations in this context does not serve ‘the public interest in honest, effective government.’”88 There is no hint of any constitutional concern that would allow an agency to invoke the deliberative process privilege in such circumstances. And yet, the Lynch court determined that there “is an important constitutional dimension to the deliberative process aspect of the executive privilege.” This finding has serious constitutional and practical consequences for effective investigative oversight.89 Historically, Congress has been recognized as the initial determiner of its own institutional rights and prerogatives, particularly for matters directly or indirectly related to oversight. Since the 1870s—with the express acquiescence of the Justice Department—all subpoena demands by the Justice Department to members or component entities must first be processed and reviewed by House and Senate leadership and counsel. In 2006, the Justice Department decided to circumvent this initial review process by means of a search warrant executed at a member’s office. FBI agents barred the House general counsel and the member’s private counsel from overseeing the search. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the search a violation of the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. The court emphasized that a critical purpose of the clause is to prevent intrusions into the legislative process. The executive’s search procedures did just that by “den[ying] the Congressman any opportunity to identify or assert the privilege with respect to legislative materials before their compelled disclosure to executive agents.”90 Previously, in the same vein, the court ruled that courts may not block a congressional subpoena, holding that the Speech or Debate Clause provides “an absolute bar to judicial interference with such compulsory process.”91 As a consequence, a government witness’ sole remedy, until recently, was to refuse to comply, risk being cited for contempt, and then raise privilege claims as a defense in a contempt prosecution. Most recently the Supreme Court deferred to the exercise of the Senate’s internal rulemaking authority to define when it is in session for recess appointments purposes, thereby nullifying a presidential attempt to unilaterally make that determination.92 And, finally, there has been judicial approval and general recognition of each chamber’s absolute control over the initiation and conduct of investigations and hearings.93 The Lynch court’s departure from both prior law and practice recognizing the legislature’s primacy in establishing first responses to intrusions on its core institutional prerogatives threatens to undermine one of Congress’s primary functions in our scheme of separated powers. The district court’s ruling has been appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Under the appeals courts’ argument schedule no resolution can be expected until well into 2017.94
On January 19, 2016, D.C. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the Department of Justice (the Department) to turn over thousands of pages of documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (the Committee), despite the Attorney General’s claims that they were subject to executive privilege. While the outcome in Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House of Representatives v. Loretta E. Lynch (OGR v. Lynch) was a win for the Committee, it may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. Judge Berman Jackson found for the Committee based on narrow factual circumstances while laying out a vision of an expansive deliberative process privilege that—if it stands—may diminish Congress’s powers to investigate the Executive Branch.
The oldest means of Executive Branch resistance—first used by President George Washington—has been the presidential claim of executive privilege to withhold records from Congress. Though they are both as old as the country itself, neither Congress’s investigatory power nor the executive privilege to withhold are specifically mentioned in the text of the Constitution. Given the negotiated nature of congressional investigations, political pressures on both branches to resolve disputes, and the Judicial Branch’s reluctance to interfere in political disputes, questions of executive privilege related to congressional investigations have rarely reached the courts. This has left little legal guidance on how the President’s privileges and Congress’s investigative powers interact. As one commentator put it, the “scope and limitation of congressional oversight are borne of conflict,” and given the limited number of legislative-executive disputes that have reached the courts in this area, much remains unsettled. Despite this lack of judicial guidance, the branches all agree that Congress has broad powers to investigate nearly any question. The Constitution vests Congress with “all legislative Powers herein granted.” It is firmly settled that the Constitution’s grant of legislative power contains a corollary power to investigate any matter subject to existing or potential legislation. As the Supreme Court held in Barenblatt v. U.S., “the scope of the power of inquiry, in short, is as penetrating and far-reaching as the potential power to enact and appropriate under the Constitution.” III. Defining the Scope of Executive Privilege: Presidential Communications and the Deliberative Process The earliest judicial mention of executive privilege interests came from Chief Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, when he noted that the Court’s incursion “into the secrets of the cabinet” would appear to be interfering “with the prerogatives of the executive.” As courts understand it today, executive privilege consists of two distinct privileges: the presidential communication privilege (PCP) and the deliberative process privilege (DPP). These concepts are both only relatively recently defined—our understanding of PCP comes principally from the Supreme Court’s Watergate-era jurisprudence, while the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has articulated the more common but less clear DPP in the course of adjudicating over a half-century of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. a. Presidential Communication Privilege While presidents have fought to withhold records from opposing branches since the Washington Administration, it was not until U.S. v. Nixon that the Supreme Court articulated the modern doctrine of executive privilege. In Nixon, which involved a judicial rather than congressional subpoena, the Court described PCP as “. . . fundamental to the operation of Government and inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the Constitution.” The Court elaborated: [T]he privilege can be said to derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; the protection of the confidentiality of Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings. The Court defined PCP narrowly, limiting it to communications made “in performance of [a President’s] responsibilities,” and “in the process of shaping policies and making decisions.” The Court also immediately recognized the qualified nature of the privilege, stating that the President’s “generalized interest in confidentiality,” failed against the judicial branch’s “demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial.” Beyond Nixon, much of our understanding of PCP comes from the D.C. Circuit’s decision in In re Sealed Case (Espy), which concerned an Office of Independent Counsel subpoena for records accumulated in the preparation of a White House Counsel’s Office report to the President. The court in Espy recognized the President’s ability to invoke PCP when asked to produce records that 1) reflect presidential decisionmaking and deliberations and 2) the President believes should remain confidential, at which point they become presumptively privileged. The privilege can only be applied to records revealing the President’s deliberations or those of advisors with operational proximity to the President, applies to records “in their entirety, and covers final and post-decisional materials as well as pre-deliberative ones.”
originally posted by: Xcalibur254
a reply to: panoz77
This goes to you and everyone else trying to be clever. Most of those bills that have been sent to the Senate were bipartisan.