Whether the good citizens of Louisiana are successful or not at removing Senator Mary Landrieu from office, it is good to know that concerned citizens are attempting this and that statutes exist to permit it. And yes, I do believe that the 10th Amendment is pertinent.
From the MoveOnMary.org website.
“Is it Possible ?
No doubt, gathering enough signatures to remove a currently seated United States Seantor will be difficult.
Our legislators, no doubt, did not want recall petitions to be used willy-nilly everytime someone gets annoyed by current office holders. They’ve made it difficult enough by requiring at least 33% of the voters who were registered to vote at the time of the office holders election.
What this translates to, in this attempt to remove Mary Landrieu, is the collection of 981,873 signatures of voters who were registered to vote on November 4th 2008. Do we believe this to happen easily? Certainly not. Is it really possible to achieve our goal, given the whole hearted participation of supporters who really want to restore some semblance of sanity with our elected officials? Yes, we really can. Yes, it will take a lot of work, but, it can be done. We certainly would not have ventured into this effort, were it impossible. You can download the voter registration data from the Secretary of State web site at:
Well, you’re probably already hearing from the “conservative” nay-sayers already. You may be hearing all kinds of reasons that you should not participate in this effort. I’ve already had a coulple of conversations with “Conservative activists” trying to dissuade me from participationg in this effort. This morning, one gentleman who is a self declared “leader” in the Tea Party movement expressed to me his own reasons why I should give this up already. Some of these I’d like to share with you now.
1) “It can’t be done!”
Sorry, but that defeatest attitude isn’t one of my core attitudes.
2) “It’s never been done before.”
Well, he was correct. Of course, it will never ever be done until someone really tries to get it done.
3) “State law only provides for the recall of State and Local Officials”
When I asked him if he could give me the actual Louisiana Statute he was talking about, he told me that it would take a couple of week to get it to me. But, of course, he did know the statute. Until he gets that information to me, I’ll have to fall back on Louisiana RS 18:1300.1 §1300 (Link). This statute, specifically addressing the recall of elected officials, states, “Any public officer, excepting judges of the courts of record, may be recalled”. Nowhere, could I find in that statute an exception to Federal officials nor anything that would describe a U.S. Senator as something different that a “Public Officer”.
4) “The Supreme Court has already held that States cannot recall U.S. Representatives or Senators.”
Well, again, when I asked for this case to be cited, it couldn’t be. Neither the U.S. nor the Louisiana Supreme Court has ever heard or made a decision concerning the recall of U.S. Represntatives or Senators.
5) “The Constitution doesn’t provide a means to recall U.S. Representatives or Senators”.
True. There are lots of issues that the U.S. Constitution does not address. That’s why our founding fathers later included the 10th Amendment (link). It states simply, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In simplest terns, since the U.S. Constitution has NOT provided a means for the citizens to remove Representatives or Senators and has NOT forbidden the States or the people from doing so, then it is reserved to the States or the people. Fortunately, Louisiana is one of the 18 states that have passed laws providing for the recalling of “Any public officer” other than judges. U.S. Representatives and Senators or NOT judges, so can be recalled.
6) “The 10th Amendment forbid it.”
The Tenth Amendment of which Constitution? See note 5.
7) “Constitution experts have …..”
Sorry, but Constitutional experts are simply people like you and I, who have opinions. Some have the opinion that it can be done, some have the opinion that it can’t be done.
Thoughout the internet, in the social networking groups, in the blogs, etc., there have been many who have made a lot of noise about recalling Mary Landrieu. Up until now, I’m sure it has been an amusement to her ilk. On December 29, 2009, Someone finally did something about it and filed the petition with the Secretary of Sate’s office. I for one am enthusiastically joining in the effort and will never look back.
Legally, we CAN recall Mary Landrieu. Ethically and morally, we CAN recall Mary Landrieu. Ethically and morally, we SHOULD recall Mary Landrieu. I can promise, if we accomplish this daunting task, it will have a snowball effect in Baton Rouge AND Washington, Nay-sayers notwithstanding. One thing is a fact, however, as long as we continue to roll over and play victim, we will continue to be made fools out of by the likes of Mary Landrieu. Attending meetings and rallies, waving banners and placards and making a lot of noise changes NOTHING … if we do nothing else to change things. Louisiana voters are blessed with the statutes allowing us to recall public officials who are derelict in their duty, and we should take advantage of those laws. Yes, laws do mean something … as long as we use those laws.
I want to do something about the problems in Washington. What about you?”