When former Speaker of the House John Boehner—whom Amash helped push out of his leadership role last fall—used to preside over “pro forma” sessions during which most members were away from Washington, the libertarian-leaning congressman would always attend, just to make sure Boehner didn’t try to sneak a voice-vote extension of the PATRIOT Act. “Trust but verify,” the Michigan maverick would say, quoting Ronald Reagan’s famous line about the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons negotiations. Yes, Amash speaks of his own party the way Reagan spoke of the Russkies….
Congress, Courts, History, Law
Article II, Section 2 does not lay out any specific procedure by which the Senate can refuse its consent. It does not indicate whether it must do so by taking a vote, or whether it can simply refuse to consider the president’s nominee at all. However, Article I, Section 5 states that “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That power includes the rules for considering judicial nominations, as well as all other Senate business. Thus, so long as the Senate has established rules that allow it
Via The Constitution does not require the Senate to give judicial nominees an up or down vote @ Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy.
Congress, Privacy, Surveillance
CIA Director Unrepentant
Lawmakers are abdicating one of their most important responsibilities, and emboldening the executive branch to overstep its powers….
Via A Fearful Congress Sits Out the War Against ISIS @ The New York Times.
Congress, Federal Reserve, Open Government
“Independent” does not mean “sovereign.” Someone should remind the Fed of this.”
“Is the Federal Reserve above the law? It sure seems to think it is. In the name of “independence” the Fed thinks it can do whatever it wants including ignoring a congressional subpoena. (Really this is probably one of the least of its “crimes.”) Via “Unacceptable and disturbing.” Federal Reserve will not respond to a…
Congress, Legislation, Patriot Act, Privacy, Surveillance
“But, the bigger surprise: even with a deadline looming, warnings of impending doom from surveillance justifiers, and pressure from Senate leadership, the extension received less support than the reform bill. In other words, more senators believe that the prospect of completely losing some surveillance authority is less damaging than allowing the government to continue its…
Business, Congress, Lobbying
Congress, Law, Legislation, Liberty, Patriot Act, Privacy, Surveillance
The Patriot Act Balance of Power
“If Section 215 sunsets, pro-reform advocates will have more leverage to push for stronger surveillance reforms than those currently on the table, because the new status quo will tip more in favor of those who oppose mass surveillance under the Patriot Act. However, they will have to strongly push back against fearmongering from anti-reformists and…
Congress, Crime, Law, Police
Although millions of Americans see racial bias in criminal justice, Congressmen are among the least likely to think so
Large numbers of Americans see racial bias in our country’s criminal justice system: The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 44 percent of Americans believe the criminal justice system in the United States treats white Americans more fairly than black and Hispanic Americans. Another 45 percent believe the system treats all racial groups the same, 6 percent think the…
Business, Congress, Crony Capitalism, GOP, Government Spending
Wishful, Unrealistic Thinking About Senate Republicans
Over at the conservative Washington Examiner, Tim Carney teases the possibility that if the GOP gains control of the Senate, there might finally be a showdown against crony capitalism: What Republicans need today — to pitch on the campaign trail, and to pursue if they control both chambers — is an anti-corporate-welfare agenda…. Republicans have…
Congress, Crony Capitalism, Elections, Free Markets, GOP, Politics
Amash Wins in Michigan: Pro-Market Defeats Pro-Business Insider
Liberty-respecting Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan defeated a primary challenger put up by so-called business interests and other party insiders: The Liberterian-minded Amash on Tuesday, Aug. 5, soundly beat Ellis, who billed himself as sort of the “anti-Amash” candidate for votes he considered out of touch with Third District voters. Countless endorsements, including the Grand…