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Taking the President to Court

May 6, 2006

As the U.S. government flounders between democracy and tyranny, there is a growing synergy among impeachment and censure advocates. Given the plethora of offenses–false rationales for the war in Iraq, the domestic spying program, the leaking of classified information, illegal abuse and torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and the suspension of the habeas corpus protections of American citizens–the legal case for impeachment is nothing to dismiss. High crimes and misdemeanors have clearly been committed, likely even admitted. But the political will to impeach is another question entirely. As Micheal Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights points out in the Nation this week, however, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the chances of impeachment. 51% of Americans favor impeachment if the president lied about Iraq. (At the height of Monica-gate, only 28% of Americans felt impeachment was justified.)

Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, along with his early support for an investigation into impeachment, is currently filing a new law suit against the president. He claims that rather than follow legal procedures in getting the Budget Bill signed into law–which would require the same version of the bill to pass through both houses of Congress–Bush just signed the House and Senate versions as if they were one. This is not only unprecedented, according to Conyers; it’s illegal.

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