Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Details on the Landrieu Recall

Red at Caught Him With a Corndog is posting more information today on the Mary Landrieu recall effort:

The citizens of Louisiana are granted the authority to perform a recall election by Section 26 of Article 10 of the Louisiana Constitution.

"10. If the recall passes, the public officer is recalled and removed from office and the office is declared vacant when the election returns are certified to the Secretary of State. The vacancy is then filled as usual. The recalled official cannot be appointed to fill the vacancy."

She has details of an organizational meeting in Layfayette on Thursday.

Previous Post:
Mary Landrieu Recall Petition


Clay said...

How long does this process take?

Pat Austin said...

I'm not sure Clay - I'll research it a little bit; I know that they have 180 days from December 29 (the day the petition was filed) to get 33% of the registered voters (i.e.: 981,873 signatures) to sign the petition for recall.

One thorny issue seems to be the legality of it. At the moveonmary.org site, this is addressed:

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.

I'm not sure if they can pull it off but I applaud their efforts to try!

Red said...

I'd like to be the 'fly on the wall' at the Lafayette meeting. I may go.

Red said...

BTW, thanks for the repost. I noted your blog towards the end.

Pat Austin said...

@Red - You SHOULD go! And take a video camera!

.....CLIFFORD said...


I'm sorry to say that any recall attempt against Mary Landreiu, like the one against Joseph Cao last spring, will go nowhere.

See this opinion (09-0015) by the Louisiana State Attorney General's Office concerning the recall of a Federal Official.

Even if a recall petition is presented, the Secretary of State's office told me yesterday that they will abide by the AG's opinion.

Because our organization has seen a lot of member interest in a recall, we researched the issue, including consulting with an attorney, and found that the Law and Court rulings - including Supreme Court rulings - do not support the arguments and conclusions made in the by the moveonmary.org website concerning the legality of a recall.

It appears the consistent legal understanding, since Ratification, is that the relevant Article I provisions of the Constitution alone set the qualifications and limitations of Senators and Representatives, and that States cannot further qualify or limit the same. It is, to steal a well used phrase of late, settled Law.

With respect to introducing a recall via the Tenth Amendment, the Supreme Court has ruled, in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U. S. 779 (1995) and Cook v. Gralike, 531 U.S. 510 (2001), that the Tenth Amendment does not reserve to the individual states the power to place qualifications on their Senators and Representatives, since that power was already specifically delegated to the Congress in Article I. So again, there is settled Law.

For those interested, a very detailed and documented paper on the subject can be found here.

And, as a practical matter, even if this question could wind its way up tho the Supreme Court, Mary would be up for reelection long before it got there.

Again, I wish we had the ability to recall, but we do not. The Constitution is clear and, if we really do respect the Constitution, we must respect it even when it doesn't go the way we like.

The best thing we can do now is to make 2010 a loss for Mary and her party, by working diligently to remove the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate in November.

Baton Rouge Tea Party

Red said...

Looks like things have hit a snag.