An Examination of the Ethics of Mitch McConnell
On December 8th, 2010, at the Heritage foundation, then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his #1 priority was to make President Obama a one term president. An admission of intent to use his powers as Senate Minority leader to obstruct the works of the United States Government.
True to at least these words, since he has been Senate Majority leader, he has helped to set the records for lowest productivity Congresses, most filibusters, usurped the powers of the Presidency to appoint the Judiciary, obstruction of government activities purely for political gain, a form of bribery, engaged in theft of honest government services,conspiracy to defraud the United States,and may have taken actual monetary bribes for his devotion to illegal action, or perhaps inaction is more accurate. His role as full on Obstructionist is the greatest in living memory and probably of all time- only Newt Gingrich may deserve more credit, and as we see later, the Newt Congresses were the only rivals for futility of Congress- hardly the most functional of bodies before these two infamous individuals.
The only point of principle, worthy of mention, is he doesn’t take the Congressional Obamacare fee waiver.
McConnell’s average wealth of $22.8 million puts him well above the Senate average. Oddly, however, before 2008 McConnell was well below the Senate average. In 2004, his average net worth was $3.1 million, compared to a Senate average of $14.5 million.
That’s almost a seven fold increase in 10 years. McConnell has quadrupled his net worth since 2007, when it was $7.8 million.
So what happened in 2008? His financial disclosure form tells the story—suddenly there appeared a tax-exempt money market fund, valued at between $5 million and $25 million, listed as a “gift from a filer’s relative.” (Look at Line 2 and then Line 3.)
What is happening here- 50 sounds like too many filibusters. 307 is civil war without the pistols. The asterisk shows that 307 does not include Obama’s final 3 years in office, meaning it is not a full picture- though the Democrats lost the Senate in year 4.
- 68 individual nominees blocked in the history of the Senate
79 individual court nominees blocked under Obama
According to Politifact 68 individual nominees blocked prior to Obama taking office and 79 (so far) during Obama’s term, for a total of 147.”
This does not to my knowledge include the Blue Slip process, officially, but should be.
Garland Nomination and the Obstruction of Governmental Processes for Political Advantage
The shall language in Article II Section 2 Paragraph 2 is very important
The pronoun “he” refers to the any current serving president at the time that a vacancy occurs on the US Supreme Court.
He shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court,”
makes the job of advising and consenting to Judges of the Supreme Court mandatory when a vacancy occurs under a sitting president. The US Senate is not given and does not have the right to refuse hearings and refuse an up or down vote of a quorum of the Senate on whether the sitting president’s choice of a nominee, in this case President Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland, can be obstructed by refusing to have hearings and an up or down vote of a quorum of Senators.
The “shall nominate” and “shall appoint” language make at least a floor vote on the nominee Merrick Garland mandatory as a duty all Senators when a quorum of Senators can be convened.
The shall nominate means the president must nominate a judge or judges to fill any vacancy on the supreme court when such vacancy occurs during the president’s term in office.
The shall appoint language modifies the “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” phrase and is a prepositional phrase that is an adverbial clause. This adverbial clause modifies the “shall appoint” language and makes the work of the Senate mandatory to advise and consent to any nominee for supreme Court judge. If the Senate were allowed to deny hearings and or deny an up or down vote on Presidential nominees to the Supreme Court, the term “by and with the advice and consent” would be prefaced with the helper verb “may”, that is the Senate may advice and consent. In that case however the advice and consent of the Senate to give advice and consent to the president’s chosen appointment Merrick Garland, would not even be necessary. That is then with the verb “may” added “may give advice and consent” the confirmation hearings and the up or down floor vote would not be needed for the president to make the appointment.
The argument has been used that the Constitution does not contain time constraints. While this is silly on it’s face- it does not matter- shall implies must do, and if there was a delay, and then a vote, this would be a little less egregious, see next paragraph. Instead, the Senate refused to do a Constitutionally mandated duty, exposing themselves to several criminal charges from civil rights deprivation 18 USC 241 and 242, Theft of Honest Government Services, Bribery, and Obstruction of Justice.
The appropriate measure then, would be to look at the previous history of judicial nominations and their times to confirmations, and in this case, the time from nomination to confirmation for Neil Gorsuch. If there is a significant difference- it is fairly clear that they altered normal time frames for their own political gain.
Thus the Senate failed to do it’s Constitutional duty in order to get a Supreme Court pick it did not have in order to keep it. Gorsuch must be removed and the Supreme Court pick reverts back to Obama, because of the illegal actions of the Senators.
The Garland thing was the tip of the iceberg, as McConnell filibustered 300 times in less than 4 years, including 69 judges(approx) more than in the entire previous 230 years forcing Reid to use the Nuclear Option.
69 judges? They held up the workings of the system, so they could get their people in, for years. Everyone working harder, less justice, because there were less justices, to do the job.
After 300 filibusters, and a year without Judiciary hearings, McConnell nukes the filibuster and says getting judges on is of the first priority.In a Country that’s bloodiest war was called Civil, this sort of underhanded
unConstitutional grinding the gears of the machine because you didn’t win was just too unthinkable until this McConnell “leadership” of Senate.
18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
18 U.S. Code § 1346 – Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
ribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior (to the benefit/interest of the giver) that the recipient would otherwise not alter. Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. Alcohol money case is a real-life example of bribery.
Gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, and not for dishonest purposes, is not bribery. Offering a discount or a refund to all purchasers is a legal rebate and is not bribery. For example, it is legal for an employee of a Public Utilities Commission involved in electric rate regulation to accept a rebate on electric service that reduces their cost for electricity, when the rebate is available to other residential electric customers. Giving the rebate to influence them to look favorably on the electric utility’s rate increase applications, however, would be considered bribery.
The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be money, goods, rights in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, objects of value, advantage, or merely a promise to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.
In economics, the bribe has been described as rent. Bribery in bureaucracy has been viewed as a reason for the higher cost of production of goods and services.
923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added). See Project, Tenth Annual Survey of White Collar Crime, 32 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 137, 379-406 (1995)(generally discussing § 371).
The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.
Although this language is very broad, cases rely heavily on the definition of “defraud” provided by the Supreme Court in two early cases, Hass v. Henkel, 216 U.S. 462 (1910), and Hammerschmidt v. United States, 265 U.S. 182 (1924). In Hass the Court stated:
The statute is broad enough in its terms to include any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful function of any department of government . . . (A)ny conspiracy which is calculated to obstruct or impair its efficiency and destroy the value of its operation and reports as fair, impartial and reasonably accurate, would be to defraud the United States by depriving it of its lawful right and duty of promulgating or diffusing the information so officially acquired in the way and at the time required by law or departmental regulation.
Hass, 216 U.S. at 479-480. In Hammerschmidt, Chief Justice Taft, defined “defraud” as follows:
To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention.
18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.