A handful of newly elected Republican US Senators have written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trying to undo the Constitutional authority of other elected incumbent US Senators.
That’s right. Even the so-called strict constitutionalist Rand Paul is engaged in lobbying that would impose illegal burdens on incumbent elected representatives violating the word and spirit of the United States Constitution.
According to the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution, the respective terms of US Senators and US Representatives ends at noon on January 3rd.
Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.
Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Senators “elect” Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)** have written to Senator Reid stating, as reported by Joshua Rogin:
On Election Day we were elected to represent the constituents of our respective states in the Senate. Out of respect for our states’ voters, we believe it would be improper for the Senate to consider the New START Treaty or any other treaty in a lame duck session prior to January 3, 2011.
Too bad guys!
You are not yet elected and the incumbent Senators seating in seats they “won” previously have ALL the powers embedded in their positions until 12 noon, January 3rd.
Your efforts to impose your will beforehand are extralegal, irresponsible, and unconstitutional.
Rand Paul — you owe many of your supporters a note of regret for having agreed to sign on to this letter giving your strict Constitutionalist views.
Rob Portman — an old friend, and someone I respect for his sensible Republican pragmatism — you too should know better than try to disrupt the operations of our government before your time has clicked in. De-sign this letter please.
Roy Blunt — this was clever, but you know it was wrong. Dial down please.
Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio** — don’t follow the leader so quickly.
This is an inappropriate request of Reid, and the US Senate should move post haste to whatever issues its elected body agrees to move to — including the START Treaty.
— Steve Clemons
** Editor’s Note: The original piece by Joshua Rogin included the name Senator Mark Kirk as one of the signers of the letter and did not include Marco Rubio. I do not know if Mark Kirk removed his name or never agreed to sign — but good for him in either case. I have added Senator Marco Rubio to the list.