Sunstein on impeachment

first_imgWith special counsel Robert Mueller bringing federal charges against two former advisers to President Trump’s campaign, and a campaign foreign policy adviser pleading guilty to lying about efforts to obtain damaging information from the Russians about Hillary Clinton, what was once inconceivable has become a little less so. Should evidence eventually emerge of possible criminal activity involving Trump himself, analysts say, Congress might have to ponder opening the impeachment process against him, as it last did against President Bill Clinton in 1998. Few clauses in the U.S. Constitution are as mysterious or as misunderstood by Americans as impeachment, and that’s unfortunate, contends Cass R. Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School.“It’s not just for specialists. It can’t be. As much as any part of the Constitution, the impeachment clause puts the fate of the republic squarely in our hands,” writes Sunstein in a new book, “Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide” (Harvard University Press).In his book, Sunstein recounts the complicated debates among the nation’s founders over how best to protect the fledgling United States from succumbing to a president with king-like aspirations. Aside from elections every four years and the congressional and judicial checks on executive power, the founders believed that the people’s ability to remove a president through impeachment was the most important governmental safeguard and a hallmark of American exceptionalism. In an interview, Sunstein clears up some misconceptions about the impeachment process and discusses why he thinks that too-infrequent calls for a president’s impeachment can prove as dangerous to the republic as too many.GAZETTE: You say your decision to write a book about impeachment was not motivated by current events. So why this topic and why now, then?SUNSTEIN: The real reason, the reason I wrote the book, is that in February I bought an old house in Concord! The house was one of the very few places that the British came to find munitions on that fateful day in April 1775 — and the house, built in 1763, got me intensely interested in the American Revolution.I had written about impeachment a long time ago, but I had not appreciated its centrality to our whole constitutional system. I failed to see the powerful link that impeachment makes among: (1) the war for independence (no kings here); (2) the fiery march of republicanism; and (3) the (highly controversial) constitutional creation of a powerful executive. Because of impeachment, “We the People” can remove that powerful executive from office, which allows (3) to keep faith with (1) and (2).Without impeachment, we probably wouldn’t have had a Constitution at all. Without impeachment, the document would have been seen as a betrayal of the principles for which the Revolution had been fought — and for which those embattled farmers in Concord gave their lives. Until 2017, I had not understood that at all.GAZETTE: The American public isn’t particularly well-informed about what impeachment is and what it isn’t, and you say that’s a bad thing. What are some of the biggest misconceptions about impeachment?SUNSTEIN: One misconception is that if the president hasn’t committed a crime, he can’t be impeached. That’s wrong. If the president goes on vacation for six months in Moscow, he’s impeachable, though that’s no crime. If he abuses the pardon power, he is impeachable, even if he has not committed a crime. Another misconception is that if the president has committed a crime, he’s impeachable. Not so! Shoplifting isn’t an impeachable offense, nor is jaywalking, nor is income tax fraud. For impeachment, we need an abuse of presidential authority.Yet another misconception is that the House of Representatives gets to decide what’s an impeachable offense. Definitely wrong. The Constitution sharply limits the category of impeachable offenses.GAZETTE: In the book, you identify two dangers associated with impeachment powers: being invoked too frequently and being invoked not often enough. Can you explain what you meant?SUNSTEIN: The first danger: If, at any point, those who intensely dislike a president start calling for his impeachment just because they intensely dislike him, we’ll have two bad things — distraction and instability. The United States needs to focus on substantive issues, and outside of the most unusual circumstances, the presidential term is for four years. (As they say: For. Four. Years.) Throwing the occupancy of the White House into doubt is destabilizing.The second danger: Suppose that a president does something really terrible, in the constitutional sense (a high crime and misdemeanor). Maybe he has invaded liberty in some horrendous way. Because he’s the president, a lot of people will support him, even if they shouldn’t. Impeachment is our fail-safe, and we shouldn’t decline to use it when we need it.GAZETTE: The book spends a lot of time discussing the various debates people like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Mason, et al., had at the dawn of the nation over the executive branch’s broad powers — and the checks on that power by the legislative branch and the citizenry. Why were those arguments important, and did we wind up with the best outcome, in your opinion?SUNSTEIN: The arguments matter because it’s always good to know what those who designed our Constitution were thinking about. But I would go further. Even if you do not think that the Constitution always means what it originally meant (and I am not an “originalist”), you might agree that, for impeachment, it does mean what it always meant. (So there I am an “originalist.” The book has a chapter on that.)I think the framers and ratifiers did amazingly well. It’s not clear that they did the very best that could be done — but no resolution is obviously better. I have spent much of the last few months in the period between 1750 and 1791, and I am stunned, actually, at the clarity and prescience with which the framers and ratifiers approached the impeachment issue.GAZETTE: You talk about the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” as being neither precise nor overly vague. The book also runs through a number of scenarios involving a president’s actions around things like lying, firing the appointed heads of federal agencies such as the FBI, or withholding cooperation or subpoenaed documents from Congress, and you assess whether they’re impeachable offenses. One that caught my eye is whether a president can be criminally prosecuted or indicted while in office. You say no but concede the Constitution is unclear on the prosecution point. How should we understand those terms, and doesn’t the immunity afforded to a president while in office make him essentially above the law during his term?SUNSTEIN: It’s a pretty messy legal issue. One way to resolve it: Impeachment is the mechanism by which we go after a president who has done something wrong, and that means that a criminal prosecution is just out of bounds. Another way to resolve it (and for technical reasons, I like this better): A president needs to be able to focus on his job, and if he’s fighting off a criminal prosecution, it won’t be easy for him to do his job. To be adequately justified, that conclusion would require a lot of spelling out, but some Supreme Court rulings engage in reasoning of this general sort. I think they’re right. But on this issue, reasonable people differ.GAZETTE: In addition to voting someone out of office, impeachment is clearly an essential safeguard against tyranny. But at the end of the day, voters can’t initiate impeachment proceedings. So if the House, dominated by party members faithful to the president for political or even corrupt reasons, for example, opts not to begin impeachment, what recourse is left? Isn’t that a fatal weakness?SUNSTEIN: It’s a problem and a gap and maybe a weakness, but I don’t think it’s a fatal weakness. Note first: If the president is incapacitated in some sense, the 25th Amendment can be used. And if the president does something genuinely horrible, there’s a good chance that “We the People” will rebel, and the House will respond. If not, freedom of speech remains available. (I hope.)last_img read more

Lennon: Through a Glass Onion Will Play Off-Broadway

first_img Lennon: Through a Glass Onion View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 11, 2015 Part concert and part biography, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion explores the life and talent of one of the most admired icons of the past century. The show will weave together Lennon’s story with 31 songs, including “Imagine,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Revolution,” “Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds,” “All You Need is Love,” “Come Together,” “Help,” “Working Class Hero,” “Mother” and “Jealous Guy.” Lennon: Through a Glass Onion will bring the life and works of the legendary John Lennon to the off-Broadway stage. The show, created and performed by John R. Waters and Stewart D’Arrietta has previously performed at the Sydney Opera House and in the West End. The limited engagement will play the Union Square Theatre from October 3 through February 22, 2015. Opening night is set for October 15. Waters, a London-born Australian actor, has appeared on stage in shows including My Fair Lady, They’re Playing Our Song, Oliver!, The Graduate and Jesus Christ Superstar. His screen credits include All Saints and Breaker Morant. D’Arrietta has performed as Tom Waits in Belly of a Drunken Piano and Tom Waits for No Man.last_img read more

Darren Criss’ Elsie Fest Will Return for Second Year

first_img View Comments Darren Criss(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Elsie Fest, the brainchild of Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss, Jordan Roth and Ricky Rollins, is returning for a second year. The outdoor music festival, named after Sally Bowles’ roomie, will take place on September 5 at 1PM at the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk.Along with Criss, the event will include full sets from Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Rebel and a Basket Case, Tony winner Jason Robert Brown, Tony winner Lena Hall, Corey Cott, Pasek and Paul, Julie James and a special guest performance by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo.Along with the performances, concertgoers will be offered exclusive meet and greet packages with their favorite stars, festival merchandise and a Beer Garden from the famed West Village piano bar Marie’s Crisis (Criss has been known to belt out a tune or two with Tony winner Lea Salonga there).For more information visit Star Files Darren Crisslast_img read more

Vermont ski areas record 4 million skier visits in 2008-09

first_imgAt the Vermont Ski Areas Association s 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting today, the industry trade group announced that Vermont s ski resorts recorded 4,068,696 skier visits for the 2008-09 season. Nationally, preliminary reports put Vermont s numbers on track with the country s overall average, with Vermont resorts and the northeast faring better than airline-dependent destinations.  The season saw an above-average start with a strong Thanksgiving opening and a string of Ski Vermont powder alerts matching those of the 2007-08 banner snow year.  Despite a Christmas thaw, little new snow in March and the worst economic downturn ever seen by the ski industry, Vermont s tally of just over 4 million skier visits stands about on par with the five-year average.Nationally, 2008-09 was the fifth best on record with 57.1 skier visits. This is a 5.5 decrease from 60.5 million in 2007-08, which was the all-time record for the US ski industry. The 2008-09 numbers represent a slight increase over the 10-year average. Vermont had 4.4 million skier visits in 2007-08. The last two years are a vast improvement from 2006-07, when there were only 3.8 million skier visits. Vermont s ski industry held up very well in spite of the enormous challenges of the current economic climate, said Parker Riehle, President of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.  Skiing and snowboarding are lifestyle sports that have historically proven to be recession-resilient, and this season was no different.  With the tight economy, skiers and riders stayed closer to home and Vermont s winter tourism economy benefited from our day s-drive proximity to 80 million people coupled with our unique and unrivaled mountain brand identity.The Annual Meeting held at the Killington Resort Grand Hotel also celebrated the remarkable showing of Vermont ski areas at this year s National Ski Areas Association s Annual Awards presentation where the Green Mountain State garnered an unprecedented eight national awards for safety programs, environmental excellence, marketing and industry achievement. “The environmental excellence awards earned by Stowe, Stratton and Okemo, the marketing awards won by Jay Peak, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, the helmet safety award given to Okemo and the NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award presented to industry icon Hank Lunde are an incredible testament to Vermont’s role in the ski industry and our state s contributions to developing and promoting the sport, said Riehle.At the association s gathering of over 200 alpine and Nordic members, marketing partners and associate members, Stratton Mountain Resort s Sky Foulkes was elected Chair of the VSAA Board of Directors, taking over for longtime chair Bill Stenger from Jay Peak Resort.  Kelly Pawlak, General Manager of the Mount Snow Resort, was elected Vice Chair of the board.Vermont Governor Jim Douglas offered welcoming remarks at the 40th Anniversary gathering and was presented with the Friend of the Industry Award.  The Industry Achievement Award went to industry veteran Hank Lunde, former president of both Killington and Stowe Mountain Resorts.  The Career Employee Awards went to Peter Ingvoldstad and Peter Delaney, both of whom were employed over 25 years at Smugglers Notch Resort.NSAA President Michael Berry discussed the national perspective on the past season and future opportunities, and keynote presenters Jim and Joy Spring with the Leisure Trends Group provided their insight into consumer trends in travel and recreation.Based on preliminary estimates, ski areas nationwide tallied 57.1 million visits for the 2008/09 season, making it the fifth best season on record. Over the last 10 seasons (1999/00 2008/09), the industry has averaged 56.7 million visits. The 2008/09 season represents a 0.8 percent increase from the 10-year average, and just a 5.5 percent decrease from the record 2007/08 season of 60.5 million visits. At 13.8 million visits in 2008/09, the Northeast region was up 5.5 percent from its 10-year average. Meanwhile the Southeast region, at 5.62 million visits, was up 3.8 percent from its 10-year average; the Midwest region, with 7.41 million visits, was down 1.1 percent from its 10-year average; the Rocky Mountain region, with 19.79 million visits, was up 1.3 percent from its 10-year average; and finally the Pacific West region, with 10.54 million visits, was down 5.8 percent from its 10-year average.Relatively favorable snow and weather conditions in most parts of the country during much of the season provided a strong counterbalance to the challenging economic conditions. Based on resort comments, the impact of the economy varied somewhat depending on resort location and resort type. Many day-ski areas in close proximity to major metropolitan markets benefitted as many guests chose to ski and ride at locations closer to home. Meanwhile destination resorts often reported fewer overnight visits and shorter stays. Many resorts commented that snow and weather conditions had a more powerful impact on their visitation than the economy. Overall average snowfall was down just 10 percent. The Southeast realized a 31.2 percent increase in average snowfall; the Midwest was up 1.1 percent; the Northeast was down just 10 percent; the Pacific West was down 10.2 percent; and the Rocky Mountain region was down 14.2 percent. A final report will be issued in July. For more information visit THE NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION, LOCATED IN LAKEWOOD, COLO., IS A TRADE ASSOCIATION FORMED IN 1962 FOR SKI AREA OWNERS AND OPERATORS NATIONWIDE.Source: VSSA. KILLINGTON, Vt. June 11, 2009. NSSA May 15, 2009.last_img read more

3rd Suspect Nabbed in New Cassel Gang Assault

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County police say they have apprehended the third suspect wanted for attacking two men in New Cassel earlier this month.Douglas Santamaria was arrested Monday outside his New Cassel home and charged with assault and gang assault.Police said the 17-year-old and two other previously apprehended suspects waited for the victims, ages 21 and 22, outside a home on Roman Avenue while armed with a baseball bat, machete and knife in the early morning hours of Dec. 1.The suspects knocked one victim to the ground with the baseball bat and the other victim was attacked with the machete, police said.One victim suffered contusions and abrasions and refused medical treatment at the scene.  The other was taken to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for severe lacerations to the hand and forearm and a stab wound to the back.The other two suspects, 17-year-old Jose Hernandez of Westbury and 19-year-old Jose Clavel of New Cassel, are facing the same charges and are being held on bail.Santamaria will be arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead.last_img read more

Final FOM rule, supplemental capital briefing on NCUA’s Oct. 27 agenda

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The NCUA board will vote on its final field of membership rule at its Oct. 27 open board meeting. CUNA supports the rule, as it would provide greater choice for consumers and provide flexibility for credit unions to better serve their communities.The rule, first proposed at the NCUA’s November 2015 meeting, contains a number of changes CUNA requested in a June 2015 letter to the NCUA.CUNA has challenged a lawsuit brought by the Independent Community Bankers of America against the rule, and CUNA’s board has resolved to reject the lawsuit and work to protect the credit union system.The agenda also includes a board briefing on supplemental capital. According to the NCUA’s rulemaking agenda, the proposal would modernize agency regulations to incorporate supplemental capital provisions in the risk-based capital context. continue reading »last_img read more

Great Britain claim two more golds at European Track Cycling Championships in Bulgaria | Cycling News

first_img– Advertisement – Thursday’s team pursuit saw Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Neah Evans and Josie Knight triumph; Kenny said: “I personally think we’ve got a lot more to come, we’ve got people sat at home itching to get into this team and that can only help us move forward.” By PA MediaLast Updated: 13/11/20 8:52am “I personally think we’ve got a lot more to come, we’ve got people sat at home itching to get into this team and that can only help us move forward.”Barker said of her elimination race result: “I’m really happy with it. It went how I hoped it to. I rode it how I talked it through with my roommate Laura Kenny earlier today…and yeah, it worked!”Sophie Capewell and Katy Marchant exited the women’s sprint event after the quarter-finals.On Friday, British riders will compete in the women’s individual pursuit, the women’s omnium and the men’s omnium. – Advertisement – Win £250,000 for free on Saturday! Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Saturday’s Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3pm. Thursday’s action also included Ollie Wood securing a bronze for Britain in the men’s scratch race.Kenny said of the team pursuit win: “That’s the fastest time we’ve done since Rio, so that shows the form that we were in going into an Olympic year.“It’s good to know we are still moving forward, Josie is here for her first European competition and that shows the way British Cycling moves forward too.- Advertisement – Great Britain’s Elinor Barker won gold in the women’s elimination race Great Britain claimed two more gold medals on the second day of the European Track Cycling Championships in Bulgaria, with victory in the women’s team pursuit and for Elinor Barker in the elimination race.Thursday’s team pursuit saw Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Neah Evans and Josie Knight triumph in a time of 4:10.437, over three seconds faster than the second-placed Italian team.Barker, who rode in the qualifying and first-round events, joined them on the podium for her second visit of the evening. Her earlier success made it an elimination race double for GB after Matt Walls won the men’s event on Wednesday.- Advertisement – Great Britain's Elinor Barker won gold in the women's elimination race
Great Britain's Elinor Barker won gold in the women's elimination race

The Masters: Rory McIlroy bounces back from opening 75 with bogey-free 66 | Golf News

first_img The Masters – Live November 14, 2020, 12:30pmLive on “Obviously we didn’t have much time in between rounds, so I went to the range and hit five nine‑irons and a three‑wood and just tried to get myself to release it. Sometimes I just get so draggy and hold on, sort of hold on to it.“So it was just a matter of trying to release it a little bit more and being a little bit more committed to my shots and my swing. I turned it around nicely and shot a good one, at least gave myself a chance going into the weekend. He needed a big start back at the 10th, which he found with a three-wood, a nine-iron and a perfect putt for birdie, and he picked up further shots at 12, 15 and 17 to get himself into red figures for the tournament.McIlroy two-putted for another gain at the long second, and he added another at the eighth while keeping a bogey off his card and closing on three under par, just six behind the leaders going into the second half of the final major of the year.“Jimmy Dunne gave me a pep talk in between rounds going on to the range,” he explained. “It was colourful! I honestly have been playing so good coming in here, and then I go into the first round and I shoot 75, and I’m like ‘where the hell did that come from?’ Rory McIlroy rallied to fire a 66 and is six behind co-leader, Dustin Johnson Rory McIlroy rallied to fire a 66 and is six behind co-leader, Dustin Johnson

High flyer

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Fighter jet crashes in Pakistan capital during parade rehearsal

first_imgPakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with plane and helicopter crashes frequent over the years.Wednesday’s incident comes only months after a fighter jet crashed during a training mission near the city of Mianwali in eastern Punjab province, killing both pilots. In July last year at least 18 people were killed when a small military plane belonging to the army crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.And in 2016 a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.Pakistan’s powerful military consumes a large portion of the country’s yearly budget, spending millions on sophisticated hardware in the impoverished nation, which critics say has come at the expense of investment in other sectors.Topics : A Pakistani F-16 fighter jet crashed in Islamabad on Wednesday in an apparent accident during a rehearsal for an upcoming military parade in the capital, officials said.There was no immediate word on the fate of the pilot or co-pilot, or details on the area the plane crashed.Footage on social media showed a large plume of smoke billowing into the sky after the plane plummeted to the ground having apparently attempted a loop. “Pakistan Air Force reports with regret that a PAF F-16 aircraft crashed near Shakarparian, Islamabad during the rehearsals of 23rd March parade. Rescue teams have been dispatched towards the site of the crash,” the air force said in a statement. A second security official speaking on condition of anonymity also confirmed the crash.The rehearsals were taking place before the annual military parade that is set to be held in Islamabad this month to celebrate Pakistan Day.F-16 jets are among the most valuable defence hardware in the Pakistani military’s arsenal. The country has a fleet of about 50 F-16s, each worth at least $40 million.last_img read more