Monday, June 25, 2007

American Constitutional Law manages to get even more bizarre...

Blockquoting from a blog as popular as Instapundit seems bizarre but still. This is hilarious:

"IMPEACH CHENEY IF YOU WANT, but do bear in mind that he'll preside over his own impeachment trial.

No, really. The Senate has the sole power to try impeachments. The Vice President is the President of the Senate. He presides. The Constitution provides for only one exception in cases of impeachment: "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside." That's because of the obvious conflict-of-interest of having the VP preside when the President is tried. But there's no similar provision for having someone else preside if the Vice President is impeached."

Americans get crazier by the day.

Being British constitutional law confuses me at the best of times. The very idea of courts telling politicians what do. I know we have that here but it is still rare enough to feel vaguely unnatural.

1 comment:

Dave Cole said...

I think that most cases of judicial review in the UK are under administrative law (the infamous Wednesbury unreasonableness) - it is part of the unwritten constitution that Parliament is sovereign (even if it has delegated by acts, which could be repealed, some authority to European institutions).

This is a good example of something I've been thinking about quite a lot of late - the imperfections in the US constitution. There was, from what I can see, a lot of debate about what form the executive should take. Originally, the Pres and Veep were not elected on a ticket, and so the conflict of interest is not as obvious; indeed, any conflict might have been because of outright animosity between VP and President.

It is, though, an oversight - the number of occasions where this might happen would have been thought very small (indeed, correct - zero), but it shows that not every detail was considered and that parts were made both on the hoof and in a rush, as well as trying to avoid unnecessary controversies. It gives the lie to the 'genius of the constitution' and attempts to make it more than it is - a human, flawed document.