BEARING DRIFT EXCLUSIVE…
Bearing Drift has been given an exclusive first peek at the resolution calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Mark Herring. At least two members of the House of Delegates are currently considering carrying the resolution, and there is a strong possibility it will be introduced in the days to come.
THIS IS A DRAFT COPY ONLY.
WHEREAS, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has refused to preserve, protect and defend a provision of the Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution;
WHEREAS, the Virginia Constitution is paramount law that establishes, constitutes and governs the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including creating the elected, constitutional office of Attorney General;
WHEREAS, General Herring has chosen to disregard that paramount law that governs his office, and is violating his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, which constitute a neglect of duty;
WHEREAS, the Bill of Rights in Article I of the Virginia Constitution is “a DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the good people of Virginia in the exercise of their sovereign powers, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government;”
WHEREAS, Section 2 of Article I, “People the source of power,” states “That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them;”
WHEREAS, by refusing to enforce one of the rights in the Virginia Bill of Rights, General Herring has renounced his oath of office, which will set dangerous precedent that he may refuse to enforce the Constitution, including the rights articulated in the Bill of Rights such as: Section 6 Free elections, consent of governed; Section 7 Laws should not be suspended; Section 8 Criminal prosecutions (“a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, and to call for evidence in his favor, and he shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty. He shall not be deprived of life or liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers, nor be compelled in any criminal proceeding to give evidence against himself, nor be put twice in jeopardy for the same offense”); Section 8-A Rights of victims of crime; Section 9 Prohibition of excessive bail and fines, cruel and unusual punishment, suspension of habeas corpus, bills of attainder, and ex post facto laws; Section 10 General warrants of search or seizure prohibited; Section 11 Due process of law; obligation of contracts; taking or damaging of private property; prohibited discrimination; jury trial in civil cases; and Section 12 Freedom of speech and of the press; right peaceably to assemble, and to petition;
WHEREAS, the nature of General Herring’s neglect of duty is not only unprecedented, but is a danger to all Virginians because without adherence to the paramount law that governs the government of Virginia, all rights of Virginians are at the mercy of government unconstrained by the rule of law;
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 17 of the Constitution states that the Attorney General “offending against the Commonwealth by malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor may be impeached by the House of Delegates and prosecuted before the Senate, which shall have the sole power to try impeachments;”
IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the House of Delegates should fulfill its constitutional duty by commencing the impeachment of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
For those curious as to how the impeachment process plays out in Virginia, it is very similar to the method used with the federal government. The House of Delegates draws up the articles of impeachment, with a majority vote in that chamber being sufficient for impeachment.
Section 17. Impeachment.
The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, judges, members of the State Corporation Commission, and all officers appointed by the Governor or elected by the General Assembly, offending against the Commonwealth by malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty, or other high crime or misdemeanor may be impeached by the House of Delegates and prosecuted before the Senate, which shall have the sole power to try impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present. Judgment in case of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Commonwealth; but the person convicted shall nevertheless be subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law. The Senate may sit during the recess of the General Assembly for the trial of impeachments.
Once impeached, the case is then taken to the Virginia Senate, where two-thirds of the body must vote to remove the offending member. Should the Virginia Senate vote for impeachment, the office is vacated and a new attorney general is appointed.
Regardless as to whether or not the articles of impeachment fail in either the House or the Senate, there is already a movement to recall Herring afoot in the event the General Assembly fails in its duties. That is how serious a constitutional crisis Herring has now kicked off, and the repercussions are still being felt elsewhere. Expect conservative talk radio and other news outlets to give due attention to this.
Beyond that, each and every delegate and state senator is keenly aware that 2015 is right around the corner. If Herring wanted to throw away the Democratic ascendancy in one moment, he did a masterful job.
UPDATE x2: Here come the national Tea Party organizations! Judson Phillips over at Tea Party Nation has some immediate thoughts up as well:
He (Herring) is refusing to defend the State’s Constitutional Amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Not only is he refusing to defend it, he is filing a brief urging the Federal Courts to strike the amendment down.
The job of the Attorney General is to represent the people of the State of Virginia. The marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution was approved by a huge majority of Virginia voters. It is not the place of the Attorney General to overrule the rule of the people.
Told ya it wouldn’t be long before the nationals organizations take notice.