Hiding from the Light

Juleanna Glover has a post over at Politico fantasizing that there is a method to allow Senators to dodge be held accountable for a vote on impeachment. She thinks that all the Democrats would have to do is get 3 Republican to vote for a rule change allowing for a secret ballot on the matter. A brilliant plan! But there’s a small problem. You see, that pesky old Constitution says,

… and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

—Art. I, § 5, cl. 3

So if 20 Senators want a recorded vote, each Senator’s vote will be recorded.

Democracy dies in darkness.

2 thoughts on “Hiding from the Light

  1. That whole piece was hopeless magical thinking. I’ve got a slightly more realistic scenario to propose. There are a few inflection points coming up that will make things potentially messy.

    Appropriations are set to run out on the 21st per Section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020. Neither side of Capitol Hill is anywhere near passing appropriations to send to POTUS for signature. The 21st is a Thursday. There is no bill on the House’s agenda this week to extend the current continuing resolution and next week’s business isn’t announced yet.

    We’re likely to see an appropriations deadlock occur resulting in a government shutdown. After that impeachment articles would be voted out by the House. Once that occurs the House would have leverage on the Senate in that they would, for example, allow appropriations to be restored once the impeachment trial conclude. GAO has set out in multiple decisions that all the unprecedented actions taken during the 35 day shutdown to ease the impact were illegal under the Anti-Deficiency Act so those cannot happen again. That being said we could well see trial begin by early December as long as that leverage remains in place and it may prove to be an expedited trial.

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