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JOINT HOUSE RESOLUTION

State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution


J.R.H.  75

Joint resolution requesting the U.S. House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush

Offered by:  Representatives Zuckerman of Burlington, Cross of Winooski, Darrow of Dummerston, Donovan of Burlington, Dowland of Holland, Edwards of Brattleboro, Fisher of Lincoln, French of Randolph, Green of Berlin, Haas of Rochester, Hutchinson of Randolph, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Larson of Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, Lorber of Burlington, Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston, McLaughlin of Royalton, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pearson of Burlington, Pellett of Chester, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Randall of Troy, Seibert of Norwich and Sharpe of Bristol

Whereas, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and

Whereas, President George W. Bush has served as the 43rd President of the United States since January 20, 2001, and

Whereas, his profound disregard for the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution, including the rule of law and the separation of powers, has only worsened in recent months, and

Whereas, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the “supreme law of the land,” and

Whereas, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant,” all in subversion of law, and

Whereas, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the attorney general to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the government, and

Whereas, on more than 30 occasions, George W. Bush has ordered the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and has designated certain U.S. citizens as “enemy combatants,” all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and

Whereas, notwithstanding the President’s reliance on the 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing his “use of all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,” many legal scholars and members of Congress from both political parties have criticized the domestic surveillance activity as being in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (Act), and

Whereas, George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony, and

Whereas, the Act requires obtaining a warrant from a federal court that sits in secret session as a prerequisite to the conduct of domestic intelligence surveillance activities, and

Whereas, the Act even includes a provision providing for a 72-hour period after a domestic surveillance action has occurred for a federal official to obtain a retroactive warrant, and

Whereas, in the nearly 18 years since the Act’s court’s creation, only a miniscule number of requests for a warrant has been refused, and

Whereas, if, despite the extensive leeway the Act provides for the conduct of a domestic intelligence surveillance action and the strong inclination of the FISA court to grant nearly every federal request for a warrant, the administration still believes the Act is not responsive to the new digital technology that was not available in 1978, it could have sought an amendment to the law, and

Whereas, the repeated constitutional and statutory violations that are manifested in the domestic spying program leave Congress no alternative but to commence an impeachment proceeding, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly submits that President Bush’s actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives as grounds for George W. Bush’s impeachment, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly urges the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to initiate presidential impeachment hearings as quickly as reasonably possible, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Representatives F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. and John Conyers Jr., the chair and the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, and to the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

 

    

 

____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House

 

____________________________              ____________________________

Brian E. Dubie                                             Donald G. Milne

President of the Senate                               Clerk, House of Representatives

 

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us