Congressman Wants Obama in Jail

Congressman Wants Obama in Jail February 5, 2015

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama (of course) once said he wants Obama put in jail for five years for his immigration orders. He reinforced that in an appearance on the Steve Malzberg show, but he seems kind of confused about how contempt actions work.

In an appearance on “The Steve Malzberg Show” today, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., continued his crusade against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform, calling on the federal courts to find that the president’s actions violated the law.

If Obama defies such a ruling, Brooks said, then Congress should pass a contempt citation against the president for his “reckless conduct” and demand that he comply with the court’s decision.

He said that Obama would then drop his executive actions since he, like Richard Nixon, doesn’t want to “incur the wrath that comes with a contempt citation with potential fines and jail time.”

“Ultimately that’s the kind of power a federal court has to force the president of the United States to obey our immigration laws,” he added.

I don’t think he understands the difference between contempt of court and contempt of Congress. If Obama were to refuse to comply with a court order, he could be held in contempt of court. That has nothing to do with contempt of Congress, which cannot be charged over a failure to follow a court order. And if they tried, the courts would quash it very quickly — for the same reason that the courts will not rule on the immigration orders, because they see such disputes as political, not legal.

Of course, this whole thing is nonsense. Federal law explicitly gives the president enormous discretion over deportations, a power that every president for the last several decades has exercised. And if contempt of Congress is illegal, I may be up for the death penalty. Who, in this country, does not hold Congress in contempt?

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