This is silly, but not wholly unexpected:
At least one member of the Arkansas House of Representatives has confirmed that he is pursuing impeachment against Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza following his ruling Friday (May 9) that overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage. But the speaker of the Arkansas House has vowed to block any such impeachment proceedings.
So who are these people? The Republican referred to in the above excerpt is Jason Rapert (who is a preacher by trade notorious for calling for President Obama to be impeached ad nauseam):
According to Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, he has been in touch with unnamed members of the House who are interested in pursuing the charges against Piazza.
I have written about Rapert in the past. He’s the one who tweeted that god, not atheists, is what made this country free. Yeah, because Christians trying to legally force everybody to abide by the tenets of their faith is exactly what freedom looks like.
Another is Justin Harris:
Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, confirmed that he would pursue impeachment of Piazza, though he has not been part of an organized group of other representatives pushing for impeachment.
“We ask you to interpret the Constitution,” he said of judges. “It kind of opened my eyes to how important circuit judges are. But to have total disregard of our Constitution, that’s why I would move forward with impeachment and going toward that.”
I’ve also blasted Harris previously. Harris owns a preschool called “Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool” which does exactly what you’d expect: indoctrinate kids who are not yet cognitively developed enough to see the holes in the Santa Claus story. Harris got a shitload of state funding for his school citing ignorance of the law, which you’d think would be a problem for a lawmaker. This is the person who wants to pass judgment on others’ fealty to the Constitution.
The last of the peanut gallery is David Meeks, who I didn’t know much about. So I googled him. Here are the most recent entries on his facebook:
So on what grounds do these three seek to impeach Judge Chris Piazza? Why, for failing to defend the Constitution, of course. So far I’ve read no article which put the hypocrisy of these GOP men on fuller display than this one:
To the Constitution:
Article 19 – Section 20 -Oath of Office
Senators and Representatives and all judicial and executive, State and county officers, and all other officers, both civil and military, before entering on the duties of their respective offices shall take and subscribe to the following oath of affirmation.
“I, ______ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Arkansas, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of ____________, upon which I am now about to enter.”Note two things. 1) state officials swear to uphold BOTH the state and U.S. Constitution. When they are found to be in conflict, well-established rules of law say the feds rule. 2) this oath applies to ALL state elected officials, including Meeks and Harris and Rapert.
These fine fellows have:
* Voted for a change to the Arkansas’ constitution’s initiative process that has been ruled unconstitutional.
* Voted for a change to the Arkansas constitution’s rules on voter registration that has been ruled unconstitutional.
* Voted to pass — and override the veto of — two obviously unconstitutional anti-abortion bills. Rapert’s was struck down by a Republican federal judge almost before the ink was dry it was so unconstitutionally extreme.
* Voted to pass — and override the veto of — an unconstitutionally approved tax break for the fracking industry.
* Voted to trample the U.S. 1st Amendment by gagging state officials when it comes to guiding people to the private option expansion of health insurance coverage.
* Raised no objections to unconstitutional expense reimbursements legislators took as pay supplements until a lawsuit ended the unconstitutional grifting
Now you tell me who should be impeached for violating an oath of office. I propose not impeachment but a Stupid Tax to be imposed on legislators who run up the state’s bill with unconstitutional folly.
Fortunately, it appears both the Governor and the Speaker of the House are not going to reward this three-man tantrum orgy:
Speaker of the House Davy Carter, R-Cabot, and Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, reacted harshly to the calls for impeachment.
“Notwithstanding the controversial subject matter of the decision, we are not going to impeach the circuit judge because members of the House don’t like the decision,” said Speaker Carter. “That’s just not going to happen. That’s a slippery slope. That’s why we have separation of powers. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.”
Carter continued, again stating, “I’m telling you that it’s not going to happen.”
He said such a move would fundamentally challenge the Constitutionally-established separation of powers in Arkansas and the United States.
“The General Assembly can’t set precedent. I don’t even know how you would do that. I don’t know if it’s possible. That’s so far outside the boundaries of how this country has ran itself for centuries with separation of powers. I can’t even get my mind around that concept to start impeaching circuit judges because we don’t like their decisions. That’s absurd. There’s an election process. We have circuit judges that are elected, the Supreme Court, the appellate level. That’s the way it works,” Carter said.
That’s the way of religion though: don’t do what we say, get ready for punishment – not argument, not due process, not review or revision, but punishment. It is the very way of their god, so we shouldn’t be shocked when it’s the very way of his followers.