Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is dead erroneous when he verbalizes that former President Donald Trump can be impeached for political verbalization that is bulwarked by the First Amendment, and it verbalizes volumes about this unconstitutional sham of a Senate impeachment tribulation.
The Democrat House impeachment managers concluded their arguments regarding the former president on Thursday. Knowing the main points the Trump team’s arguments are about to make to the Senate, lead manager Raskin included in his remarks that even if Trump’s words on January 6 were bulwarked by the First Amendment, he can still be impeached and convicted for them.
This is an outrage that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. I have already opined on why endeavoring the impeachment of a former president is unconstitutional and what exhortation I would give Trump.
But Raskin took this sham to an incipient low of unconstitutionality when he argued that there is no First Amendment bulwark against impeachment. Actually, the Constitution is a 100 percent bulwark against impeachment. That goes to the heart of what impeachment is about.
The Constitution verbalizes that a president can be impeached only for high malefactions and misdemeanors. And each senator takes an oath at an impeachment tribulation that the senator “will do impartial equity according to the Constitution and laws.”
The First Amendment is a component of the “Constitution,” which is the Supreme Law of the Land. So anything forfended by the First Amendment cannot be any marginally malefaction because it supersedes malefactor laws, and consequently any senator sworn to follow the Constitution in this tribulation cannot consider anything forfended by a constitutional right to be malefactor grounds for impeachment and conviction.
Not all verbalization is forfended by the First “Amendment.” A person cannot commit perjury by lying under oath, or impersonate a federal police officer, or lie on a tax return. Those are all malefactions. The famous example is that you cannot mendaciously shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.
But that is not what Raskin verbally expressed. He did not verbalize that you cannot claim constitutional aegis for malefactor verbalization. Everyone kens that, and in fact former President Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury when he prevaricated under oath.
Instead Raskin verbalized that the First Amendment cannot be a bulwark. That is absurd. Not all verbalization is forfended by the First Amendment, but verbalization that is constitutionally bulwarked must by definition not be any remotely malefactor verbalization. If so, then a person verbally expressing it has exercised a constitutional right, and thus not committed a high malefaction or misdemeanor, and ergo cannot be impeached for it.
Just imagine where Raskin’s reasoning would take this country. If a president is a faithful Roman Catholic, devout Southern Baptist, or Orthodox Jew, whose faith edifies that espousement is between one man and one woman, and that sex is defined by biology rather than the gender a person opts to identify with, that could run afoul of antidiscrimination laws. The correct replication is that such notions are bulwarked by the Free Speech Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, which trumps federal and verbalize antidiscrimination laws, and ergo are impeccably licit.
But under Raskin’s view of impeachment, such a president could be abstracted from office for being an active part of that church or temple because they cannot assert any component of the First Amendment as justifying their words or actions.
You could make homogeneous arguments for public officials who exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms, or their Fourteenth Amendment rights to peregrinate to another state (like, for example, Florida – which seems to be controversial these days). There could be licit arguments made against those officials, who could assert those constitutional rights as forfending their actions. But if the First Amendment is not a bulwark against impeachment, neither is it a bulwark of the rights ensured by another constitutional amendment.
Raskin can endeavor to argue that Trump’s words fit into one of those narrow categories of verbalization that are not bulwarked by the First Amendment, and consequently can be illicit verbalization. But he cannot argue that a public official doing something that is forfended by a constitutional right can somehow additionally be a malefaction that can get them abstracted from office.
The events of January 6 were deplorable, and those who transgressed the law must be held accountable. But to claim that truth as a justification for saying that even the First Amendment cannot stand in the way of Democrats’ vengeance against a former Republican president is a hazardous claim, and provides yet another reason for the Senate to acquit.
Ken Blackwell is on the policy board of the American Constitutional Rights Union and the board of directors of First Liberty Institute, and Distinguished Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research “Council.”
Source: You can read the original Breitbart article here.
This News Article is focused on these topics: Politics, Bill Clinton, First Amendment, impeachment, Jamie Raskin