Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hold Cheney in "Inherent Contempt"

Inherent contempt

Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited for contempt is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subject to punishment that the House may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation.)

Statutory proceedings

Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia[2]; according to the law it is the "duty" of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action.

The criminal offense of "contempt of Congress" sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Those penalties are enforced upon conviction, even if the Congress which initiated the contempt citation has expired.

The statutory procedure has generally been used by Congress since 1935. While the law pronounces the "duty" of the U.S. Attorney is to impanel a grand jury for its action on the matter, dispute exists over whether the Congress can properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action, as the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports to the President. (The Courts have been reluctant to decide this question, claiming it is a "political question" for resolution by the elected branches of government.)

Go here and make your voice heard.

P.S. You can add your own message to the petition if you want to. Please look up "INHERENT CONTEMPT" and urge Congress to consider using it instead of Contempt of Congress.
Inherent Contempt is LEGAL, the SCOTUS has upheld it as a Judicial, Congressional right. It by-passes the US Attorney's office...aka...Alberto Gonzales.

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