TA wrote:The first sentence of that paragraph, the part you didn't quote, provides the continued ability to challenge.Thereafter
I mean, you know you're leaving off part of the section too, right? "Thereafter" doesn't make a whole lot of sense without the preceding paragraph.
Here's the whole section, with your bolds included:
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
I'm not reading any of that, including your bolded sections, to imply that the process can repeat after Congress reaches a decision. The words "whenever" and "when" are the closest things I'm seeing to such an indication; I'm not a lawyer and they just read as conditionals to my eye, but I know words like that have specific legal meanings and maybe I'm just not picking up on them.
Here's how I'm reading it:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide
That's the initial submission. VP + cabinet, or VP + some other body provided by Congress.
Thereafter, when the President transmits
"Thereafter, when" means after that first part, after the initial submission by the VP and the cabinet/other body.
he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority
The "unless" means that, in this scenario, it doesn't happen, the president does not resume the powers and duties of his office.
Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue
Etc. I'm not seeing anything in that first "thereafter, when" to imply that the president is able to send a letter again after Congress's decision. Again, if there's a specific legal definition to "thereafter" and "when" that I'm missing, that's fair enough, but I'm a code monkey, not a lawyer, and I'm reading "when" as an "if", not a "while".
And you still haven't cited any other legal authority but yourself, and while, again, I acknowledge you know more about the law than I do, if you're right then why haven't I seen anybody else make the argument you're making? I've looked. Maybe I'm using the wrong search terms. If that's the case, help me out here.
I never said the 25th wasn't intended to deal with a situation where the president is incapacitated but says he's not, I said it's not intended and not able to deal with a situation where the president is not actually incapacitated.
And my premise is, that where "incapacitated" is defined as "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office", the president is incapacitated. He's unable to make simple staffing decisions and lacks the attention span to understand briefings. That's completely aside from any questions of criminal behavior, as those would fall under standards for impeachment, not Section 4 removal.
It's both technically and practically incapable of functioning as a method for coup.
You're the one who keeps saying the word "coup".
A VP assuming an "acting president" role through these means would, indeed, be a piss-poor way of staging a coup. It would require a 2/3 majority support from Congress and, at least in Pence's case, ensure that the acting president would have a Congress that wasn't interested in cooperating with him afterward and a public that wouldn't elect him to a second term. It would be a completely boneheaded decision as a power grab. I'm not suggesting a VP would do it to seize power; I'm suggesting he could do in an extreme situation where a dangerous, unstable nut was running the show.
If you have a two thirds majority in both chambers willing to perpetuate this state of affairs, you're already well past the point where impeachment has happened. If you don't, Pence trying this doesn't mean the odds of Trump getting impeached goes up, it means Trump still has the support of Congress and Pence gets thrown under the bus.
I think what we've got is a Congress where a majority of Republicans would prefer to have Pence as president than Trump, but none of them want to pay the political price of impeachment. My premise is that if Trump's own cabinet says he's too dangerous to govern, then that gives them political cover and makes them likelier to vote to remove him, because it reduces the level of political consequences they face for doing so.
Technically this is a testable hypothesis, but we'll never actually see it tested, so it's the very definition of a moot point.
I do think there's a point, somewhere, where the Republicans in Congress would turn on Trump -- dead girl, live boy, shoots someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, pee tape, Democrats take majorities of the House and Senate by greater margins than any projection foresees, etc. All of these look like unlikely prospects. Trump's cabinet attempting to oust him is unlikely too, but a lot of them sure don't seem to like him very much.
Mongrel wrote:So I think the current takeaway is supposed to be "Fuck you Chuck Schumer, you brain-dead fucknugget"?
We're talking about ending the shutdown without DACA, right?
I see it as a failure of messaging more than tactics.
Look at what actually happened. What did the Democrats get? CHIP is funded for the next six years. What did the Republicans get? The news media spend a single news cycle in January talking about how the Democrats caved, and after three weeks the budget expires again.
Objectively, the Democrats came out ahead on this one. You just can't tell, because they suck at messaging.
I know that on the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy, but it seems to me the Democrats' talking points should be these:
1. "DACA is not expiring. Trump is killing it because [he is racist/Stephen Miller told him to]. He could renew it at any time, without any need for Congress to act."
2. "We had a bipartisan deal on immigration. Trump rejected it, because [he is racist/Stephen Miller told him to]."
3. "President Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. We refuse to make US taxpayers foot the bill."
4. When someone says "chain migration", the correct response from Democrats is to roll their eyes and say "Chain migration is a made-up term. What you mean is that Donald Trump and Stephen Miller want to split up families."
5. Every time a Democrat mentions the Hastert Rule, they should immediately follow it with "named for noted child molester Dennis Hastert."
I think they should alternate between emphasizing that Trump is racist and that Miller is in charge here. Dems need to start hammering Trump's racism at every opportunity. No softpedaling, no euphemisms, no "is Trump racist?" debate; call a thing what it is.
And the advantage of hammering Miller is the same as the advantage of hammering Bannon: one, he is an odious white supremacist who even Trump supporters mostly don't like; two, Trump hates it when people say anyone else but him is calling the shots, and the more they say Miller is in charge, the likelier Trump is to say "nuh-uh!" and sideline him.
Meanwhile, we've got a followup that is unacceptable. If it were just "grant the Dreamers a path to citizenship in exchange for wall funding," that would be rotten but I'm inclined to think it would be worth the price. But it's not. It's not just funding the wall and ICE and assorted another nastiness; it's cutting legal immigration dramatically (I've noticed that the guys who I used to see cropping up in comments sections to say "you mean anti-illegal immigration" have gotten curiously quiet), and still making it pretty hard for Dreamers to get citizenship. This is a poison pill, and the Democrats should be doing more to say so. Fortunately, there are some Dreamer organizations that are rejecting it much more forcefully than the Dems are at present.