Antiquarian’s Delight

Don't hold your breath, but apparently in the UK, impeachment, a procedure last used in 1805 remains vital today.

Tony Blair could be impeached before the House of Lords for misleading Parliament over the basis for military action against Iraq, two leading lawyers say in advice published today.

They believe there is a case that the Prime Minister is guilty of a serious breach of constitutional principles.

Rabinder Singh, QC, and Prof Conor Gearty say the ancient procedure, under which MPs initiate criminal proceedings for actions that would otherwise go unprosecuted, can still be used to call ministers to account.

There's no chance that the Commons, controlled by the New Labour Party, would ever convict. But I suppose there's a real non-zero chance that the quirky House of Lords might at least debate the issue of voting a bill of impeachment.

Of course here in the US we only impeach people for lying about sex, not for lying to Congress and the nation about why we are going to war.

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One Response to Antiquarian’s Delight

  1. Chris says:

    The fact that impeachment is used so rarely, ineffectively, and for clearly political purposes, may be yet another symptom letting us know that the Constitution needs an overhaul. But making impeachment easier would invite more political vendettas. The structure of government and politics makes it too much like the convicts are guarding the convicts. It pains me to say this, but it would be crazy to hand the power back to the people–they are too stupid. After all, look at how many support Bush.

    The only solution I can think of is to make impeachment unnecessary by shortening the term of the President. Maybe he can serve under the same term limits as a Roman consul: one year in office and ten years before being able to serve again. That way, the clearly incompetent are out of office before they can do too much damage. And it would bleed the PACs and special interests white trying to keep up with bribing the continually changing succession of presidents, and the presidential campaign won’t be the big, bloated, and expensive circus it has become. And it might give some clout back to the legislative branch. It won’t happen, but it’s just a thought.

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