How to Declare the Speaker Seat Vacant.

by Scott Creighton

In the previous article “Remove the Obstacles of Impeachment” I detailed the reasoning as to why it is imperative that we remove the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, from that position in order to begin impeachment proceedings against the Vice President and the President of the United States of America.

Based in a large part on the statements made by Representative Diane Watson in a public forum, as well as Pelosi’s own comments about taking impeachment “off the table”, I argued that it would appear that Pelosi is, in fact, working behind the scenes with the Democratic members of the House to use the current situation in the upcoming election cycle to gain more seats in the House, and there-by keep her seat as Speaker. You can find the video of Watson’s statements and my argument, in the earlier article “Watson Lays out Pelosi’s Reason to Suppress Impeachment!“.

This article is an attempt to show that, yes, the Speaker can be removed AT ANY TIME by the members of the House, and how that is accomplished.

“It is well-settled that the U.S. Speaker may be removed from office by a resolution presenting a question of privilege declaring the office of Speaker vacant. 6 Cannon § 35.” CoxNewsweb here.

According to the 110th Congress House Rules Manual – House Document No. 109-157 From the U.S. Government Printing Office Online Database [DOCID:hruletx-66] [Page 410-428] ;

Rule IX : The Question of Privilege (emphasis added):

  • 1. NOTE: Sec. 698. Definition of questions of privilege.

Questions of privilege shall be, first, those affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings; and second, those affecting the rights, reputation, and conduct of Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner, individually, in their representative capacity only.

  • 2. (a)(1) A resolution .NOTE: Sec. 699. Precedence of questions of privilege.

Reported as a question of the privileges of the House, or offered from the floor by the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader as a question of the privileges of the House, or offered as privileged under clause 1, section 7, article I of the Constitution, shall have precedence of all other questions except motions to adjourn. A resolution offered from the floor by a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner other than the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader as a question of the privileges of the House shall have precedence of all other questions except motions to adjourn only at a time or place, designated by the Speaker, in the legislative schedule within two legislative days after the day on which the proponent announces to the House his intention to offer the resolution and the form of the resolution.

   3. NOTE: Sec. 701. Questions relating to organization.

 Privileges of the House include questions relating to its organization (I, 22-24,

189, 212, 290), and the title of its Members to their seats (III, 2579-2587), which may be raised as questions of the privileges of the House even though the subject has been previously referred to committee (I, 742; III, 2584; VIII, 2307). Such resolutions includethose: (1) to declare prima facie right to a seat, or to declare a vacancy, where the House has referred the questions of prima facie and final rights to an elections committee for investigation

 A resolution electing a House officer is presented as a question of the privileges of the House (July 31, 1997, p. 17021; Feb. 6, 2007, p. —-). A resolution declaring vacant the Office of the Speaker is presented as a matter of high constitutional privilege (VI, 35). For further discussion with respect to the organization of the House and the title of its Members to seats, see Sec. Sec. 18-30, 46-51, 56, and 58-60, supra.

  4.  NOTE: Sec. 702. Questions relating to constitutional  prerogatives.

 “Privileges of the House, as distinguished from that of the individual Member, include questions relating to its constitutional prerogatives…”

“The constitutional prerogatives of the House also include its function with respect to: (1) impeachment and matters incidental thereto…”

In short, the rules of the US House of Representative for the 110th Congress provides for the removal of a seated Speaker, during session, for the purposes of preserving the “dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings” under the constitutional prerogative of its function with respect to impeachment. Any member of the House can bring forth a resolution presenting a question of privilege to declare the Speakership vacant based on this provision.

It can be done and should be done to reclaim the integrity of the Congress and to hold this Administration accountable to the rule of law.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for your info. Here’s the status on the effort to remove Pelosi as Speaker, using the precedents of the House mentioned on this blog: here.

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