In a column for the conservative Bulwark, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation implored Kentucky voters to dump Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has used the rules of the Senate to crown himself king.
According to Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, McConnell has used his ascension to the majority leader’s spot to become the “obstructionist-in-chief.”
Pointing at a government that appears frozen in place, Wehle wrote, “Voters are pointing fingers, variously, at House Democrats, Republican senators, federal agencies, the federal judiciary, their state and local counterparts, and of course Donald J. Trump himself,” before adding, “Much of the logjam in government falls at the feet of a single man whose power does not stem from the Constitution at all. As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has repeatedly and single-handedly flouted the will of the people and the prerogatives of his governmental counterparts otherwise mandated by the U.S. Constitution.”
Wehle notes that McConnell’s use — or misuse — of power has allowed him to ignore the will of the public, Congress and even presidents.
“Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the Senate Majority Leader to thwart the president’s appointment power by refusing to trigger the advice and consent process in the first place (though neither does anything explicitly prevent McConnell from doing what he did),” she explained before pointing out the ramifications.
“Keep in mind that in a representative democracy of 327 million people, McConnell is a single senator from a single state. What this means is that a relative handful of Kentuckians hold the rest of America by the throat. This is not democracy,” she wrote.
“Yet in the hands of an obstructionist-in-chief like McConnell, these ‘ad hoc arrangements’ have functioned to override the constitutional prerogatives of a sitting president and the rest of Congress,” she continued. “In short, McConnell can stop any congressional action in its tracks by refusing to bring it to the Senate floor. In a country founded on the violent and sacrificial rejection of a monarchy, Mitch McConnell has crowned himself the King of the Senate.”
Stating “This constitutional blind spot in government by ‘We the People’ must be fixed,” the law professor suggested, “McConnell has way too much power, and as long as he remains at the helm, senators won’t even get the chance to consider rule changes that would enhance the voice of the people. Kentucky voters: America needs your help.”
You can read the whole piece here.
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