Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
Not So Fast
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
The hidden beauty here is more about what two concurring voice votes in five days says about the psychological impact that the constitutionalist insurgency is having on the blueblooded elites of the party's old guard than about anything else. While 2013 House Concurrent Resolution 11 initially passed the House on a roll call vote (House Roll Call 307), final passage - in both chambers - was accomplished by
We're getting to them . . . and they've just screwed up large.
By now, the establishment is certainly wise to the reality that the liberty-minded types are going roto-rooter on incumbents' voting records, seeking to build causa provocare against those we intend to challenge in next year's primaries. Their initial attempt to defeat that effort seems to have been to rotate legislators who'd "take one for the team" and vote in the affirmative on odious legislation, but not so frequently as to draw any serious primary fire.
But then we caught on, and we made it known that the "corinthian scales fallacy" wasn't going to protect legislators that we'd supported in 2010 who'd since gone rogue. Lists of potential targets were published where they couldn't be missed. The combined efforts of iCaucus Michigan, the Madison Project, the Michigan Conservative Union, the Michigan Campaign for Liberty, and others made it clear to the nobility in the castle on the hill that the serfs and other assorted townsfolk were sharpening their pitchforks and fueling their torches.
Yet one major item on the GoverNerd's first-term agenda (the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative) remained to be done. But the outcry stemming from the House vote taken not even a week after the Mackinac Conference was loud enough that passage in the Senate was now in doubt . . . what to do?
I suspect that some parliamentary wizard briefly skimmed Michigan Constitution Article IV § 18 and concluded that, as long as there was no proof that at least 20% of the membership present (8 Senators, or 22 Representatives) supported a roll call vote, a Pelosian "deem and pass" maneuver would work nicely. And so now, House Concurrent Resolution 0011 (2013) is on its way to Slick Rick's desk, with the only legislators we can hold accountable by name being Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (according to Senate Journal Number 87) and Representative John Walsh (according to House Journal Number 92), the presiding officers at the time of passage, and Representative Tim Kelly, who sponsored this garbage. (Senators Howard Walker, Arlan Meekhof, Dave Hildenbrand, and Roger Kahn, who sponsored the companion legislation in the State Senate, could also be considered personally accountable.)
But holding any individual legislator directly culpable for the final passage of common core implementation? Good luck making it stick, as any of them can claim to have voted against final passage, and there's no verifiable way to prove otherwise.
Not so fast.
While the legislative bodies are free to develop and implement their own rules for how they're going to conduct their business, there are some constitutional requirements for what must be done in the public eye . . . and thus available for public review and inspection.
Michigan Constitution Article IV § 17 specifies that: "On all actions on bills and resolutions in each committee, names and votes of members shall be recorded. Such vote shall be available for public inspection." Thus, what any committee does with a bill must be recorded by roll call, and that roll call vote must be available for public review. Normally, this is accomplished by reporting the committee vote concurrent with reporting the bill in question to the floor of the respective legislative chamber.
Okay, that's for committee votes. What about action on the chamber floor?
Michigan Constitution Article IV § 26 (emphasis added):
No bill shall be passed or become a law at any regular session of the legislature until it has been printed or reproduced and in the possession of each house for at least five days. Every bill shall be read three times in each house before the final passage thereof. No bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to and serving in each house. On the final passage of bills, the votes and names of the members voting thereon shall be entered in the journal.
And there you go, a constitutional mandate for legislative transparency. In order that our duly-elected state legislators may remain accountable to the constituents they purport to represent, they shall conduct the final passage vote for all legislation in a manner that records each vote cast, by member and vote. IT IS NOT OPTIONAL!!!
In other words, like it or not, the state legislators who want to shove a yet another federal mandate down our throats are required to say so on the record, in a manner that advertises to all who care to look just whom they are and how they voted. This means that everyone who votes in favor has to publicly expose themselves to a high-speed boot-polishing, courtesy of the very people that they really don't want to answer to. And if they don't like it, then they shouldn't have run for office in the first place.
Governor Snyder, by the way, has an opportunity to save face on this. All he has to do is veto the legislation on constitutional grounds, and force both chambers to hold roll call votes on final passage. It's not that we really ought to expect him to do so (as this is legislation that he really wanted passed and on his desk for signature), but the option's there, and it's on him legally if he doesn't take it.
Because as soon as this legislation is signed into law, Governor Snyder is exposing himself (in his official capacity) to civil action, as well as Senator Schuitmaker and Representative Walsh (in their respective official capacities as Senate President Pro Tempore and House Speaker Pro Tempore). The lawsuit will be to block implementation, force the nullification of the law, and force the legislature to bring the matter up again . . . from scratch.
That could make for a really messy primary season next year, and the establishment types will have brought it upon themselves . . . not that they'll ever admit it. It'll be the fault of those damn tea partiers, who insist on everything being done according to the constitution.
Not So Fast | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Not So Fast | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Related Links+ 2013 House Concurrent Resolution 11
+ House Roll Call 307
+ Article IV § 18
+ House Concurrent Resolution 0011 (2013)
+ Senate Journal Number 87
+ House Journal Number 92
+ who sponsored the companion legislation in the State Senate
+ Article IV § 17
+ Article IV § 26
+ Also by Kevin Rex Heine