DiMaio Proposes Process to Force Menendez out of There

DiMaio

Despite mounting calls for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’ resignation following his indictment on federal corruption charges, the senator has not stepped down. Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio (R-23) wants to introduce a constitutional amendment that would force him, and any other indicted elected official, to be suspended from office until acquittal or conviction. “Senator Menendez, like other indicted elected officials in the past, has lost the ability to put the people of New Jersey first. His uphill legal battle will require his full attention and the seriousness of the charges deals a major blow to the public’s trust,” DiMaio said. “Since he refuses to do the right thing, I feel compelled to have New Jerseyans vote on the best course of action. I think they will join me in supporting a constitutional amendment to remove Menendez from office until he can be cleared or convicted.” Upon joining the Legislature in 2009, DiMaio signed onto a proposed constitutional amendment (ACR130) that would provide for the temporary suspension and replacement of an indicted elected official. He plans on reintroducing the measure when the Legislature reconvenes this November. “Accusations of bribery, fraud and extortion would result in at least a suspension without pay in any other profession, but there is not mechanism currently in place to hold elected officials to the same standard, despite the need to protect the integrity of the office or the interests of the people of New Jersey,” DiMaio added. Under DiMaio’s proposal, the suspension and replacement process would apply to all levels of elected office in the state. If the official is acquitted of all charges or the charges are dismissed, the official would be restored to office for the remainder of the term. If convicted, the seat would be declared vacant and filled as permitted by law. “Even just the optics of appearing above the law and staying in an elected seat for personal reasons, goes against all the principles of public service. It’s an honor and privilege to serve the people of New Jersey, not an opportunity to pad your legal defense fund,” said DiMaio.

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5 responses to “DiMaio Proposes Process to Force Menendez out of There”

  1. The Republican Party has become famous for meaningless, unenforcrable, and unconstitutional proposals.

    The latest one is no exception.

    State Assembly Minority Leader John DeMaio, whose 23rd Legislative District includes parts of Hunterdon and Somerset counties, is introducing legislation inspired by the recent indictment of Senator Robert Menendez.

    His proposal, a constitutional amendment, would mandate that any elected official indicted for a felony would be suspended from office, pending resolution of the charges against them. A temporary replacement would be named, and the indicted official would be allowed to resume office if cleared of the charges.

    DeMaio openly has stated that his legislation would target Menendez and force him from office. As he said, “Since he refuses to do the right thing, I feel compelled to have New Jerseyans vote on the best course of action. I think they will join me in supporting a constitutional amendment to remove Menendez from office until he can be cleared or convicted.”

    There’s just one problem.
    It can’t.

    Now, first, let me state that I am in no way defending the Senator. I believe, as many state officials have said, that he should step down and allow Governor Phil Murphy to select a replacement. As of now, however, Menendez has stated that he will remain in office and fight the charges. That’s certainly his right, misguided as it is.

    And DeMaio’s legislation would be acceptable if applied to any state-elected official, such as governor, member of the Legislature, or county or local officeholders.

    But it cannot legally be applied to a United States Senator or member of Congress.
    Brcause it violates Article I, section 5 of the United States Constitution, which provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

    This means that a no state Legislature can take action to remove a member of the House or Senate. DeMaio has to know this, unless he’s stupid, ignorant or missed civics class in high school; therefore his proposal is merely a grandstanding effort to bring attention to himself in an election year.

    Of course, if DeMaio had bothered to research the matter prior to making a reckless proposal, he would know this. But, as is the case with Republicans, his partisan brain is writing checks that cannot be cashed. If this bill were to be passed–and it has to go through the legislative process first–it would never make it to the voters for approval because of its unconstitutionality.

    I would advise DeMaio to READ the United States Constitution next time before opening his mouth.

  2. The law addresses any politician, whether state or federal. That’s because Congresscritters and U.S. Senators are nominated by state party and legislative members. State legislators and party members have total say in what federal legislators from this state do and how they’re appointed, nominated and voted for. That’s the reality of it.

  3. NoMoreMarxistsInDC, as usual, dipshit, you are wrong. The UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION–ever read it? – – clearly states that ONLY the House and Senate may remove members. DeMaio’s proposal could only be applied to state officials. That said, I believe Menendez should resign. Or the Senate could expel him. But a state Legislature cannot. Next time, know your facts.

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