My apologies for the delay. Could not get online early enough to get this out as soon as it came in. Please remember to come to the Mountain Grove PRC meeting at ConnXtions at 7pm Thursday April 24th.
The Missouri House Judiciary Committee will be conducting a hearing on Articles of Impeachment tomorrow(Wednesday).
Has governor Nixon committed impeachable offenses?
If you think so, please go to the hearing or at least fill out a witness form, if you haven’t already:
|Witness Form – I will hand deliver your witness form and also make your testimony available online for the committee to read.
Generic Witness Form: Witness form link for HR 380, 476, 923
If you’re not sure, please read on…
Before we answer the question, please understand that when the House of Representatives votes to impeach an official, all they are doing is authorizing an inquiry into the behavior of the official. They are not rendering a guilty verdict. In Missouri, if a governor is impeached by the House, the Senate selects “seven eminent jurists” (judges) to conduct the inquiry or trial to determing if the official should be removed from office.
Let’s start with what the Constitution says are impeachable offenses:
Missouri Constitution, Article VII, Section 1: “All elective executive officials of the state, and judges of the supreme court, courts of appeals and circuit courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude oroppression in office.”
You see, an official doesn’t need to have committed a crime to be impeachable. Impeachment is not a punitive action. It’s sole purpose is to protect the People from officials who are not properly representing the interests of the People.
Now, let’s take a look a the three basic things the Articles of Impeachment are about:
HR 380 Governor Nixon intentionally issued an Executive Order that he knew violates the Missouri Constitution’s definition of “marriage”.
- Missouri Constitution, Article I Section 33: “That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.”
- On November 14, 2013, Governor Nixon issues Executive Order 13-14, which orders the Missouri Department of Revenue to recognize same-sex marriages for the purpose of filing tax returns.
HR 476 Governor Nixon intentionally and willfully neglected his duty to set special elections to fill vacant legislative seats.
- Missouri Constitution, Article III Section 14. “Writs of election to fill vacancies in either house of the general assembly shall be issued by the governor.”
- Section 21.110, RSMo, also requires the Governor to issue writs of election: “21.110. If the governor receives any resignation or notice of vacancy, or if he is satisfied of the death of any member of either house, during the recess, he shall, without delay, issue a writ of election to supply the vacancy.”
- Under the pressure of a lawsuit, Governor Nixon did eventually set election dates for three open House seats, but he passed up opportunities to use scheduled elections and set the elections so late that many tens of thousands of people have been left without adequate representation.
- Additionally, he has refused to even call an election for the vacant 22nd Senate seat. About 285,000 people have been disenfranchised by the governor.
HR 923 Governor Nixon willfully neglected his duty to see that the laws of Missouri were faithfully executed when he approved of the release of the legally protected personal information of 163,000 conceal carry endorsement holders.
- Missouri Constitution, Article IV, Section 2: “The governor shall take care that the laws are distributed andfaithfully executed, and shall be a conservator of the peace throughout the state.”
- Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 571.101.9(2) (2): “… An applicant’s status as a holder of a concealed carry permit, … shall not be public information and shall be considered personal protected information.”(Formerly 571.101.8)
Again, impeachment is not a conviction. In my opinion, there is clearly enough evidence of wrong-doing to justify an official inquiry (impeachment trial) into the Governor’s conduct.
Think about the message we are sending to all future governors if we stand idle in the face of such blatant misuse of power.
For more about this issue, go here.