Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I act, then I speak . . .

I have acted on the failure of Congress 
to call a convention to propose amendments, 
so now I guess I can speak (for 14 minutes):


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sibley v. Congress IV -- Heading towards a decision

After a month and a half of litigation noise, the first lap of my Article V lawsuit is heading down the home stretch.  After the case  was removed from D.C. Superior Court, I moved to remand it back.  Defendants' McConnell & Boehner objected to my motion to remand.  I replied to their objection.

Meanwhile, Defendants McConnell & Boehner moved to dismiss the case arguing (i) that the Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction, (ii) the Speech or Debate Clause prohibited the Court from getting involved and (iii) my suit presents a non-justiciable political question.  I have filed my Opposition to that Motion to Dismiss.

I also sought the Court's permission to convert my lawsuit to a Class Action naming 100 Senators and 435 Representatives as Defendants.  Might as well make sure everyone comes to the party.

So, as we say in the legal world,  the issues are joined so that Court can now move forward and decide.  I will spare you the technical legal argument raised by McConnell & Boehner and leave you with Federalist No.: 85 by Alexander Hamilton:
It is this: that the national rulers, whenever nine States concur, will have no option upon the subject. By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States [which at present amount to nine], to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof.” The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. . . .  We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority. (Emphasis added).
Now we wait and see what the good Judge Boasberg has to say to all this. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sibley v. Congress III: Monkey see, Monkey do

Thomas Henry Huxley has been quoted as saying that if you left a hundred monkeys pounding on a hundred typewriters for a hundred years eventually one of them would type out a Shakespearean sonnet.

Maybe I am that Monkey.  For you see, I have been pounding on my "typewriter" for what seems like a hundred years seeking to get the judicial system to do its duty.  Now, I might have typed out the legal equivalent of a Shakespearean sonnet.

In my litigation regarding the present-duty of Congress to "call" a Convention to Propose Amendments to the Constitution, Senator McConnell has "removed" the case from D.C. Superior Court to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  His reason, I believe, is that District Court Judges are famously pro-government.  I am seeking to "remand" the case back to D.C. Superior Court which I believe would allow a fairer venue in my opinion to address the issues raised in my lawsuit.  Indeed, I might even get an advisory jury, something that one seldom sees in federal court.

To accomplish that, on May 22, I filed my Motion to Remand arguing that the federal court did not have "subject matter jurisdiction" over my Article V claims.  Accordingly, I argue, that without subject-matter jurisdiction the case must be remanded back to D.C. Superior Court.

This puts Judge James E. “Jeb” Boasberg on the horns of a dilemma.  For my Complaint only alleges that I possess the general right of every Citizen: “to require that the Government be administered according to law. . . .”.  Fairchild v. Hughes, 258 U.S. 126, 130 (1922).  However, an appalling line of cases tracing back to  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-561(1992) have held that in order for a U.S. District Court to have subject-matter jurisdiction, a plaintiff must have "standing" which means that I would have to have suffered an injury in fact which is concrete and particularized -- something I did not suffer in this instance. My "suffering" is the same as yours -- a Congress which is a law unto itself, ignores the mandates of the  Constitution and listens only to those who pay for their attention.

So here is the dilemma for the good Judge Boasberg.  Follow the controlling law and remand the case to D.C. Superior Court and thereby confirm that as U.S. Citizens we no longer have the right: “to require that the Government be administered according to law. . . .”   That would be one hell of an admission of the erosion of the social compact which is the U.S. Constitution to that of an aspirational document only.

Or, Judge Boasberg can keep the case by refusing the remand and break with the last 23 years of legal cases which have served to disenfranchise our First Amendment right to petition.  But then, he would have to address the merits of my claims.

It will be an interesting decision in either event.