We have been discussing the disconnect between citizens who have repeatedly opposed continued rollbacks of civil liberties and the Democratic and Republican leadership pushing for such rollbacks, including the recent provision allowing indefinite detention of citizens under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA). Now Montana citizens have decided to try another approach given the non-responsive attitude of our leaders — they are moving to remove their two Senators from office over their votes in favor of indefinite detention powers.
Montana is one of nine states with recall laws. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Eighteen states have recall laws, but most do not apply to federal officers.
Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses.
Presumably, they are arguing that voting for an unconstitutional measure that allows for indefinite detention of citizens constitutes both a violation of the oath of office and incompetence. Usually official misconduct does not include policy differences, though voting for potentially authoritarian powers would not be viewed as good conduct in a free nation.
The move by the Montana votes shows something that I found in doing speeches around the country: there is no difference in red and blue states in citizens (1) fed up with our current two-party monopoly and dysfunctional politics and (2) opposed to the loss of civil liberties in this country. This should be the time when civil liberties groups are pushing aggressively, but many are divided in their willingness to oppose Obama — a problem that has existed since the early days of his Administration when he tacked hard to the right on national security laws. These politicians, including Obama, have long made the cynical calculation that civil libertarians have no where to go politically and that votes continue to be motivated by party allegiance and the appeal of personalities. These Montana voters are trying to show that they are wrong.
Source: Daily Kos
FLOG THE BLOG: Have you voted yet for the top legal opinion blog? WE NEED YOUR VOTE! You can vote at HERE by clicking on the “opinion” category. Voting ends December 30, 2011.