It takes a lot to get me to agree with Patches Kennedy but not only is this of dubious constitutionality, it’s an insane precedent to set when we’re looking at an expanded Democratic majority in Congress next year. Think of it as a reverse bill of attainder: instead of bypassing the jury system to have someone locked up, they’re going to bypass it to have someone freed.
I can’t wait to see what Reid and Pelosi will do with a legislative pardon power.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced the amendment, which passed the House on a voice vote in July. A similar measure is not included in the version of the appropriations bill that the Senate began debating last week…
“This issue ought to be resolved in the courts surely, or if the President of the United States wanted to take it up, he has the power that we don’t have, to my knowledge,” [Rep. Alan] Mollohan [(D-W.Va.)] said on the House floor in objecting to Poe’s amendment.
“He has the pardoning power. We don’t have that here, but in effect, we are attempting to act as if we did here with these two amendments,” he added.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), also spoke on the House floor in opposition to the amendment, saying that if Congress “were to suspend the process every time we thought one case was more popular than the other, it would just upend the idea of justice as we know it in this country, because I think all of us could come here to the floor and tell of a unique story where someone was wronged by the system of justice in this country.”
Poe told Cybercast News Service Monday that the measure is “unique” but defended it as constitutional and within congressional “power of the purse” to mandate how taxpayer money is spent.