“A state legislature may establish rules and procedures for the recall of members of its Congressional delegation.” — The Recall Congress Amendment.
Presidents can be removed from office by impeachment. Supreme Court Justices can be impeached. Why can’t members of Congress be removed from office?
The original Virginia Plan of James Madison provided for the recall of members of the House. 19 states allow for the recall of elected officials. Why shouldn’t there be a way to recall Senators and Representatives?
The proposed Constitutional Amendment set out above could, of course, only happen through the use of Article V. State legislators, not voters, control the Article V process, so don’t expect a headlong dash from these politicians for a recall amendment. State legislators hate the power of recall, at least insofar as it applies to them. They don’t want people to start thinking too much about this whole “recall” business. So this amendment would be very difficult to pass. But if the use of Article V by the states becomes routine, it could have a chance down the road.
That shouldn’t stop some enterprising and ambitious legislator in Arizona or Alaska from introducing an Article V Recall Congress Resolution. A lot of people are upset with McCain and Murkowski, and it might get a lot of public support in those two states. It might even pass, in which case the Recall Congress movement will be born. Two states down, 32 to go.
It might appeal to state legislators more if they realized the power this amendment would give to them. It allows state legislators to control the whole recall process. They could write a law that gives them, or a supermajority of them, the unilateral power to recall a member of Congress.
Talk about a hammer! Every member of Congress, House and Senate, would be looking over their shoulders at their state legislature, and trying to stay on their good side. All this talk of repealing the 17th Amendment is moonshine. The people will never give up their right to elect United States Senators. But the people might not mind if these Senators could be recalled, either.
There will be a lot of legislators from Arizona at the Phoenix Convention, and hopefully a few from Alaska. This will be something to talk about.