The Tea Party Movement is at it again, now challenging New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez by pursuing a recall campaign in the New Jersey State Supreme Court.
More than a decade ago, New Jersey passed a change in its state constitution, allowing for recall of members of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and it has not been challenged in court since its inception.
There is no debate over the fact that the recall concept can be utilized in any state, if put into its constitution, against STATE officials, such as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and other office holders. While rarely used, it certainly received great attention due to the California recall against Governor Gray Davis in 2003. Also, Mayor Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, faced a recall vote in 1979, which he won, and today he is a Congressman from Cleveland who has run for President twice!
But NEVER in American history has a sitting member of either house of Congress been subject to recall, as they are FEDERAL officials, not state officeholders, and only their own legislative bodies may judge their fitness for office, and whether they should be seated, censured, or expelled!
The Tea Party Movement claims that the Tenth Amendment comes into play here, but they are totally off base, and IF the state supreme court were to rule in their favor, the case would have to go to the US Supreme Court, which it is hard to imagine would rule in their favor. Such a scenario would lead to true chaos in the halls of Congress, as one must realize that the true constitutional manner to register disillusionment with a member of either house of Congress is to vote them out when House members come up for election every two years, and when Senators come up for election every six years!
Just the fact of unhappiness with a series of votes should NOT be the basis for a recall vote! It is a victory of chaos and anarchy, and TOTALLY unconstitutional!
This is just further evidence of how reactionary and loony and anarchistic the right wing populism of the Tea Party Movement is becoming, something that the Republican party should reflect upon as more of a curse, than a blessing to them, and the whole political system!