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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Impeach Jason Rapert: A symbolic effort UPDATE II

Posted By on Sat, May 24, 2014 at 7:01 AM

click to enlarge ON-LINE PETITION: a statement about a senator's pronouncements.
  • ON-LINE PETITION: a statement about a senator's pronouncements.

I got a text to this link for an on-line petition website. As the organizer indicates, impeachment of Rapert isn't expected, but signers want to make a statement about the Conway demagogue.

Jason Rapert has taken it upon himself to run a campaign to impeach a judge in Arkansas who followed the Arkansas and U.S. constitution to guarantee equality to all Arkansans. Senator Rapert pretends to have no knowledge of how our system of checks and balances work, instead endearing himself to the members of his constituency who want to continue to infringe upon the civil rights of our fellow Arkansans.

***This petition will not have any legal impact whatsoever. We are just trying to make a point and bring attention to this issue. His followers have started a petition to impeach a judge who was following the U.S. and Arkansas Constitution to make his decision regarding marriage equality. Rapert wants to impeach him through the legislature, which even many of his fellow Republicans said he cannot do. He is wasting tax payer dollars to combat a decision he personally disagrees with.

If you are in his district, PLEASE register to vote and get this guy out of office. He does not represent Arkansas.
UPDATE: Backers of this 1st Amendment exercise will be happy to know Jason Rapert has seen it and objected. One of a couple of e-mails to me:

Your willingness to try and link support of traditional marriage to the horrible past of segregation and racism is irresponsible. You know that. You playing fast and loose with quotes and inferences are irresponsible as well.

I will never forget the death threats my family received in 2013 because of the twisting of my words to portray me as a racist - something you know is not true and never was. Not until we passed the Heartbeat Protection Act in the Senate had anyone ever tried to do that to me. You fanned the flames Max. When you and pro-abortionists couldn't kill my bill, you simply decided to kill the man - assassination of character. When I had people threaten to rape, torture and murder my two little girls and my wife, and had people urging others to shoot me - I didn't run to the public or lash out with the same hatred and vitriol. When I had the Arkansas State Police warn me that we had credible death threats and urge me to have my family leave the state because they couldn't guarantee their safety, I didn't seek you out and attack you though you, The Nation and Maddow were at the root of the character assassination. You should be ashamed for the hypocritical way you have behaved.

You are responsible for your actions and by all rights I should have sued you and the others for defamation of character. 

Rapert's command of the law is, again, woefully lacking. Opinions are protected in the U.S., at least until Rapert and Co. fully take over. If it's my opinion that there's a racist dog whistle in Rapert's steady abuse of President Obama and incitement of his backers with speeches about the evil "minorities" out there (he contended he was talking about white liberals), that's my opinion. Rapert knows what's in his heart, but the outward evidence isn't encouraging, particularly when it comes to gay people. As for the notion that it's unfair to compare discrimination against gays with discrimination against black people: I pointed Rapert to the numerous federal court decisions that have drawn precisely that parallel in recent months to strike down discriminatory laws like Arkansas's.

Rapert also reacted negatively to suggestions that he'd ever urged impeachment of Judge Chris Piazza for the gay marriage decision. He'd merely urged House members to make the decision they think proper. Yes, and he is also attempting to pass a legislative resolution reiterating support for discrimination against gay people that also says:

Judge Piazza has overstepped his judicial authority and the Arkansas Legislative Council should take all possible actions to correct this overreach and ensure that this erroneous decision does not negatively impact the state and its citizens,” the resolution states. “Be it further resolved that the Arkansas Legislative Council shall explore legislative remedies to prevent the Arkansas Constitution and the will of the people of this state from being negated by judicial activism which violates the separation of powers ensured in our form of government,”

The word impeachment is not invoked, true. But what legislative remedies are otherwise available, save perhaps abolition of the judicial branch by constitutional amendment?

I asked Rapert to clarify. As a legal scholar, citizens and legislator, does he think Piazza should be impeached? Does he think the Supreme Court should be impeached if it affirms Piazza? Does he believe instead that judges may apply constitutions to law and strike laws down when they fail the test? 

Answers: Crickets. Rapert's resolution sounds like an impeachment dog whistle to me. His refusal to disavow it — amid red herrings about his victimization and lying writers — is your answer. There is some irony about his cries of victimization and his risible suggestion the other day about the tyranny of the minority.  Yep, them gays are running the state now.

For the record: This is all Rapert will say regards his effort to stir up a legislative and public backlash against the judiciary for a ruling he doesn't like.

You are regurgitating an error. Cite me one solid firsthand source where I personally called for Piazza's impeachment. There is none.

House members "contacted me" to ask if I would support impeachment. It is a decision they must make in the House alone.

My official actions have not called for his impeachment - including the resolution I introduced along with 56 co-sponsors.

You and Brummett need to return to that once rigid rule in journalism of verifying your sources.

Every time you repeat the error, you show how truth means nothing. Have some respect for yourself and verify things before writing.

You have every right to disagree with me on issues, but you do not have the right to propagate misinformation and purposely spread a lie.

It's my opinion Rapert is whipping up a hoped-for impeachment frenzy and attempting to intimidate the Arkansas Supreme Court. He need only repudiate the very idea. He hasn't. He won't.

UPDATE II: A reader quotes Bro. Raper as saying, see, he doesn't want impeachment of judges, he wants a constitutional amendment to allow RECALL of judges. This is even worse than impeachment. In impeachment, theoretically, a representative body would really have to consider briefly if they would send up charges against a judge for enforcing the Constitution as he understood it. And then the Senate would have to have a trial. Where, really, could you find a lawyer to defend the proposition that this was a removable offense?

But recall? Any popular prejudice could be used to nullify a judge's ruling. The third branch of government isn't Dancing With the Stars. Or least it isn't until Bro. Rapert gets through with it.

Then there's this: Jason Rapert may live in Baptiststan, but I'd put the odds of Pulaski County voters removing Chris Piazza for his marriage ruling at, conservatively, 1000 to 1 in the negative. Unless Rapert wants to let the whole state decide for Pulaski voters who their judges should be. With Rapert, anything ridiculous is possible.

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