Uh, oh – House science committee to draw a line in the sand tomorrow for #RICO20 and #ExxonKnew

Hearing: Affirming Congress’ Constitutional Oversight Responsibilities

WASHINGTON – Wednesday, September 14, at 10 a.m. EST, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing titled Affirming Congress’ Constitutional Oversight Responsibilities: Subpoena Authority and Recourse for Failure to Comply with Lawfully Issued Subpoenas. The hearing will examine Congress’ investigative authority as it relates to the Committee’s oversight of the impact of investigations undertaken by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts at the behest of several environmental organizations. Specifically, the hearing will explore the validity of the Committee’s current inquiry in the context of Congress’ broad oversight authority, as defined by legal precedent.

WHAT: Hearing on Affirming Congress’ Constitutional Oversight Responsibilities: Subpoena Authority and Recourse for Failure to Comply with Lawfully Issued Subpoenas

WHEN: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. EST

WHERE: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Witness List

·         Jonathan Turley, J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University Law School

·         Ronald D. Rotunda, Doy and Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

·         Elizabeth Price Foley, Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law

Background

 

On July 13, 2016, the Committee issued subpoenas to the state attorneys general and organizations.  To date, both the state attorneys general and organizations have refused to comply with the Committee’s subpoenas citing various Constitutional and state law provisions.

 

Live streaming will be available on the committee’s website and YouTube.

 

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67 thoughts on “Uh, oh – House science committee to draw a line in the sand tomorrow for #RICO20 and #ExxonKnew

  1. Interesting but, unless Congress is actually going to do something besides hold hearings and issue meaningless Contempt of Congress proclamations(?), it doesn’t mean much. Especially in an election season.

    • Great. But, it still doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t go anywhere. With the election a few months away, laying the groundwork like this will only be meaningful if the Republicans maintain control of both houses of Congress. Regardless, the Democrats are going to try protect the AG’s. So, unless the Democrats are on board with all of this, it won’t matter what the testimony on precedents is, they’ll ignore it. That’ll further weaken the credibility, and power, of Congress… which is already in the tank. A lot will hinge the election. If Trump wins, and the Republicans maintain their majorities in both houses, the AG’s are toast. If Hillary wins or the Democrats take one or both houses, the exercise in political theater becomes meaningless. (Mind, I don’t think the Republicans will lose control of either house, this election cycle, although their power is likely to be eroded.)

    • “On July 13, 2016, the Committee issued subpoenas to the state attorneys general and organizations. To date, both the state attorneys general and organizations have refused to comply with the Committee’s subpoenas citing various Constitutional and state law provisions.”

      I do not recall the details of the above mentioned subpoenas. Can anyone enlighten me on their content?

      I have to say that it appears to me that US federal law is losing it’s authority if state officials can refuse to obey a subpoena from Congress.

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

      • The subpoenas were for the emails and letters related to the planning of the press conference, which would include involvement of UCS and others. Those docs will establish a criminal conspiracy by state AGs with NGOs to repress civil rights (first amendment free speech) under 18USC241, a criminal statute called the KuKluxKlan Act. The subpeona legitimacy of this oversight committee comes via its oversight of federally funded research and the chilling affect the AG actions have on it.

  2. I greatly suspect that the witnesses were carefully chosen to provide support to the committee. That is the tradition.

  3. It is a hoop that has to be jumped through. Next it goes the House for debate and vote. After that if passed it is sent to the US AG. Note the legal language states the US AG “shall” send it to a grand jury, not determines whether or not to send it. Historically rather then it going to a Grand jury the Executive branch and congress try to work out a deal. Many past cases of Contempt of Congress have been between the Executive branch and congress so it has been in both sides interest to find a middle ground. Because the Executive branch is not directly involved the US AG is going to have a difficult time refusing to act. To not act will set a precedent re-enforcing states rights the independences of State AG from Congressional and Federal AG over site.

    If Congress passes the Contempt motion it will be a foul cup the Administration will have to drink from.

    michael

  4. After all that we have witnessed these past few years, having made a sham of the law and castrati of Congress, I can’t help but think of those famous lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5; “… full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    • You are right! This goes back five/six years.

      TIME, Aug.22, 2011

      Scroll down to:

      ‘Standing Against Oil Sands – and Standing for the Climate’

      Then scroll down to:

      “It might be better to make a deal for the pipeline – investments in alternative energy or fuel efficiency standards in exchange for Canadian oil sands.”

      http://www.science.time.com/tag/tar-sands

      Refers to the Keystone XL pipeline.

  5. Is this the point when the head of the FBI steps in and tells these Democrat AGs they aren’t the messiahs – the’re very naughty boys – and we’ll just forget all about it shall we?

      • Dirt worked for Hitler. Von Hindenburg and son had their hands in the veterans’ fund till and had accepted gratuities from industrialist. The indictments went away as soon as Hitler was named Chancellor by the elder.

      • Not at all. It’s simply a matter of would you like for the rest of your employment by the federal government to be a member of the club, or on the outside?

      • ‘would you like for the rest of your employment’

        Son, it’s way more serious: Clinton enemies wind up dead.

  6. Am I missing something? The headline says “tomorrow” but the date given is about 2 weeks from now.

  7. I guess I will just copy and paste this from another thread. Eventually, it will sink in. The Legislative Branch is basically powerless. In this case, the AG’s case will end up in a Federal Court (if it goes beyond political theater, as others have suggested). At this point, the target of any Congressional action simply has to delay until Hillary is elected. Well done America. (sarc) Idiots. (not sarc)

    Election of Hillary will allow Progressives to seal off the Executive Branch from the Legislative Branch. Harry Reid and the Senate changed the rules so that a President’s judicial appointments to Federal Court are passed with a simple majority. Obama began the process of stacking the Federal Courts with Progressives. Furthermore, Hillary will appoint at least 2 Supreme Court Justices.

    Pay attention. The result is that there will be no way to overturn Executive Actions/Orders. Challenges to Executive Actions/Orders (and the actions of Federal Agencies) must go through the Federal Court System. After 8 years of Hillary, there will be no chance that any Conservative challenge to a Progressive President’s Executive edict/mandate will advance through the Federal Court System and be overturned by the Supreme Court. No chance.

    Tell me why I am wrong.

    Any challenge by a Republican controlled Congress will be vetoed. Republicans will never again hold a veto-proof majority in both Houses of Congress. The press, “the 4th branch” will see to it.

    As I see it, Hillary’s ability to neuter the Legislative Branch through judicial appointments is the REAL issue of this campaign.

      • If she is (shudder), even if she is unable to finish the term, Kaine will not be much better. The guy is slimy. Pretends to be moderate, but he just goes along with whatever the party wants. He is less slimy than Mark Warner, but that is damning with faint praise.

        I loathe “my” senators. I neither voted for them, nor feel represented by them. I am not convinced Kaine is particularly nice, and I am sure Warner is plenty nasty. As far as I am aware, they fully adhere to the Dem lines about AGW. I am abstaining from the news until after the election (I know who the candidates are, where they claim to be on issues, and I know how I will vote, so I may as well save myself the pain of bombardment), so I am not sure if either senator is trying to cover Herring’s rear. I hope not, but my hope is likely in vain.

      • Can some one tell me who after the VP would be next in line for president? I case both the Pres and the VP would be ” gone” ? is it the Speaker of the House or the Senate?

      • Toby Smit
        August 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Can some one tell me who after the VP would be next in line for president? I case both the Pres and the VP would be ” gone” ? is it the Speaker of the House or the Senate?

        Speaker of the House..

      • Toby Smit says: August 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Can some one tell me who after the VP would be next in line for president? I case both the Pres and the VP would be ” gone” ? is it the Speaker of the House or the Senate?

        The line of succession is well defined.

        In times of emergency, things can become confused.

        After the Reagan Assassination Attempt, Al Haig famously claimed that he was in charge.

        There was some confusion in the senior levels of the government.…The President was totally incommunicado; the Vice President was on an airplane heading for Hawaii. Haig talked to others as well and it became clear that no one was doing anything to bring the panic under control. By mid-afternoon, the world knew that the President was in serious condition, but not much else.

        It was a mess. Some people even thought that a putsch was taking place.

        During 911, Donald Rumsfeld was unavailable for long periods of time because he wasn’t where he should have been. It was also a mess.

        If things are unfolding slowly and we have warning, we know what will happen in terms of succession.

        In an emergency, all bets are off.

      • commieBob, the line of succession only matters if everybody above the person in question dies.
        If the President dies, the VP becomes president, and appoints a new VP subject to congressional approval.

    • Your are right.

      Every generation gets the Constitution that it deserves. As the central preoccupations of an era make their way into the legal system, the Supreme Court eventually weighs in, and nine lawyers in robes become oracles of our national identity.
      – Noah Feldman

      It´s seems like every generation gets their fight for freedom – foreign or domestic ideological enemies sneak in – and before the majority of the people understand the dangers – it has become a serious problem.

    • Your are right.

      “Whether it be the Constitution or statutory law, this entire case, at least in this Court, has been about allegiance to the rulebook. In its prior orders concerning the actual subject matter of this case, the Court never reached the relative merits or lack thereof of the Defendants’ 2014 Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Directive.

      The question addressed by this Court was whether the Government had to play by the rules. This Court held that it did. The Fifth Circuit has now also held that the Government must play by the rules, and, of course, that decision is now before the Supreme Court.

      It was no surprise to this Court, or quite frankly to any experienced legal observer, that this question would ultimately reach the Supreme Court. Consequently, the resolution of whether the Executive Branch can ignore and/or act contrary to existing law or whether it must play by the rulebook now rests entirely with that Court.”

      STATE OF TEXAS, et al., versus UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et. al. – Court order

      That court order is well worth a read – for all interested in keeping their freedom!

      For those short of time this is my summary:OK -little girl from North Carolina – the stage has been set!

  8. WHAT: Hearing on Affirming Congress’ Constitutional Oversight Responsibilities: Subpoena Authority and Recourse for Failure to Comply with Lawfully Issued Subpoenas

    Is this a line in the sand? Here’s a definition:

    The second meaning is that of a point beyond which, once the decision to go beyond it is made, the decision and its resulting consequences are permanently decided and irreversible. link

    It looks like the committee is going to try to impose sanctions for those who ignored their subpoenas. It is not a mere shot across the bow.

    • I asked that earlier (5:47 PM), and … *crickets chirping*. Are we missing something fundamental – perhaps the “Tomorrow” is a joke or unmarked sarcasm?

      • Because of global warming and increasingly rapid sea level rise, time dilation will be experienced by all persons living w/in 2,000 km of a coastline. As a result, to those observers the intervening two weeks will appear to have passed in the span of ~24 hours…

        *wink*

    • Tomorrow is when the meeting is announced via papers served on the AG (I presume this is “the line in the sand” moment). A two week notice period is given (legal or traditional?),
      therefore the hearing will be in two weeks is my understanding.

      SteveT

  9. We have Exxon under duress for doing scientific research on anthropogenic global warming in the 1970’s, then allegedly failing to come to the conclusion it was a serious threat to humanity and compounding that error by not shouting “the sky is falling” from the rooftops, thereby misleading investors.

    We have a former Secretary of State, now standing for the Presidency of the USA, who allegedly deliberately and with malice aforethought undertook to subvert the law by creating a private data communications network over which confidential and classified information proprietary to the United States was transmitted in such a way as to be visible to enemies of the United States.

    And we have Ross Ulbrecht, a 29 year old physics graduate, rotting in jail on charges based on criminally obtained information concerning his role setting up an international commodities trading platform.

    What a world.

    • Indeed – and all the time the renewables gravy train rolls on, syphoning vast sums of public money into off-shore tax havens and no one bats an eyelid.

  10. I’ll believe there is something to this when they actually accomplish something other than hearings. Been down this road on so many other issues with no appreciable results that I am now a hard core skeptic when it comes to believing that the Republicans in congress can accomplish anything but meaningless political theater.

  11. Professors cross line…

    Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/28825/

    Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.

    “The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.

    Signed by the course’s professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill, it was sent after several students expressed concern for their success in the course after watching the first online lecture about the impacts of climate change.

    “Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course,” the professors’ email continued.

    “… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.”

    The professors also note this ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums. Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states.

    • “Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,”

      In fact, doesn’t the IPCC use non peer reviewed materials?

      ” Sources other than scientific journals also provide crucial information for a comprehensive assessment. Examples include reports from governments, industry and research institutions, international and other organizations, and conference proceedings. Information about certain experiences and practices in mitigation and adaptation activities in particular may be found in sources other than traditional scientific and technical journals. Such materials may utilize a wide range of quality-assurance mechanisms, including but not limited to formal peer review. Author teams using literature of this kind have a special responsibility to ensure its quality and validity.”
      https://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/docs/factsheets/FS_ipcc_assess.pdf

      Teach needs to take a class.

      • I can’t help to note that the professors are women. I wonder if they will Pachauri’s materials?

        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/TERI-ends-association-with-R-K-Pachauri/articleshow/53932594.cms

        NEW DELHI: TERI has ended its last major association with R K Pachauri, who has been facing sexual harassment charges, with former finance secretary Ashok Chawla replacing him as the chancellor of the university.
        The announcement of Chawla replacing Pachauri was conveyed to the students of the university today by its pro vice chancellor Rajiv Seth.
        Earlier named as the chairman of TERI, Chawla will replace Pachauri who had proceeded on leave after communicating that he will skip the institution’s convocation in March after a group of students refused to receive degrees from him.
        Asked whether Pachauri’s association with TERI and its university has ended, Seth confirmed the development to PTI saying “Yes”.

      • I read the letter more closely. The professors think that the IPCC does peer review. Too funny.

  12. Finally the Empire strikes back. Enough is enough. I’ve always believed that one single lawsuit will put a huge damper in this movement. They seem to believe they can act with impunity, which has emboldened them. In reality they all know they are emperors with no clothes, paper tigers and when you boil it down, they are life-long bench-warming cowards that use despicable tactics to bully people. Time to put them back in their place, or actually remove them from their positions. They have abused the legal and tenure system, and that needs to be addressed.

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