-As Senate receives impeachment documents from House of Representatives
Lawyers representing 19 Senators who recently approved the amended Rule 63 of the Senate’s Standing Rules that created a “usable set rule” and further set the stage for impeachment proceedings against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh and any other person, including the President, Vice President, Chief Justice, and Judges, have submitted a 31-count return requesting the Supreme Court to dismiss calls by four of their colleagues to block the upcoming impeachment trial.
Senator H. Varney Sherman and former Senator Frederick Doe Cherue in their return submitted yesterday, November 15, described the four Senators’ petition as “flimsy and devoid of any legal basis; that the petition is merely evidence of the fact that petitioners wish to bring respondents and the entire Liberian Senate to public ridicule and create unnecessary confrontation between respondents/the Liberian Senate and the Honorable Supreme Court.”
Senators Sherman and Cherue are both lawyers by profession. They further submitted on behalf of respondents that the petition is intended merely to give petitioners their own “five minutes of publicity, as media all over the world describe such baseless conduct of public figures-persons who need and crave for public recognition even when they make no substantive contribution to public discourse…”
Praying further that the Supreme Court must declare unconstitutional acts of the Legislature, the majority Senate Lawyers cited a similar case: Morris vs Reeves, 27 LLR 334 (1978), and on the same subject the recent case: Monrovia Breweries Inc. vs Karpeh, 37 LLR 288 (1993).
“In both cases, this Honorable Court refused to declare the act of the Legislature unconstitutional; so this flimsy and meritless petition, respondents pray your Honor not to depart from this standard set by yourselves that you will not disturb an act of the Legislature and declare it unconstitutional merely because a petitioner asks you to, but that you will only do so with the greatest possible caution and reluctance and only when it is clear and in-convertible that the act does violate a provision of the Constitution.”
Cllrs. Sherman and Cherue prayed the Court “to deny and dismiss this petition to declare the Amendment of Rule 63 of the Senate Standing Rule unconstitutional and to grant unto respondents any other and further relief as in such matters is made and provided by law.”
In their request to the Supreme Court, the four Senators (Conmany B. Wesseh, Daniel Flomo Naatehn, Milton Teahjay, and Oscar Cooper) contended that their majority colleagues’ adopted the procedure to enable them to conduct a hearing on the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh because there was no such a procedure at the Senate prior to the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh by the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the Senate plenary yesterday received legal documents from two of seven managers nominated by the House of Representatives, that will be used during the trial of Justice Ja’neh. No reasons were given by Representatives Cllr Kanie Wesso and Isaac Roland for the absence of their five colleagues. Such absence, according to a legal mind, did not contravene any Legislative or conventional law.
There are speculations that the Senate may likely set a date for the commencement of the impeachment trial during its sitting today.
The Pro Tempore of the Senate Albert T. Chie meanwhile has announced that except for Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the Senate will convene daily for the period it was recalled for the extraordinary session.