Yuoh’s Stay Order of Ja’neh’s Impeachment under Scrutiny from Lawyers

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Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene-Yuoh

The decision of Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh last week to stay the impeachment process of her colleague Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, until the Supreme Court can fully review its merit has invoked rash criticism from some lawyers and the public alike.

And as of today (Monday, August 13), it remains unclear whether the lawmakers would abide by Justice Yuoh’s orders to stay impeachment proceedings. Justice Yuoh currently serves as Justice-in-Chambers of the Supreme Court.

On July 17, 2018, a petition signed by the acting chairman of the CDC in the House of Representatives for Montserrado County, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah of District #5, and Rep. Acarous Gray of District #8, a staunch member of the CDC, called for Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment.

The pair argued that Ja’neh should be impeached, ousted and removed from the Supreme Court of Liberia on grounds of “proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.”

However, a Supreme Court lawyer (name withheld), said Justice Yuoh’s action was premature and it compromises the integrity of the Court.

“Justice Yuoh should not have issued that writ because it now puts the Court in an embarrassing situation were the matter has yet to proceed to the House of Senate for hearing,” the senior lawyer claimed.

The lawyer also argued that Yuoh’s decision would affect Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and the entire Bench, were the House of Representatives to go ahead with Ja’neh’s impeachment proceedings as stipulated in Article 43 of the Constitution.

Article 43 provides that “the power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate. When the President, Vice President or an Associate Justice is to be tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; when the Chief Justice or a judge of a subordinate court of record is to be tried, the President of the Senate shall preside. No person shall be impeached but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate. Judgments in such cases shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold public office in the Republic; but the party may be tried at law for the same offense. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.”

“Look, you can see where Justice Yuoh’s decision has placed the Chief Justice, if the matter were to go to the House of Senate for hearing. What do you think, would be the Chief Justice’s role?”  The lawyer asked.

“Where is the constitutional violation against Ja’neh? Has Ja’neh ever been invited by the House to begin with his impeachment hearing? Have the lawmakers even adopted rules and procedures to proceed with Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment, because these are marks of constitutional violation,” the lawyer argued.

According to the lawyer, the lawmakers have not violated the rights of Justice Ja’neh, hence, no reason therefore for the issuance of a “stay order”.

He explained that Article 43 gives the House of Representatives the sole right to prepare a bill of impeachment.

“They were performing their legislative mandate and nobody, even the Supreme Court, should interfere,” he explained.

The lawyer argued that the Bill of Impeachment was still with the Special Ad Hoc Committee set-up by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers to advise them as to whether there was a need for them to proceed with Ja’neh’s impeachment.

“So, now where is the Constitutional violation Yuoh is talking about? The lawyer wondered, “There is no Constitutional violation for the issuance of the writ.”

Justice Ja’neh’s argument was that the lawmakers were in complete violation of Articles 20 (a), 71 and 73 of the 1986 Constitution, although he agreed that the same Constitution confers jurisdiction on the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Article 71 states the grounds for impeachments of judges of the Supreme Court and subordinate judges: “proven misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery and other infamous crimes”.

Article 73 grants all judicial officials immunity from being “summoned, arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried civilly or criminally… on account of judicial opinions rendered or expressed, judicial statements made and judicial acts done in the course of a trial in open court or in chambers, except for treason or other felonies, misdemeanor or a breach of peace”.

Justice Ja’neh also argued that House Speaker Bhofal Chambers violated Section 57.3 of the Rules and Procedures of the House of Representatives by constituting a Special Ad Hoc Committee and immediately forwarded Ja’neh’s impeachment bill to the committee.

That section, Ja’neh argued confers exclusive jurisdiction on the House’s Committee on the Judiciary to hear, among other things, all matters relating to judicial proceedings, civil and criminal.

“It does not vest any authority in the Speaker to remove and unilaterally transfer same to a Special Committee as he did,” Cllr. Johnson argued.

Article 20 (a) states that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law. Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record, under courts-martial and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury.”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. This is the consequence when anyone who has attended law school and calls him or herself a lawyer and is appointed as a judge of a nation´s Supreme Court! This girl has absolutely no idea about the (1) The Live Controversy Rule (2) The Standing to Sue Doctrine, (3) The Political Questions , and (4) The Rules of Interpretation. Nor does she even have some ideas about THE CONSTITUTIONAL NON-ENCROACHMENT PRINCIPLE, nor the fact that as the result her grossly reckless deportment, the Chief Justice may have to recuse himself from the impeachment trial, should that prosecution hit the Senate´s floor sooner or later!

    If Yuoh may have not compromised her judicial independence via some selfish interests or mere prejudice rooted in partisan affiliation, or personal vendetta against whichever target, she should have simply responded to those so called Janeh´s lawyers that as the result of the “political question doctrine” or any of those rules we have pointed out supra, the Supreme Court cannot get involved with such an issue which is already on the House´s floor; more so that impeachment is the absolute and singular prerogative of the Legislature. And she would have salvaged her reputation, for :

    (1) in the first place, besides the fact, there may be chances that the impeachment may not go though; an impeachment proceeding IN THE HOUSE, if successful, is simply A CHARGE AND NOT A CONVICTION NOR A REMOVAL! FOR:

    (2) such a charge only becomes a conviction and of course a cause of removal, if and when the impeached public official is found guilty! But:

    (3) because they corrupt judges of the Supreme Court usually get away with their irresponsible and unscrupulous CV of atrocities, they have wrongly believe they are demi-gods within the corridors of powers enjoying THE IMPUNITY TO GO ULTRA VIRES (GOING BEYOND THEIR POWERS) as Justice Yuoh has done and as the culprit Kabineh Janeh is notoriously known, as evidenced in the case with the 90 year old lady, etc. etc. And,

    (4) this is inter alia why all scholars and practitioners of jurisprudence, and of goodwill, at home and around the world, have not hesitated in vehemently resisting Yuoh’s Stay Order of Ja’neh’s Impeachment now “under Scrutiny from Lawyers”!!! For,

    (5) impeachments are absolutely within the province and jurisdiction of THE LEGISLATURE and no other branch of government; despite the fact the Chief Justice should constitutionally masquerade as judge during THE SENATE´S PROSECUTION OF AN IMPEACHED JUDGE OR WHICHEVER PUBLIC OFFICIAL.

    • While blind individuals to the law are calling the Legislature move political, they have ignored the above mentioned facts by you about this scenario. I cant disagree with your assertions on this matter. Well said Doe.

  2. As for Arthur Johnson, he is just another clown, bringing disrepute to the legal profession!!! If he knew the diffirence between constitutional power and constitutional rights, and which one reigns supreme or prevails in the given circumtance, he would not be in futility trying to take refuge behind Article 20 of the Liberian Constitution, which has no essential bearing or ligament on the spirit of his Johnson´s argument, or on IMPEACHMENT which is beyond the jurisdiction of the Liberian Supreme Court, and is indeed NON-APPEALABLE.

  3. Dortu, I am not a lawyer, but you make too much legal sense. If the stay order stands, it means anyone can go to the SC to put stop to a budget being passed in the House, or a ratification of a concession, etc. That means, the powers will now be vested in the SC, not the President of Liberia.

    • Mr. Quenneh , believing that your argument is true, and it is true that the Supreme Court has the power to stop the budget if it violates the budget law , concessions agreement that violates the rights of the villagers , the environment laws , but the case has to be brought before the Supreme Court to decide the law . The lack of knowledge concerning our laws have companies pushing citizens of their lands , and carrying out land grabbing. The thing is the citizens have so much trust in the same legislators that just signed the agreements or perhaps give away the people’s land , they are the same people that the citizens run to in settling land dispute between the companies and the villagers . And what have been the results over 171 years , the same as 171 years ago. But one thing though , when was the last did any Liberian use the Court system against any concessions agreement that went against the villagers ? That cry is being heard in Grand Cape Mount County, Grand Kru County , Sinoe County . The president pass on an agreement to the liking of the president and the companies. The lawmakers signed off on it , and it becomes an agreement supported by law. But the movement that concessions laws are being enforced it is the villages that feels the pain from the concession agreement. Listen closely you will hear the cry from the abused. The president makes the agreement, has that proven to be in favor of the villagers . The lawmakers signed off on it , did that proved that it was in the favor of the villagers ? Maybe had the villagers ran to the Supreme Court and request a stay order, allowing them to state their side of the reasons the concession agreement if enforced will violate their rights to farm , or ask for just Compensation for their lands. But like you , the villagers trust the same lawmakers that signed off on the agreement sent to them by the president . The Supreme Court is not your enemy, their only role in government is to review the law of the land, settle disput and protect the basic constitutional rights of Liberians. Kind of glad that you have realized the power of the Supreme Court, and what it can do when the other two branches make a fool of the Liberian villagers and their farm lands . It is time we use the courts to check the power of both the president and the lawmakers in these so-called concession agreements . Indeed a stay order can be placed on concessions agreement if it is going to violate the basic rights of the villagers to life , property and the pursuit of happiness. A fair concessions agreement brings about that kind of happiness.

    • This debate is simple – the Supreme Court doesn’t have the authority under the “separation of powers doctrine” in the constitution to interfere with the proceedings of the legislature. No law has been passed yet. In the United States, the Supreme Court NEVER, EVER dare to interfere with any proceedings in congress. The role of the Supreme Court in our democracy and that of the United States is to interpret the law. That’s it. The constitution didn’t say the Supreme Court has the authority to stop the legislature from doing its work. Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh ruling is wrong and the House of Representative should ignore it. It would set a terrible precedent if the House were to honor her dumb ruling. Who gave her that power?

  4. ” They are performing their mandate and nobody, even the Supreme Court should interfere “. And that is how the so-called book people lead the poor uneducated illiterate into creating an all powerful and an all mighty institution that can never do wrong or be wrong. The President has a constitutional mandate to appoint anyone in his government , but the Supreme Court just put a stay order on that constitutional mandate of the President, and the President is exercising the cooperative spirit of the the three branches in obeying the Supreme Court order. A cooperative spirit upon which our constitutional democracy is built on . Here the Supreme Court which has the constitutional mandate to review the law , settle disput and protect the basic rights of the people under the constitution is putting a stay on the House and the House in its right mind should disregard the stay order ? Should the President disregard a stay order from the Supreme Court too ? Let take the impeachment process in the United States of Richard Nixon. Like the same process in the US as in Liberia , a committee was formed in the House to investigate whether their were enough evidence to impeach. As our so-called book people will say , nobody, not even the Supreme Court can interfere . In his attempt to stop the House from impeaching in their request to have turned over tapes and other documents, President Nixon Ran To The US Supreme Court ! To stop him from handling over the tapes and other document that the US House needed to investigate him and to impeach him. He ran to the Supreme Court People. After the Supreme Court ruled against him , charges was brought against him by the House of Representatives . There were three articles of impeachment against President Nixon, but he was charged with the first, obstruction of justice for refusing to hand over the tapes and other related documents. The role of the Supreme Court is to review the law, settle disput and protect the basic constitutional rights of the citizens . On a bad note they are not carrying out that duty , their are too many Liberians serving prolonged detention, some for more than three years for manner offense . To know more about the impeachment process, read the landmark case of President Nixon and the US House. That was when the US citizens held their breath, wondering whether their system would work. The accused Associate Justice has a choice if he hates the impeachment, he can resign like Nixon did . But allow the Supreme Court to do its job by reviewing the law and settling disput .

  5. ” They were performing their legislative mandate and nobody, even the Supreme Court should interfere “. And so it is with the so-called book people of that country in creating an almighty and an all powerful legislative political institution that the poor uneducated illiterate will believe in . But President Weah has the same constitutional mandate to appoint anyone in his government. But the Supreme Court placed a stay order on that constitutional appointing power of the President, and the President obeyed the stay order by exercising and carrying out the political cooperative spirit of the three branches upon which our constitutional democracy is built on. The President obeyed the stay order , because the law had to be reviewed. The role of the Supreme Court is to review the law of the land, settle disput and protect the basic rights of the citizens under the law. So why should this lawyer who is afraid to have his name printed that there exist an unaccountable legislative body to the other two political branches in that country ? Let take the a look at the impeachment process in the United States of President Nixon in 1974 . In that process in the States the same as in Liberia, the House of Representatives appointed a committee to investigate whether their were enough evidence to impeach, the has begun. Just as in Liberia in his attempt to stop the process that will lead to his impeachment, the Associate Justice ran to the Supreme Court. In his attempt to stop the process of his investigation where the request for the tapes and other related documents were needed for his impeachment , President Nixon of the United States Ran To The United States Supreme Court. People ! Nixon ran to the Supreme for protection from the House in his refusal to hand over the tapes and other documents that would had impeached him. The question is , was the United States Supreme Court interfering when it took the case to hear the side of President Nixon against the House of Representatives in the US Congress ? So where is the interference from the Liberian Supreme Court in order to hear the side of the Associate Justice ? When the took the case and ruled against Nixon, the House charged Nixon with the first of three articles of impeachment. Obstruction of justice for his refusal to turn over the tapes and other related documents ,leading to his resignation. This is not about the unaccountable powerful legislators to the Supreme Court of Liberia , and for that matters to no one , it is about the law that no one branch of government is above ! The role of the Supreme Court of Liberia is to review the law of the land, settle disput and protect the basic constitutional rights of Liberians under the law. If the accused Associate Justice hates the impeachment process, like Nixon, he can resign. Liberia is bigger than him . The US is bigger than Nixon, and he resigned. Allow the Supreme Court to do its job by reviewing the law of the land . The Justice in Chamber made the right decision to hear the case , as the US Supreme Court made the right decision to hear the side of President Richard Nixon before he resigned from office .

  6. Taiyee, don’t mind that corrupt Yuoh. She mistook impeachment matter for the Bomi County legislative residence clause matter or the code of conduct when she and her fellow corrupt colleagues got away with such disgraceful, depraved, official misconducts and very bad behaviors. As for you James Davis, just keep quiet; and assimilate that though there are many burning issues of society in which ANYONE can make meaningful assertions, and even advance impressive demonstrations; LAW, ESPECIALLY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, IS NOT ONE OF THOSE MANY BURNING ISSUES in which just ANYONE can make sense.

    • Poor child, once told you that what you do not know will not hurt you all . Now , you want to know about the impeachment process ? Go the the Richard Nixon landmark case where America held its breath whether their President would be impeached . That was 1974 just in the eleven grade in Liberia ,while following that landmark case to the very end . You can learn a thing or two from Justice Yuoh. A very fine and smart Justice who did not eat her school fees , and is not afraid to dish out justice where ever it will fall , and on who heard it will fall on . Don’t believe that, ask President Weah and his constitutional appointing power , that received a stay order . One thing though, the Justices at the Supreme Court will be reviewing the impeachment process and records of the US Supreme Court. You can still learn young man. Don’t be too proud .

      • James – So, are you asserting that the US Supreme Court has the power to interfere with the proceedings of the US Congress which is what Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh is doing? You are wrong if you believe that. The role of the US Supreme Court and that of the Liberian Supreme Court is to interpret the laws. That’s it. Under the “separations of power” doctrine in the US and Liberian constitution, the court cannot stop the legislature from doing its duty. There is no such precedent in the US. The US Supreme Court knows better not to cross that line.

  7. James. I will respond to your comment, specifically on the Nixon’s impeachment proceedings, and only because there’s this understanding out there that he was impeached, and hope it encourages students at the nation’s law schools in their debates on these issues. As such, my short answer is, Nixon was never impeached. The House Judiciary Committee sent three Articles of Impeachment to the full House, but Nixon resigned before the House held the hearings. Although if he had not resigned, he would’ve been impeached. The Supreme Court’s holding had to do with Nixon’s refusal to turn over tapes that he deemed were protected under Executive privilege under the Constitution. It was never a decision about the constitutional authority of the House to impeach. Nixon was not challenging the procedures and processes of the House in Court. The Court would not have entertained it, as it would’ve had no constitutional provision to establish its jurisdiction over such a petition. And the Nixon’s lawyers were much too smart to have proceeded with such an act that would’ve been laughable.

    The Stay order against the President was within the Court’s authority because the markers for constitutional review by the Court are present in that case.

    In this Stay Order, the Constitution is very clear on the authority of the Legislative Branch in impeachment cases. Also just a note, a writ of prohibition is issued by a superior court to a lower court. It is not applicable here.

    • The stay order by the Liberian Supreme Court is not about the constitutional authority of the House to impeach. The Supreme Court is not stopping the House from impeaching, something that the Court recognized as the constitutional duty of the House. What the Supreme Court is saying hold on ,there is a case before the Supreme Court and the Court would like to clarify that law , review the law . Was the case brought before the Court requesting a challenge to the House constitutional duty to impeach ? Was it directly calling on the House to stop its impeachment. Or was the case requesting something else that the Court needed to be clarified with the participation of the House ? As for the Nixon case , the whole idea was not to challenge the constitutional duty of the House, but to use the case to stop the impeachment process in the House. Not a challenge to the authority to House, but to stop the impeachment process. Knowing that if the US Supreme Court would had sided with Nixon that the tapes and other documents were executive privilege , the US House of Representatives would have to look elsewhere for more information to impeach. If the House failed to find enough evidence to impeach, the impeachment process would had likely stop. That was their plan and the point they the lawyers representing Nixon were driving at . Meaning no tapes , no documents, no case . It was not about a direct challenge to the constitutional authority of the House, but it was meant to stop the process or the impeachment , by any means necessary without a direct challenge to the House constitutional duty. But the fact that the US Supreme Court took the case and heard it , showed that the US Supreme Court was not interfering as many Liberians are of the opinion that should not be the case in their country. But the US Supreme Court was forming its constitutional duty as well when it decided to hear the case . So what does the case brought before the Liberian Supreme Court says ? Is it about challenging the direct constitutional authority of the House by lawyers of the Associate Justice or something else that the House is refusing to hear ? So how will the nation know ?

  8. Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh’s does not put the Chief Justice in a position to possibly recuse himself from the impeachment trial, should that prosecution hit the Senate´s floor sooner or later. Impeachments are absolutely within the province and jurisdiction of THE LEGISLATURE and no other branch of government.

    A very “high bar” must be set to remove Associate Justice Ja’neh on grounds of “proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.” If this process is successfully executed by the House of Representative to levy the charge then we must remember the African Proverb “ That Rat Trap is not just for Rat alone”. If this charge of impeachment is levy on a sitting Associate Justice it means that the ENTIRE government MUST realize the EVERYONE should henceforth set themselves to a HIGHER standard than what is COMMONPLACE or STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE for the majority of public servant, “a climate of abuse of public office, fraud, misuse of power and corruption”.
    There is no argument that Article 43 provides that “the power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate. When the President, Vice President or an Associate Justice is to be tried, the Chief Justice shall preside;”
    Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh’s action should be reconsidered for the constitutional process to take it’s course but “throwing a stone when you live ins a glass house” can be problematic.

  9. Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh’s action should be reconsidered for the constitutional process to take it’s course but “throwing a stone when you live in a glass house” can be problematic.

  10. Where should our emphasis be placed? The Liberian People “spoke” and elected President George Weah, not just “for himself”. We were frustrated that for nearly 171 years “the masses were mostly neglected. for nearly 171 years , “highly educated people” mis-placed the priorities of the countries to concentrated on a few. The mandate was for “a person rooted in poverty” and who has exemplified a passion for his people to lead us (leadership is consensus building, agreeing and dis-agreeing). Please “give constructive ideas”, yes criticize with solutions, hold the President and government accountable but realize his success is our success. Let’s work towards his success so “we all can enjoy our country”

    Liberia is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, but poor in human capital, infrastructure, and stability, Liberia has a fairly typical profile for Sub-Saharan African economies – the majority of the population is reliant on subsistence agriculture, while exports are dominated by raw commodities such as rubber and iron ore. Local manufacturing, such as it exists, is mainly foreign-owned. Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its economy is extremely underdeveloped.

    Liberia should NOT be poor with all God has given us! Let shout out and reach out to EVERY LIBERIAN , “all over the world to participate. FORGET the fighting!! Let’s see and reach out to the “MISSING LIBERIAN HUMAN CAPITAL”, Liberian people living in foreign parts, despite the fact they may have foreign citizenship to come and unite to build a strong Liberia under this administration. Yes, sometime we will “throw pu-te” (kru slang for fighting). I know from growing up in Point Four, that’s how people become friends, after “throwing pu-te”.

    Liberians abroad , who were born in Liberia are approaching their 50’s and 60’s and soon may not be earning enough to send money home as remittances because they would be on “fixed incomes”. What happens then, when ‘ those hard currencies stop”. Especially since most are denied Liberian citizenship so they turn to Ghana, Jamaica, Carribean Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. to retire?

    Let be more focus on using our legislator’s time on building the Structure and Framework for an agricultural foundation, an industrial and manufacturing initiative by involving our fellow “born”liberians that live all over the world, who want to help in resources, talent or “boots on the ground”. I do, so do so many thousand! President Weah, You can shine, continue to “focus” on being a servant to the cause of Liberia, just like you always had. Being a leader involves being criticized, most being criticized unfairly. You’re “TUFF”, you’re competitive, you played against the best “around the world” and came up on top. You’re “TUFF”, bron in West Point and rose to be President of “all the people”. Liberian needs everyone, GOD put you there, you need GOD to continue to guide you. Pray directly to him, no body praying, just you and GOD. Let HIM (GOD) be your advisor!!!

    • Well said Chief Charlie Bunadee. This legislature needs to pass the dual-citizenship law quickly so we can get on with bringing all Liberians together to develop this poor, beautiful country. The needs are too great; our brothers and sisters back home cannot do this alone. It will take billions of dollars, and enormous human capital to develop the country. United we stand, divided we ‘fail’.

  11. I haven’t followed the Dual Citizenship debate going on, but took a quick look at the Constitution. Article 28 of the Constitution already assumes dual citizenship I allowed for at least certain class of Liberian. Those who at the time of their birth in a foreign country have at least one of their parents as citizen of Liberia. It reads, “Any person, at least one of whose parents was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the Person’s birth, shall be a citizen of Liberia; provided that any such person shall upon reaching maturity renounce any other citizenship acquired by virtue of one parent being a citizen of another country. No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality except as provided by law; and no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality.”

    In essence, if you are a Liberian citizen living in the U.S., and have a child born in the U.S., the child is automatically a Liberian citizen until he or she reaches the age of majority and decides if he wants to remain a Liberian citizen or an American citizen. Note, that a child born in the U.S. to non-Diplomatic staffs is a U.S. citizen by birth. While Article 28 does require the child to renounce one citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, the Article does not provide why it provided citizenship to the child when in fact the parent is denied citizenship. Article 27 sets the standard for citizenship and states that, “All persons who, on the coming into force of this Constitution were lawfully citizens of Liberia shall continue to be Liberian citizens.” If the Legislature, at some point enacted into law, under its authority under Article 27 (c), certain other standards and criteria that revoked the citizenships of Liberian because of their citizenship of the U.S., how does the child of such a non-citizen derive his citizenship? I raise these questions, as a challenge to the revocation of Liberian citizenship to dual citizens of Liberia, at least to those who children born in foreign countries that also grant them citizenship by birth. I understand Article 27 to have placed a requirement on the Legislature to follow “the above standard” to mean that any legislative act should be to, be in compliance with Article 27(a) and Article 27(b).

    I believe the dual citizenship debate should now go to the Courts to provide clarity to Article 27 and Article 28 and give guidance on the intent of the framers with respect to citizenship in the current constitution and to any articles of prior constitutions that are referenced in the current as enforceable under the current constitution.

    With respect to the Stay order, because there is no provision for enforcing this order, as the court simply had no jurisdiction in issuing the order, the House does not have to comply. Out of courtesy and respect to the office of an Associate Justice, I suggest the Speaker reply to the Justice with reasons for non-compliance with the order. This does not have to be a public response. This is something that should be handled between them. It’s already a national embarrassment to have had this Stay order, as well as to the Lawyers to file the petition with the court.

    As Chief Bunadee stressed, we should let the legislative process take its course. There’s also no provision for the Chief Justice to recuse himself from the hearing, if there’s a Senate trial. I do hope that there is no Senate trial and that the House would reach a conclusion that impeachment is not warranted..

  12. James. In your description of your understanding of the case, while describing correctly the actions taken by Nixon with all it’s intent and the subsequent holding of the Court, missing is the real analogy from the Nixon’s Impeachment proceedings with Yuoh’s Stay Order.

    The Nixon tapes in question were at the time alleged recordings that confirmed the President’s implication in covering the break-in of the Watergate section of the Democratic party National Headquarters in Washington DC. In his re-election bid, Nixon’s campaign staff had the DNC headquarters burglarized. When the burglars returned the second time, they were arrested. After the break-in Nixon arranged to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in “hush money” to the burglars.Then, Nixon and his aides hatched a plan to instruct the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to impede the FBI’s investigation of the crime. This was a more serious crime than the break-in: It was an abuse of presidential power and a deliberate obstruction of justice.
    So, you see here, there was already an investigation into a crime at the District Court into the criminal acts of the burglar. While Nixon recorded these instructions and kept the tape is beyond reasons. It appears though the reasons he kept the tapes backfired. When it was discovered his role in the incidents, three Articles of impeachment were files against him. There were other evidences that existed from note takers which the House would have had in its proceedings and that the tape eventually confirmed. Nixon tried to use Executive privilege as reason not to turn over the tapes. Note now that a criminal act has taken place, the culprits are under arrest, there’s are FBI and CIA investigations of espionage and one piece of evidence is being declared as non-discoverable by the President under Executive privilege, even though it is evidence required in the criminal case. These are all constitutional markers for due process review by the court. It did not give the Court any jurisdiction to determine if the impeachment proceedings were being conducted properly or if the House had the evidence to impeach. The Court has no jurisdiction to review such the House impeachment proceedings. One should never read into the Constitution what’s not there or ignore what’s there. Generally, read it descriptively and not normatively.

    The question the court had was whether the Nixon’s tape of recordings of the President was protected under Executive Privilege and should not be turned over. The Court disagreed with Nixon and stated in its holding that the Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the president of the United States, is completely above the law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is “demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial.”

    Nixon, realizing that if the tapes were turned over in the criminal trial, his impeachment proceedings would end up not only to his disadvantage, but that the actual Senate trial would’ve resulted in conviction and removal from office and a greater embarrassment to his legacy. He resigned before the impeachment proceedings started.

    I don’t see any analogy to the Yuoh’s Stay Order. As I stated in a prior comment, she didn’t need the Stay Order to decide first, if a constitutional question existed, when Janeh’s Lawyers filled their petition and whether there was jurisdiction to hear the prayer of the Lawyers. She didn’t need the House members to come to her Chamber to make that determination. All she had to do was look at what the Constitution says. And furthermore, a writ of prohibition is issued by a higher court to a lower court. She actually issues a writ of prohibition against the House. Unprecedented!

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