REGARDING my Jan. 11, 2021 editorial titled “Pence could have rejected the contested electoral votes,” tarklejr audaciously quipped, “Mr. Pangelinan, once again your ignorance in all matters govern-mental (both Federal and local) is glaringly blatant for all to see.” Long ago I suggested that he should be hired as a dishwasher at the Imperial Pacific International casino and resort because that is the only job that at most he is qualified for, but then again maybe he is not. Maybe he should be hired as a trash collector, because everything he says is all trash and he should pick up every trash he says.
In my last article to this paper, I said that Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, as the President of the Senate, presiding over the January 6, 2021 joint session of Congress under the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, elected not, which was perfectly within his discretion as the presiding officer, to exercise the powers he had, which I said every parliamentarian knows (seems tarklejr does not know.
He said Mike Pence was prevented from doing that because: “Federal law and the Constitution PROHIBITED Pence from discarding, changing, amending or taking ANY action over Electoral College ballots (votes) other than simply COUNTING them.” In reading the Twelfth Amendment there is NOTHING there that prohibits the President of the Senate from doing otherwise from what the dingbat said. In fact I said, that even a dumb parliamentarian knows that the chair or the presiding officer calls the shots if anything is called into question, over something that is not written anywhere whether it be in the federal Constitution, law or procedural rule. And, there is even no federal law that specifically prohibits Pence from exercising the powers I above mentioned — 3 U.S.C. §15 basically paraphrased the relevant Twelfth Amendment provision. And, actually Title 3, Section 15 of the United States Code is the federal law that Pence was acting on, which in his discretion he was always free to choose what to act on.
Then “tarklejr” went on to say that U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and not the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, comes next in line to act as the acting president. What Nancy Pelosi was pushing was that Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, not the Twentieth Amendment. The Twentieth Amendment, however, says something differently that Pelosi and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer would not want to do, resign from their post, and even from their respective legislative house to become acting president of the United States — the amendment authorizes Congress under Section 3 and 4 to enact legislation dealing with succession to the presidency. In other words, under 3 U.S.C. §19, implementing the Twentieth Amendment, if there should be a vacancy in the presidency the House Speaker succeeds, but must resign the Speakership and from the House of Representatives — likewise with the Senate president pro tempore (Senate Majority Leader). It is extremely unlikely that both relinquish their powerful position in Congress, so next comes the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, under 3 U.S.C. §19(d)(1) and after him the Treasury Secretary, etc. — this is laid in the order that the offices were first established by Congress when it was organizing the federal government early on in the eighteenth century.
But in the final analysis, however, this is all academic because the Twentieth Amendment comes into play only when there is a vacancy in the offices of the president and the vice president, which is not the case here at this time. Trump, however, might invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, without resigning, telling both houses of Congress that he is incapacitated to allow Pence (Trump can do this) to act as president and then Pence in turn, as acting president, pardons Trump from any and all wrongdoing which would really rattle the Democrats in the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress that would eventually dispense for the need to impeach Donald J. Trump! Trump doing this, without resigning, removes himself from powers of the presidency while remaining the president of the United States until his term ends on January 20, 2021. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are not too smart to outwit Trump’s supporters. When this happens, Trump telling Congress that he is incapacitated and Pence taking over under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment would drive CRAZY Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the entire Democrats in both houses of Congress — Washington, D.C. loony asylum will be filled by them.
I challenge “traklejr” anytime on any field or subject, even in his field of so-called expertise. Call me “tarklejr” if you want to come up to the challenge, through Marianas Variety…they have my number. Or, write a column or letter or opinion to the editor and duke it out here. I am a local and I know the local laws and history and U.S. laws and history. Ask attorney Janet H. King of the King Law firm how “ignorant” I am on federal and local laws.
The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.