Impeachment by Jefferson’s Rules

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Citizens of the State of Illinois are leading the way in the movement to impeach the President
of the United States. The confluence of state and local movements will occur in
Urbana-Champaign in mid-October when State Representative Karen Yarbrough (DMaywood)
comes to town. On April 20, 2006, Yarbrough introduced into the Illinois
General Assembly House Joint Resolution 125 which called for the impeachment of President
Bush. Illinois thus became the first state in the Union to have such a resolution put
forward. Although the impeachment process is usually thought of as a bill introduced by
a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, Yarbrough was utilizing a different
method for setting an impeachment in motion.
She followed a process laid out in 1801 by Thomas Jefferson in the Manual of Parliamentary
Practice, a book of parliamentary procedure and additional guidelines for the
United States House of Representatives. Jefferson opposed centralized federal power and
frequently sought balances giving states greater liberties and rights. The House uses “Jefferson’s
Manual” as a supplement to its standing rules. Section 603 states:
Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House: there are various methods of setting
an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or
Delegate; by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for
examination; by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee;
by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory
or from a grand jury.
Twenty co-sponsors in the Illinois House signed on to support HJR 125. It was
referred to the Rules Committee and not reported out for a vote before the session was
adjourned. Yarbrough has announced plans to resubmit the resolution in the upcoming
session. Joint Resolution 125 reads as follows:
WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson’s Manual of the Rules of the United States
House of Representatives allow federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by
joint resolution of a state legislature; and
WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering the National Security
Agency to violate provisions of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
a felony, specifically authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
warrant; and
WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized violation of the
Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions, a treaty regarded a supreme law by
the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American citizens and citizens of
other nations as prisoners of war without charge or trial; and
WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration has manipulated
intelligence for the purpose of initiating a war against the sovereign nation of Iraq,
resulting in the deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the United
States to incur loss of life, diminished security and billions of dollars in unnecessary
expenses; and
WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified national secrets to further
a political agenda, exposing an unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence
agents to potential harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to investigate
the matter; and
WHEREAS, the Republican-controlled Congress has declined to fully investigate
these charges to date; therefore be it
CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the State of Illinois has good
cause to submit charges to the U. S. House of Representatives under Section 603
that the President of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office to preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States; and be it further
RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found
guilty of the charges contained herein, should be
removed from office and disqualified to hold any
other office in the United States.
A little over a week ahead of Representative
Yarbrough, residents of Cunningham Township
(Urbana) and City of Champaign Township (Champaign),
attending their respective town meetings on
April 11, 2006, amended the meeting agendas to
consider advisory referenda for the November 7 ballots
and then voted to place those referenda on the
ballots. By these actions, Urbana and Champaign
became the first communities in the nation to offer
their residents the opportunity to express their opinion
on impeachment in the voting booth. Voters will
also be able to express their opinions regarding the
withdrawal of U.S troops from Iraq.
Yarbrough is scheduled to speak on her efforts to
initiate impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush at 7pm on October
17 at the Urbana City Council Chambers, 400 S. Vine St, Urbana. This presentation, free
and open to the public, will also be recorded by Urbana Public Television, Channel 6;
please check the UPTV schedule for times this will be shown. At noon on Wednesday,
October 18, she again will address impeachment at a rally on the Quad on the University
of Illinois campus. The rally will be followed from 1-2pm by a discussion and meetand-
greet in Room 314B at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana..The above events
are sponsored by AWARE, local anti-war anti-racism effort. Please consult for more information and a complete schedule of presentations.
Years prior to Representative Yarbrough and the groups of citizens from Urbana and
Champaign taking the above actions, Francis A Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois
School of Law, began his own campaign to impeach the president. Professor Boyle published
his first draft Impeachment Resolution against President George W. Bush in January 2003.
Prof Boyle will host a brown bag discussion with Yarbrough of her state bill at noon on October
17 at UIUC Law Bldg, 504 E Pennsylvania Ave,C. He will be joining her at the campus
rally and speaking about his efforts at the national level for impeachment.

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