An organization that investigates and prosecutes government corruption says the “Slaughter” rule set up by the U.S. House to “approve” a Senate health-care takeover proposal without actually voting on it is patently illegal.
That vote is expected as early as this weekend.
But officials with Judicial Watch also are warning citizens of the U.S. not to count on the courts to uphold the Constitution.
“A constitutional crisis is upon us,” said Tom Fitton, chief of the rights advocacy organization. “The Democratic leadership’s plan to use the ‘Slaughter Rule’ to pass the Senate health care bill without an explicit ‘yea or nay’ vote by the House is an absolute violation of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 7).”
He cited the U.S. Supreme Court case, “Clinton v. City of New York,” from 1998, in which the judges held, “(1) A bill containing its exact text was approved by a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives; (2) the Senate approved precisely the same text; and (3) that text was signed into law by the President. The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may ‘become a law.'”
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California millionaire Democrat, has been unable to collect enough votes in the House to support a Senate-approved health-care takeover plan. So a proposal was worked out that changes to the plan would be approved by a vote, and by that the original would be “deemed” to have been passed.
“Simply put, the House can’t pretend to vote on a bill and expect that the result will pass constitutional muster. No House member can keep true to his oath of office to ‘support and defend the Constitution’ and approve the use of the Slaughter Rule to avoid a direct vote on the Senate health care bill,” Fitton said.
“And the U.S. Constitution would also seem to require that President Obama veto any resulting ‘bill’ sent to him for signature, as the document that results from any House action under the Slaughter Rule is a constitutional nullity,” he continued.
One lawsuit already has been filed over the health-care takeover, and literally dozens more have been promised if the takeover is, in fact, adopted. But Fitton said American citizens no longer should rely on a court challenge.
“Concerned Americans should not assume that the courts will uphold the Constitution and throw out any government health-care takeover because of the Slaughter Rule. The best defense against the ‘Slaughter Rule’ usurpation of the Constitution is to stop it legislatively this weekend,” he said.
The process is called the “Slaughter Strategy,” named for Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Rules Committee.