Isn't That Illegal?

So, a friend of mine on the Left -- a gentleman scholar, holds a Master's Degree -- responded to my incredulity about claims that the Speaker of the House might be guilty of near-treason for inviting the Prime Minister of Israel to speak before Congress by asking, "Wasn't the invitation against the law?"

Why, no. In fact, why would it be? Congress has Article I powers related to foreign policy including -- not to put too fine a point on it -- the power to declare war! Why shouldn't they be able to invite, say, heads of state from the region where they might be thinking about possibly declaring war to give an opinion relevant to the discussion? I mean, they can order me or you to come testify about whatever they want. Why shouldn't they be able to invite pretty much anyone who has cause to be in the United States legally?

Give credit where credit is due: the propaganda has apparently been extremely strong on this occasion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For something to be illegal, there has to be a law. Congress makes our laws. Congress would have had to pass a law restricting its legislative powers for inviting a speaker to become illegal. That would be a violation of the Constitution.

So no. It is not illegal for Congress to invite a speaker, any speaker. I am surprised an American would even advance such an idea. Even the White House only said it was rude. They also belatedly (after a false statement in a New York Times article) that Netanyahu DID timely co-ordinate with them.

We aren't even sure if the Congress failed to attempt to co-ordinate with the White House. The Obama White House is notoriously unresponsive, even to Democrats. Obama does not answer his phone or return calla, and neither does his staff.

Now, that's rude. And it is an established pattern over 6 years.