Monday, November 10, 2008

Proposed Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States of America

Amendment XXVIII:
Executive Accountability

The decisions of Government being in service to the well being of the people, and the people being the source of all authority and the final arbiter of the good of the nation, the Executive and its deliberations shall be the property of the people, subject to their selective review and subject to a controlled review by the Congress, as the Congress shall in law provide.

Law enacted under this provision shall be in force only after the duly elected successor of the President then in power has taken office.

Such powers as flow to the Congress from this Amendment which necessitate enacted legislation to be properly expressed shall be suppressed until and unless such legislation is enacted.

Section 1.
Right of the People to Sue
When other forms of petition fail to evince from the executive timely and effective results, The People may sue the Executive to reveal knowledge, process, testimony, sources, deliberations and decisions to a competent and secure body outside of the Executive, which the executive must do in a brevity of time sufficient to avoid egregious harm to the petitioner. Further,

i. The Congress shall by law identify those matters which may or shall be kept from public disclosure. All other information held by Government shall be deemed to be of the public record, and without shield from full disclosure.

ii. The Congress shall, by law, designate such persons or entity as it will, to hold in trust such information as might be provided in a People's suit against the executive, who or which shall answer the public need, consistent with Congressional guidance. Once commissioned and set upon their duties, said Trust shall serve, withstanding all changes of law or executive order, until its duties are complete, except if the Supreme court determines it or they are incompetent or insufficiently neutral, or the task assigned by Congress has been mooted. Said Trust shall possess the right to acquire without challenge from the Executive unmodified documents, if warranted by the citizen suit. Law written to effect this clause shall be effective immediately upon the grant of the law.

iii. Only that law which was in effect during the previous term of the Presidency shall apply, for purposes of any specific suit;

iv. The executive shall not be shielded from damages for egregious obfuscation.

v. Imperatives of this article shall not be construed to oblige disclosure to public awareness that information whose publication might adversely affect the public welfare, or damage private rights. Such information shall be provided to Congress or its designee with due care and concern for the security of such information, as provided in law.

vi. The Supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction in citizen suits, and sole jurisdiction in supervision of the citizen suit Trust.
Section 2.
Modifications of existing language

Article I Section 3 shall be modified to read:

The Vice President of the United States shall, as member of the executive and accountable to the people as such, be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Article I Section 7 shall have appended to it:

Once signed by the President, The President shall enforce the entire law as sent to him/her by Congress, and if s/he signs the bill with objections, expressly intending to abrogate portions of the bill, the bill will be as vetoed and returned to Congress.

Article I Section 9 shall be modified to read:

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended in any state or territory owned or controlled by the United States, for any person held by the United States or any ally, surrogate or assignee, unless and only for as long as, when in cases of Rebellion or Invasion or Warfare in the surrounds of the place of detention, the public safety may require it. Further, except in the time it takes to remove detainees from these same circumstances, any person held by any unit of the government of the United States, or any ally, surrogate or assignee, in accord with the Writ of Habeas Corpus, shall be given a binding declaration of whether she/he is held under criminal law, or the law of war, and all protections thus afforded under consequent law shall be provided.

Article II Section 2 shall be modified to read:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States, which command shall not exempt the President or delegees from due observance and enforcement of the law, constitutional, judicial, legislative or that between nations; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment of an Executive or of an executive delegee, or to prevent prosecution of an executive, of an executive delegee, or any of these after the executive leaves office, for illegal activity favoring the executive and damaging to the interests of the people.

Article II Section 3 shall be modified to read:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as the President shall judge necessary and expedient, and shall provide to Congress at that same time any data, records and documents of any deliberations and testimony as the President shall have used to arrive at said assessment of the State of the Union, including those that the President may deem sensitive or secret; [Etcetera].

Article II Section 4 shall be modified to read:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, violating provisions of the Constitution, violating international law to which the United States are signatory, violating law the Congress may have designated by two-thirds vote during any previous presidential elective term of office, or other such high Crimes and Misdemeanors..

Article II shall have appended to it a Section 5:


If, whether through his own acts, the acts of the United States, or the conduct of other nations, the Executive shall be accused of violating the laws of war, of crimes against humanity, or of other grievous crimes that might be embodied in the law of nations, and a prosecutor shall appear before the Supreme Court of the United States to demand extradition of said executive, a Grand Jury composed of citizens of the United States and territories shall be empowered to examine the evidence, and to recommend a course of action for the United States. This Grand Jury has within its purview two questions:
  • i. Whether the executive might be guilty of said alleged crimes, and then
  • ii. Whether the well being of the Nation shall be better served by extradition, impeachment or defense of said Executive, or by inaction.
Said Grand Jury shall be drawn from members of the Judiciary, in number a majority, the Congress, in number half the remaining, and from the public, the remaining fraction. Members of this body shall be adjudged for their impartiality, and approved by three-fifths of the Senate.

A recommendation of extradition shall be allowed by a majority vote of the Senate, and approved only after such allowance by a majority of justices of the Supreme Court.

A recommendation to defend the Executive against extradition shall be approved by a majority of the Senate. If said defense fails in any international venue, the Grand Jury shall be reconvened to reconsider its previous recommendations, except that defense shall not be an option.

If these domestic proceedings shall extend beyond the term of office of the accused, said accused shall be afforded all of the procedures, protections, resources and culpabilities as were afforded during that term.

Article III shall have appended a Section 4:

The supreme Court shall receive any requests for extradition, of the Executive or any other Officer of the Government, to international courts, and shall provide the final domestic court of appeal against their extradition.
Section 3.
Privilege of Confidence

The confidence of the people that in keeping state secrets, the executive is serving the interests of the people, shall be secured through oversight by the Congress.

Subsection I. Definition, Powers and Obligations:

A. ANY rights and powers of the executive as may be construed to exempt the executive from testimony before Congress or from disclosure of any knowledge, records or testimony of any communication, consultation or counsel, anywhere within the executive or between the executive and any other party, shall
i. be referred to inclusively as "the privilege of confidence", and
ii. not withstand the right of Congress to acquire such, for any reason whatsoever, except as provided herein.

B. Subpoena of the President shall require a three quarters vote of the subpoenaing Chamber of Congress, and majority ascent of the other, acting within one week. Subpoena of the Vice-President shall require a three fifths vote of the subpoenaing Chamber of Congress, and majority ascent of the other, acting within one week. Subpoena of any other executive delegee shall be as provided in law.

C. If the Executive comes to be in possession of information it deems to be deserving of the privilege of confidence, and the Congress has not yet exempted it from obligatory public disclosure, The Supreme Court may restrain its release for periods not greater than one year each.

D. Conformance of the Executive with the requirement to make all of its records public, as implied herein, shall be as directed by Law.

Subsection II. Enforcement:

If the executive shall claim the privilege of confidence, either chamber of Congress may appoint by simple majority one or several politically disinterested investigators, who shall be subject to approval by a simple majority of the alternate chamber, to summon and depose any executive delegees or surrogates, and examine any documents of the executive branch, without redaction, exclusion or exception, to determine whether the privilege of confidence has been justly asserted. Once appointed, said investigators shall serve at the discretion of the Supreme Court, and grounds for dismissal shall be incompetence or immoderate partisanship. Conclusions of said investigators shall not be subject to appeal, but stand as charges made by a prosecutor.

Part A. If the investigators conclude that the privilege of confidence has been invoked for good cause, or without good cause and without harmful effect, all supplied records and testimony shall be returned to the executive and a report made to the Congress as to the nature of said cause and its effect;

Part B. If the investigators conclude that the privilege of confidence has been asserted without good cause, such that performance of the duties of Governing were harmed, or such that a delegee has been shielded from accountability to public scrutiny, but that no crime warranting prosecution had been committed, the Investigator shall report as such to Congress, and provide a summary report, describing what harms or ethical violations the investigators would allege, citing salient records and testimony. This report, if approved by the empowering body, may be made public.

Part C. If the investigators conclude that the privilege of confidence has been asserted without good cause to the effect that the executive or its delegees have obstructed Congressional awareness of violations of the law, or have concealed from Congress intentional efforts to damage the performance of Government, the investigators shall report to Congress evidence of such violations, and recommend a course of action. In addition to impeachment as already provided herein, the Congress shall have the right to order prosecution of any delegee of the executive, for violating the confidence of the people. The Supreme Court shall have primary jurisdiction, and the sole question under a Congressional order shall be whether the executive delegee acted to conceal from Congress:

i. evidence of possibly criminal behavior.

ii. evidence of actions meant to damage the provision of governmental services.

Subsection III. Remedies following prosecution for Concealment

If found to be innocent, the prosecution shall report to Congress how its prosecution erred, and said delegee may remain in office, subject to the discretion of the President.

If convicted, delegees of the executive shall immediately be removed from office, prior to any appeals. Delegee may not appeal a conviction of concealment while Criminal charges are pending.

If criminal charges are pressed and the delegee is found innocent on all charges, Delegee may appeal, and if prevailing in this appeal, may return to prior executive duties, subject to the discretion of the President.

Neither innocence nor conviction on charges of concealment shall immunize the delegee from prosecution for any other crime in any other venue.

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