They made a desert and called it peace...

"From this date I date the ruin of all my fortunes."
--George Washington

"The truth is an offense, but not a sin"
--Bob Marley


The United States is a corporation, which is one in the same as "government." Our purpose is to expose this and other corrupted facts. We believe in the Common Law, in the people's judiciary, in the municipalities' sovereignty over the Federal Departments, and in the individual's sovereignty above all other powers over Earth and under God. No rule of law has meaning. Rule of Precedent IS Law.

fellow bloggers who follow Thus Always To Tyrants

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Voice Vote - The Coward's Secret Weapon, by Bossgator

Voice Vote – The Coward's Secret Weapon
by Bossgator
February 1st, 2008

With the advent of C-Span, I suspect most Americans have at least had a glimpse at the voting process in the House and Senate, but it may also be safe to say few have really taken the time to learn exactly how voting is done by our elected representatives. Until recently, I was counted among the many that have little understanding of the process. Now I know just how much I don’t know!

While researching various bills via the website GovTrack,, I noticed something peculiar. When you look up a given bill, such as HR2640, The NICS Improvements Amendment Act of 2007, take a look at the section “Votes on Passage”, and you’ll see how each representative voted on this unconstitutional bill more infamously known as “The Veterans Disarmament Act”. See it?

That’s right! There was no record kept of the vote. Not only did the vote of each representative not get recorded in the Journal, but the total number of votes cast was not recorded either. How is that, you say? Are not our elected officials accountable for how they speak for their constituents? Well, it seems the cowards have found a secret weapon they can use to avoid documenting how they voted on all those controversial bills that they feel the public might not like. It’s called “voice voting.”

At first, I thought there was some kind of reasonable explanation for voting in such a manner, such as National Security, but once I started looking into this type of voting, the picture became rather murky at best. It seems this type of voting has been going on for as long as we’ve had the Constitution, and the history of voice voting dates back to long before our founding fathers set foot in the New World. You might say the concept has been around as long as humans have had an opinion.

Since this is not a lesson in history, I’ll stick to current affairs, and that is, my question “How in the world can our politicians legally vote in such a manner?” To attempt to find that answer, we need to take a look at the Constitution.

Constitutional Deception?

It seems to me that our focus should be on what Constitutional grounds do vice votes take place. In Article 1, Section 5, clause 3, we find the following…

“Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.”

Interesting how so many decisions pertaining to the actions of Congress are left up to its own members. This is nothing more than having the fox stand guard over the hen house. In theory, we would expect these elected representatives to honor their oath of office, and in most cases, they do. There are times though these same politicians feel an overwhelming need to cover their own ass, and find themselves interpreting the law to suit their own means. And if that isn’t enough, they write a law that fits.

The above quote from Section 5 at first glance sounds like a reasonable resolution to situations that may present themselves from time to time. The operative word is “may.” Until challenged in court, interpretation is a personal thing, widely open to speculation. No where else do we find within the Constitution any mention of authorization for secrecy. So, that being the case, one must assume that Congress decided that voice voting is authorized by Section 5. Let’s take a closer look at the exact wording.

It starts off with…”Each House shall keep a journal…” Okay, the wording here seems really straightforward. The Congress and Senate are mandated to keep a journal of their proceedings. They also are required to publish said journal, as in make public, periodically. The next question is, are there any exceptions to this rule?

Yes, the very next part clearly addresses one possible exception; when the representatives determine they “require secrecy.” But it does not say how they determine when secrecy is required. That’s the problem I feel we are facing today. Who or what determines what should be kept secret?

Before we determine who has the authority to withhold information from the public, we need to step back, because the initial question is still not answered. It’s subtle, and I overlooked it many times, till it finally hit me. The point is not whether the House and Senate should be voting by voice, it’s about the keeping of the journal. Clause 3 clearly states that the journal is to be kept, and then it says when ( why it should be secret is not addressed) information can be withheld as secret. The issue is of publishing the content of the journal, not if it should be entered into the journal.

This clause is tricky, and clearly can be interpreted in more than one way. I contend that all information is to be entered into the journal. Once that takes place, then a decision may be made not to publish certain journal content. But the information still must be entered. This is where the House and Senate have been fudging the law! They have decided for themselves that the Constitution gives them the authority to not enter information in the journal, when in fact it says everything is to be in the journal. At the same time, the House and Senate have the authority to withhold disclosure of what is in the journal that they deem secret. That does not relieve them of their duty to record ALL actions of the House and Senate.

Not all info really needs to be known by everyone in a fully open environment. However, while the public may not need to know, at the very least, there must be record for judicial oversight. Cops don’t tell the public everything, till after the case is over, but they have records none the less. It’s a matter of “need to know”. But somebody still needs to know, and if they don’t enter vote details in the journal via the voice vote, how can the judicial branch fully investigate misdeeds? Exactly...

This is blatant misuse and twisting of the Constitution yet again, especially when you understand how a voice vote takes place. For the exact legal process, you have to look at the House Rules Manual. [109th Congress House Rules -]

And for details on who is responsible for making up rules for the House, go here:

Once more, when looking at the House Rules, and I have read most of it, you see another example of legislative excess. Throughout government, there is all kinds of documentation and very specific procedural steps, and that is where cowards hide; in the vastness of legalese.

Part of the all-encompassing web of rules and laws, our representatives have apparently decided to use the law they wrote themselves to hide how they vote, or not vote, on a given bill. They do this under the guise of being allowed to keep secrets. When you take a look at bills that were passed by voice vote, many of them makes one wonder what could possibly be so important in that bill that they decided they must keep secret how the bill was voted on.

The bill is fully disclosed to the public, and is entered into the Congressional Record, yet who voted, and how they voted, and the number of votes cast, is not recorded. Now, granted there is a procedure in the House Rules Manual for contesting a call for a voice vote, but it appears that process is not easily accomplished, especially when you factor in time constraints due to the raw number of bills being churned out each day.

Voice Vote has been around a long time, and there are plenty of situations where this type of voting is purely innocent and expedient. Then there are those times when it appears that no record of how an official voted is nothing more than politically convenient.

copyright Bossgator 2008

No comments:

thus always to tyrants authors

Brandon Dean (splitbabyniblet)


Joshua Berry (tattoogeek)

you see what happens?

"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein