California Democratic Party Passed Bybee Impeachment Hearings Resolution. Now What?
by Todd Beeton, Mon Apr 27, 2009 at 01:35:05 PM EDT
I'm happy to report that over the weekend at the California Democratic Party convention, a grassroots push to get the CDP to officially endorse Congress's investigations into the impeachment of Judge Jay Bybee, author of the infamous August 1, 2002 torture memo, was successful. Bybee currently enjoys a lifetime appointment to the 9th circuit court of appeals in San Francisco. The only way to remove him is for Congress to impeach him.
David Dayen, whose own petition in support of the CDP resolution had garnered 5,000 or so signatures by Sunday when the vote was taken, writes about the significance of the CDP's move:
Bybee's impeachment can start us down the path to restoring the rule of law. And now the largest state Democratic Party in the country has spoken. They have said that the myth about torture being a useful tool to extract actionable intelligence from terror suspects is not only irrelevant when it comes to lawbreaking but also entirely false, according to the CIA's own inspector general. They have said that Judge Bybee's appalling judgment and slavish acceptance of John Yoo's flawed legal reasoning represents a greater evil - the evil of thoughtlessness - and a greater responsibility for the actions committed thanks to his off-handed signature. They have said that Bybee's understanding of his own wrongdoing outweighed by his desire to be a federal judge shocks the conscience, and that far from being rewarded for his obedience to his conservative minders, he should bear responsibility for it, to the fullest extent possible.
But the CDP's passage of the resolution can not be the end. As Dave says, it's just the beginning. From a piece over at HuffPo:
David Dayen, a blogger and a delegate to past conventions, helped push the resolution through committee and onto the floor. The statement is meant to let California Democratic lawmakers know that "their state party just supported immediate congressional inquiry and need you as members of the state party to follow that."
Dayen said backers of the resolution will focus specifically on the six California Democrats on the Judiciary Committee: Howard Berman, Linda Sanchez, Brad Sherman, Zoe Lofgren, Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff.
Also, it's imperative that we contact every member of the House Judiciary Committee to let them know there is real grassroots support for this inquiry. FireDogLake Action has launched a tool to do just that. Dave has links to each on his site. Here's the default letter that you can send to each member of the committee:
On April 26, the California Democratic Party approved a resolution of support for an immediate Congressional inquiry into Judge Jay Bybee for his role in providing the legal justifications for torture. I ask that you follow this call for justice and accountability by commencing with this inquiry, and resolving to pursue all appropriate remedies and punishments, including Bybee's impeachment from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We cannot have someone sitting in judgment on the federal bench who displayed such horrific judgment in defying domestic and international law by providing a road map for torture.
Often resolutions that state parties pass at their conventions are rather toothless. Let's make sure this one has lasting ramifications.