2.19.2009

An Attempt to Recall Rep. Joseph Cao

A group of New Orleans ministers launches a quixotic bid to recall Congressman Cao. 

Cao's vote against the stimulus seems to have poked the hornet's nest.  Given the legal and historical precedent involved, however, I don't think Cao has too much to worry about:

The Recall Anh Cao Committee faces daunting odds. The effort has 180 days from its filing Monday to gather 100,000 valid signatures from registered voters in the district -- a third of all district voters -- in order to get a recall vote. And even if they succeed at that, and voters approve the recall, it appears that Congress would not accept the result.

According to a report to Congress last year prepared by Jack Maskell, a legislative attorney with the Congressional Research Service, "the United States Constitution does not provide for nor authorize the recall of United States officials such as United States Senators, Representatives to Congress, or the President or Vice President of the United States, and thus no United States Senator or Member of the House of Representatives has ever been recalled in the history of the United States."

Still, the group claims it has 8,000 signatures already.  And the Louisiana Secretary of State's office has a local control take on the ability of the voters to recall a Congressman:

Jacques Berry, press secretary to Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, said that the office believes that Louisiana voters can recall members of Congress under the state recall law. "Because we elected them, we can recall them, " he said.