Friday, April 13, 2012

Impeachment Case

“Court,” “Judges,” “Prosecution,” “Defense,” “Witnesses,” “Trial” – these are some of the standard terminologies used in the hearing of an Impeachment Case. “Procedural Rule,” “Rule on Evidence” and the like – these are the usual trimmings that accompany the process in order to determine whether someone is eventually impeached, removed from office or otherwise. Needless to say, considering the relative rarity, the big significance and impact of the process, the trial of an Impeachment Case is indeed interesting and even amusing at times.

The Legislative Department that makes the laws, the Executive Department that implements the laws made, and the Judicial Department that decides on the violations of existing laws – these are the three branches of government that are ordinarily involved in an Impeachment Case. Thus it is from its readying to its filling, its trial up to its resolution. And the mere mention of elected Legislators and Executives infallibly brings to fore the reality and relevance of politics an Impeachment Case. The word “politics” in turn forwards the factors of political parties and affiliations, political interests and considerations – not to mention political influence intimately linked to the so-called “Power of the Purse.”

The above said words and terms lead to the conclusion that an Impeachment Case is a mystical “quasi judicial” as well as “quasi political” matter. For the right and proper appreciation of such phrases, it is good to point out that the Latin word “quasi” literally means “as if.” Translation: It is used to say something hat is really neither this nor that, neither here nor there. Application: The trial of an Impeachment Case is not only a seemingly judicial but also an apparently political exercise. Conclusion: The trial of an Impeachment Case is not simply a mixed but also a mixed-up judicial and political agenda.

In line with the wise maxim that it is truth that sets a man free, let it be said in all clarity and candor that the Impeachment Case presently undergoing trial is primarily a political venture and but accidentally a judicial process. And the more relevant reasons behind this deduction are the following: One, the reality is that no less than the angry Chief Executive who decidedly wants a Chief Justice out of his way by all means. Two, the truth that all the offices, agencies plus the resources of the Executive Department, are backing the prosecution. Three, the glaring phenomenon however of a very ill prepared and much confusing Articles of Impeachment. Four, the fact of a practically non-stop campaign – through various means and organizations – in order to condition the mind of the people for a verdict of impeachment. Five, the big personal shame plus huge official embarrassment of the Chief Executive in the event that the Chief Justice remains un-impeached.

One thing is certain: In a Country where the Rule of Law remains but a nice sounding phrase yet lacking in reality, among the three branches of government, the Executive Department with the “Power of the Sword” is very much over and above the Judiciary with but the “Power of the Pen.”