So the Republicans are happy that they have won a majority for the House of Representatives in the 2022 election. What happens if the election didn’t matter? The Republican majority is currently standing at 220 to 213. That’s a slim margin. What happens when the J6 committee refers House members for criminal prosecution? Reports are that they are considering exactly that for at least 5 Republicans. Here is how that can all change.
Let’s say that the J6 committee gets indictments on Kevin McCarthy, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs. If those seats are vacant,
the Governor of their state gets to name their replacement. That means the Democrat governors of California, Pennsylvania, and Arizona get to name the replacements for those seats. That right there places the House at 217-216. One more indictment, and the entire House swings. That would mean that both houses of Congress and the Whitehouse remain in Democrat hands. This could be why the left is fighting for Arizona’s Governorship so hard. EDITED TO ADD: So I got the process with replacing the Senate and House confused. It would be done with a special election, so they would have some serious fixing to do. I still don’t think that we have seen the end of 2022 election maneuvering. END EDIT
Granted, the Privilege from Arrest Clause, found in Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution, protects members of the U.S. legislature from being arrested “in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace” while Congress is in session. So what if the charges aren’t for refusing a committee subpoena? What if it is for breaching the peace on J6? Or for treason? There is some precedent for this. When the Confederate States’ representatives failed to show up for the Thirty-seventh Congress in March of 1861, the new Senate declared their seats vacant and omitted reading their names on the roll. None of them were expelled, the Senate simply declared their seats vacant and then replaced them.
So it came to pass that a resolution was put before the Senate on on July 10, 1861:
Whereas a conspiracy has been formed against the peace, union, and liberties of the people and Government of the United States; and in furtherance of such conspiracy a portion of the people of the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas, have attempted to withdraw those States from the Union, and are now in arms against the Government; and whereas [the senators from those states] have failed to appear in their seats in the Senate and to aid the Government in this important crisis; and it is apparent to the Senate that said Senators are engaged in said conspiracy for the destruction of the Union and Government, or, with full knowledge of such conspiracy, have failed to advise the Government of its progress or aid in its suppression: Therefore,
Resolved, That the said Mason, Hunter, Clingman, Bragg, Chesnut, Nicholson, Sebastian, Mitchel, Hemphill, and Wigfall be, and they hereby are, each and all of them, expelled from the Senate of the United States.
On July 11, 1861, the Senate voted 32 to 10 to expel the ten senators. I don’t see why something similar couldn’t happen now, but I don’t pretend to understand all of the finer points of House rules. Still, it has been done before.
Or maybe I am wrong. I am just speculating that the left isn’t done screwing around. However, I don’t think that we have seen the end to the political maneuvering from the 2022 election.