Friday, July 27, 2007

House Cleaning

On Friday May 25th Texas House of Representatives Speaker Tom Craddick caused an uproar in the House by refusing to recognize Representative Fred Hill's motion to vacate the Speaker from office. Although refusing to grant recognition is not entirely abnormal and has been used by many Speakers before Craddick, the Texas constitution requires that the decision to grant or refuse a motion coincide with "rules and usage in priority," i.e. there must be a constitutional reason.

Craddick did not give a reason for the refusal, but he did call upon his "unqualified power to grant and deny recognition" to avoid further inquiries before abruptly recessing the session for a full two and a half hours.

An interesting approach, no?

It's understandable that the Speaker would not want to be removed from his position, but to deny representatives the ability to vote on the matter undermines the very principles for which he was elected. Authoritarianism is unpopular, tyranny - unconstitutional.

[For more information check out the 7/26 entry of Burka Blog, the May 26th issue of the Dallas News, and the Special Session videos on KLRU (http://www.klru.org/specialsession)]

1 comment:

KSeago said...

Very nice and very much on point.