Letters to the editor, Aug. 18

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Presidential acts

A civil lawsuit brought against the president, as recently voted for by the Republican majority in the House, may eventually result in a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1983, in Chadha vs. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the court ruled (7-2) that the House could not simply vote to veto a decision made by a legally established administrative agency and that the veto vote was not a valid legislative procedure under Article One of the Constitution.

Later, in Jones vs. Clinton (1997) the court (9-0) reaffirmed the rule that while a president is generally immune from suits based on acts done in an “official capacity,” such immunity did not extend to a suit filed by a woman in Arkansas, alleging sexual misconduct by Clinton (He decided to pay).

It will be interesting to see what allegations, if any, are made in the House suit concerning acts by the president when he was not acting in an official capacity, the constitutional authority for the House to file such a suit in the first place and the relief sought.

H. L. Hall,


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