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Friday, October 03, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

During the VP debate, moderator Gwen Ifill asked:
Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not old complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
Senator Biden used the opportunity to deride Cheney (so much for a new tone) and declared:
...Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch...The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote.
Well, it ain't so, Joe.

Article I defines the role of the Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch as Biden claimed. The Executive Branch is defined in Article II. Article I, Section 3 defines the vice-president's role as:
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse (sic) their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
Senator Biden was very forceful and authoritative in his answer, as he was with many last night. But, once again, he was wrong and Vice-President Cheney was right. After 35+ years in the Senate, one would think he would have a better grasp of the Constitution.

There's a reason they call him "Slow Joe".

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