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| | |-+  Can senators vote on their own confirmation process when nominated to cabinet?
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Author Topic: Can senators vote on their own confirmation process when nominated to cabinet?  (Read 422 times)
Solid4096
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« on: October 21, 2017, 10:15:08 am »
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I know it is tradition for senators to recuse themselves from such votes, but it is specifically required by law?
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 01:48:17 pm »

It isn't required by the Constitution.
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 02:42:38 pm »
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It isn't required by the Constitution.

There's something we need an amendment for... that's a huge potential conflict of interest right there.
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 05:20:04 pm »
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It isn't required by the Constitution.

There's something we need an amendment for... that's a huge potential conflict of interest right there.

Itís not really a potential conflict of interest. Any rational person who wants to be in the cabinet would vote for himself or herself if he or she were able. He or she isnít profiting by the decision by any more than it is publicly known. This isnít like a Congressman voting on a bill that has the effect of upping the stock price of stock he owns or something.
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 08:07:25 am »
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Other than the larger number of participating voters, isn't this ethically the same as when a candidate casts a vote for themselves in an election?
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 08:16:13 am »
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It isn't required by the Constitution.

There's something we need an amendment for... that's a huge potential conflict of interest right there.
"Conflicts of interest" are overrated.
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 09:49:45 am »
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Other than the larger number of participating voters, isn't this ethically the same as when a candidate casts a vote for themselves in an election?

"Voting in elections" as "conflict of interests" is an interesting thing. John Harlan Marshal II openly declined to vote in any presidential election while serving as a Associate Justice. Members of the British Royal Family doesn't vote not to appear as "partial", even though the vote is secret.

Members of the House of Lords likewise cannot vote in general elections, under an old rationale of "peers" and "commoners" being distinct groups, and thus Lords should not be able to influence Commons elections, as the Commons doesn't appoint peers (which is untrue, given MPs such as PM, Leader of the Opposition picks a number of new peers). Lords of course can vote in other elections.

Anyway, there was an old saying there are three categories of people that can't vote: lunatics, criminals and lords.
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 12:35:07 pm »
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Other than the larger number of participating voters, isn't this ethically the same as when a candidate casts a vote for themselves in an election?

"Voting in elections" as "conflict of interests" is an interesting thing. John Harlan Marshal II openly declined to vote in any presidential election while serving as a Associate Justice. Members of the British Royal Family doesn't vote not to appear as "partial", even though the vote is secret.

Members of the House of Lords likewise cannot vote in general elections, under an old rationale of "peers" and "commoners" being distinct groups, and thus Lords should not be able to influence Commons elections, as the Commons doesn't appoint peers (which is untrue, given MPs such as PM, Leader of the Opposition picks a number of new peers). Lords of course can vote in other elections.

Anyway, there was an old saying there are three categories of people that can't vote: lunatics, criminals and lords.

However, the American tradition is that elected officials are equal to their fellow citizens and should neither gain nor lose any rights as such. That would include the right to vote in general elections.
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 02:01:42 pm »
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Other than the larger number of participating voters, isn't this ethically the same as when a candidate casts a vote for themselves in an election?

"Voting in elections" as "conflict of interests" is an interesting thing. John Harlan Marshal II openly declined to vote in any presidential election while serving as a Associate Justice. Members of the British Royal Family doesn't vote not to appear as "partial", even though the vote is secret.

Members of the House of Lords likewise cannot vote in general elections, under an old rationale of "peers" and "commoners" being distinct groups, and thus Lords should not be able to influence Commons elections, as the Commons doesn't appoint peers (which is untrue, given MPs such as PM, Leader of the Opposition picks a number of new peers). Lords of course can vote in other elections.

Anyway, there was an old saying there are three categories of people that can't vote: lunatics, criminals and lords.

However, the American tradition is that elected officials are equal to their fellow citizens and should neither gain nor lose any rights as such. That would include the right to vote in general elections.

True.  As of the main question, were there instances, at least in recent history, of a Senator nominated for cabinet post voting other than "present" or "abstain"?
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 03:38:31 pm »
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I think they should be able to. Say the senate is split and it is expected to be a 50-50 vote. They would vote for themselves and VP could break the tie in their favor.
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 02:59:17 pm »
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The most interesting scenario would be: The electoral college is deadlocked 269-269 between nominee of party A and party B (I don't use Dems and GOP now for this example). The House state delegations are also deadlocked and can't elect a president until January 20. The senate now has to chose a vice president. Let's say nominee of party A won the popular vote, but party B holds a 50-50 seat majority in the senate (outgoing VP as tie-breaker is from party B). The vice presidential nominee of party B is a sitting senator. He can't abstain from voting because that would hand party A's candidate the vice presidency (and maybe the presidency). Just a wild thought...
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 10:13:15 pm »

The most interesting scenario would be: The electoral college is deadlocked 269-269 between nominee of party A and party B (I don't use Dems and GOP now for this example). The House state delegations are also deadlocked and can't elect a president until January 20. The senate now has to chose a vice president. Let's say nominee of party A won the popular vote, but party B holds a 50-50 seat majority in the senate (outgoing VP as tie-breaker is from party B). The vice presidential nominee of party B is a sitting senator. He can't abstain from voting because that would hand party A's candidate the vice presidency (and maybe the presidency). Just a wild thought...

The Vice President doesn't get a vote in a Senate election for Vice President.  Rather than the usual voting requirement of a majority of those present with the Veep breaking ties, that vote requires a majority of the whole number of Senators, regardless of whether they are present or not.  So with 50 States, it takes 51 Senators.  Even if only 99 Senators are present, a 50-49 vote does not elect a Vice President.  So in your scenario of a split 50-50 Senate it doesn't matter if he abstains.  Now if the Senate were split 51-49 then a Senator from the party having 51 Senators abstaining would keep the result deadlocked at 50-49.
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