George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley warned against an “insatiable appetite” for expulsion after at least one Republican called for the removal of Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York.
Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building as the House of Representative was about to vote on passing a continuing resolution Saturday. Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York called for Bowman’s expulsion, according to the New York Post. (RELATED: ‘Somehow Miraculously Closed’: ‘The View’ Co-Host Floats Conspiracy Theory About Jamaal Bowman Fire Alarm Incident)
“I think that people have got to be very careful before they engage in the sort of expulsion compulsion,” Turley said. “You know, if you start to do this, you’re going to find a lot of folks are pushing for the expulsion of others. The fact that over hundreds of years we’ve only expelled five members should tell you something.”
“They always have that power,” Turley continued. “But I think both sides recognize that down this road lies madness. If we start to expel members, it’s going to become an insatiable appetite.”
The House of Representatives expelled three members who supported the Confederacy in 1861, The Washington Post reported. The other two expulsions were Democratic Rep. Michael J. “Ozzie” Meyers in 1980 after the Abscam scandal and Democratic Rep. James Traficant of Ohio in 2002 on corruption charges, according to the Post.
“I don’t think that factually you can compare this to a riot that stopped a constitutional process of certification,” Turley said in response to some Republicans who brought up the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. “Now, if it’s merely a technical comparison of, if he intended to disrupt the proceedings, sure, you can. You can make that comparison, but I don’t think it warrants expulsion.”
“I think mature minds have got to step back and say that it did warrant some type of response, some penalty, but expulsion is the nuclear option,” Turley said.
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