Every organization has its specific set of rules, which govern the way the members of the said organization conduct themselves. These rules help to ensure that all the activities in an organization run smoothly because the members act according to the standards. When a member behaves contrary to the standards, he or she may face sanctions from the organization or justice systems, depending on the scope of his or her failures. The US Congress also has some standards that members have to maintain, and when they fail, they face penalties. Currently, changes in the media have made ethics investigations of the members of Congress take place more frequently (Roberds, 1). Such developments make punishing unethical members easier.
Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown is one of the members of the Congress that have faced charges for an ethics violation. On March 23, 2016, Brown was charged with various counts of ethics violations, which included, mail violations, defrauding the IRS, using charity money for needy students as personal slush, and wire fraud, among others. The House Committee of Ethics deferred to the Department of Justice (GovTrack.us, 2). Apart from losing in the primary, Brown suffered other sanctions due to her misconduct. In May 2017, the jury convicted Brown, and on December 4, 2017, a federal judge sentenced Brown to five years in prison.
The verdict meted out on Brown was what she deserved. One of the reasons why she deserved the sentence is because it ensured that she received public shame for her misconduct. The treatment made her feel the pain that she made the poor students go through after she used their money. Another reason why she deserved the sentence is that it helps deter other Congressmen and Congresswomen from engaging in corrupt deals, which helps to maintain their integrity. The verdict helps to ensure that the public can trust the members of the Congress. The thought to have the Department of Justice handle the case was a good move, as it ensured that Brown got the penalty she deserved.
Third Party Candidates
Third Party Candidates are politicians who seek political offices with parties other than the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Democratic and Republican parties have had success at producing presidents over the years, whereas Third Party Candidates have not achieved a lot of success because they only attract a tiny fraction of votes (Hirano " Snyder, 3). Various factors have led to this situation.
The primary reason why Third Party Candidates have not had as much success as the two major parties concerning presidential election is lack of enough campaign money. The United States is a large country, and candidates need a lot of money to reach the people in all the states. It is hard for Third Party Candidates to raise such amounts, which means that their agendas do not reach most people. Candidates from the two major parties have a lot of money, which means that they comfortably reach a larger group, making it easier to influence most people’s decisions.
Lack of a ‘viable’ candidate is another reason that makes the Democratic Party and Republican Party dominate the General Election. The two major parties engage in a process to ensure that either their flag-bearers have political experience or the exposure needed to attract the citizens. Third Parties lack such things, and this means that their candidates are obscure figures who lack influence.
The political impact of the two major parties would make it hard for a Third Party Candidate to run the government if he or she wins the election. President’s push their agendas using the numbers in Congress and the Senate. If a Third Party Candidate won the election, the members who belong to the two major parties would never make his presidency easy because they would never support his or her ideologies.
Federal and State Authority
On 26 June 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana. Marijuana legalization by some states is a current issue in the United States that draws people’s attention to the relationship between the state and federal governments. The US Constitution guides the relationship between the two governments. Every government knows its powers and authority. However, sometimes the governments clash when one feels that the other is acting ultra-vires. The constitution states that the federal law is the supreme law of the land under the Supremacy Clause (Oeding, Hudson, " Maier-Lytle, 4). Therefore, federal law should prevail over state law in case of a conflict.
Whereas Oklahoma and other states have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government has not. Marijuana falls under Schedule I drugs according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (Bradford " Bradford, 5). Therefore, marijuana remains illegal according to the federal government.
The US constitution does not constrain both governments from addressing the issue. However, they have to resolve the matter according to the authority given to them by the constitution. Sometimes, the federal government offers the states a chance to make laws that meet the specific needs of such states. Unless the laws are unconstitutional, the federal government will mostly distance itself from them. The issue of marijuana legalization in some states is not unconstitutional, and that is why the federal government does not invoke the Supremacy Clause to change the situation.
1. Roberds, S. C. (2004). Do congressional ethics committees matter? US senate ethics cases, 1789-2000. Public Integrity, 6(1), 25-38.
2. GovTrack.us. (n.d.). congressional misconduct database. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://www.govtrack.us/misconduct
3. Hirano, S., " Snyder, J. M. (2007). The decline of third-party voting in the United States. The Journal of Politics, 69(1), 1-16.
4. Oeding, J. M., Hudson, S. L., " Maier-Lytle, J. C. (2017). Online legal research: A practical guide for business students and professionals. Journal of Economics and Public Finance, 3(2), 258.
5. Bradford, A. C., " Bradford, W. D. (2016). Medical marijuana laws reduce prescription medication use in medicare part d. Health Affairs, 35(7), 1230-1236.