A House Democrat from Connecticut said Tuesday that Sen. Joe Lieberman should be recalled from office over his opposition to the Senate health care bill.
"No individual should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told POLITICO.
Politico adds an important explanatory note: "Connecticut has no recall law for state officials, and the Constitution does not authorize states to recall members of Congress since each house has the authority to police its own members. "
Eighteen states do provide for recall of state officials (Details here.) As for recall of federal lawmakers, the Congressional Research Service provides more detail:
As to removal by recall, the United States Constitution does not provide for nor authorize the recall of United States officers such as Senators, Representatives, or the President or Vice President, and thus no Member of Congress has ever been recalled in the history of the United States. The recall of Members was considered during the time of the drafting of the federal Constitution in 1787, but no such provisions were included in the final version sent to the States for ratification, and the specific drafting and ratifying debates indicate an express understanding of the Framers and ratifiers that no right or power to recall a Senator or Representative from the United States Congress exists under the Constitution. Although the Supreme Court has not needed to directly address the subject of recall of Members of Congress, other Supreme Court decisions, as well as the weight of other judicial and administrative decisions, rulings and opinions, indicate that: (1) the right to remove a Member of Congress before the expiration of his or her constitutionally established term of office is one which resides exclusively in each House of Congress as established in the expulsion clause of the United States Constitution, and (2) the length and number of the terms of office for federal officials, established and agreed upon by the States in the Constitution creating that Federal Government, may not be unilaterally changed by an individual State, such as through the enactment of a recall provision or a term limitation for a United States Senator or Representative. Under Supreme Court constitutional interpretation, since individual States never had the original sovereign authority to unilaterally change the terms and conditions of service of federal officials agreed to and established in the Constitution, such a power could not be “reserved” under the 10th Amendment.