Library of Congress stands by report on Honduras coup, By LESLEY CLARK, McClatchy Newspapers (October 29, 2009).
Congress’s law library is rebuffing calls from the chairmen of the House and Senate foreign relations committees to retract a report on the military-backed coup in Honduras that the lawmakers charge is flawed.
The request, by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., has sparked cries of censorship from Republicans who say the Democrats don’t like what the August report said: that the government of Honduras had the authority to remove deposed President Manuel Zelaya from office.
…Kerry and Berman maintain the report “contains factual errors and is based on a flawed legal analysis that has been refuted by experts from the United States, the Organization of American States and Honduras.”
The chairmen charge that a key line in the analysis was based on a provision of the Honduran constitution that was struck down in 2003 and that “critical portions rely exclusively on a single, outside individual who had previously and publicly declared his support for the coup.”
The report is: HONDURAS: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ISSUES, Directorate of Legal Research for Foreign, Comparative, and International Law, The Law Library of Congress, REPORT FOR CONGRESS (August 2009) LL File No. 2009-002965, Prepared by Norma C. Gutiérrez, Senior Foreign Law Specialist. “This report discusses the legal basis under the Honduran Constitution for President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales’s removal from office.”
The Supreme Court of Honduras has constitutional and statutory authority to hear cases against the President of the Republic and many other high officers of the State, to adjudicate and enforce judgments, and to request the assistance of the public forces to enforce its rulings. The Constitution no longer authorizes impeachment, but gives Congress the power to disapprove of the conduct of the President, to conduct special investigations on issues of national interest, and to interpret the Constitution. In the case against President Zelaya, the National Congress interpreted the power to disapprove of the conduct of the President to encompass the power to remove him from office, based on the results of a special, extensive investigation. The Constitution prohibits the expatriation of Honduran citizens.
Also see: Law Library of Congress refusing to retract report on Honduras coup: report, by Sarah Miley, Jurist (Oct 31, 2009).