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Stevens: I Am Above the Law

Ahh, to have the temerity of Ted Stevens…

Yesterday, lawyers for the embattled Alaska Republican filed a handful of court motions asking that the indictments against him be dismissed. The most notable of them reasons that Stevens is not subject to prosecution for failing to disclose gifts because — get this - the Constitution doesn’t allow it. That’s right, the separation of powers clause, the lawyers argue, deems Stevens immune from laws he broke while exercising his legislative duties.

ABC News has an excerpt of the filing:

“Only the Senate may discipline a senator for violating Senate rules and Congress cannot delegate that authority to the executive branch. This prosecution [therefore] cannot proceed and the indictment should be dismissed.”

If a recent ruling in a similar saga is any premonition, Stevens might want to take another tack. Just yesterday, a U.S. district judge shot down an argument from Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) — who faces racketeering charges — that the indictment should be dismissed on separation of powers’ grounds. Go figure.

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