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LAN Party in the Senate Chamber? Call Terry.
July 24, 2007 3:50 PM   Subscribe

The Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate, as chief law enforcement officer of the "greatest deliberative body in the world", wears many hats. Capitol security, IT support and network security, telecommunications, videography and photography, human resources, getter of you out of bed and dragger of your ass to work, and house mother for the occasional slumber party.
posted by litfit (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
And hopefully the Harriet Meirs arrester.
posted by empath at 4:09 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course he's currently in the news due to his ability to enforce orders of civil contempt.

Could come in handy if, say, you wanted to arrest someone for disobeying a subpeona, but can't turn to the Justice Dept.
posted by meta_eli at 4:09 PM on July 24, 2007


Kind of reminds me of the Marshal of the Supreme Court. "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!"
posted by exogenous at 4:12 PM on July 24, 2007


Could come in handy if, say, you wanted to arrest someone for disobeying a subpeona, but can't turn to the Justice Dept.
Well, theoretically, I suppose. But come on, you would only need that if our Executive Branch was, like, fundamentally corrupt, or something ridiculous like that.
posted by Flunkie at 4:16 PM on July 24, 2007


On the orders of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms can even arrest the President of the United States.

I'd like to see him try.

I'd also like to see him succeed.
posted by grouse at 4:18 PM on July 24, 2007 [20 favorites]


IT support? I bet that's fun.

"So, what seems to be the problem, Senator Stevens?"

"These damn tubes got tied up again and I can't get my thing to come up!"

"Er ... OK, maybe I can help if you're a little more specific. Are you trying to browse the web, or perhaps read your email?"

"That's it! I can't get my mail since I opened a file sent to me from the support robot. Come to think of it, I can't do much of anything on this confounded contraption since then. Why did you do that?"

"Do what? Oh, well, that's not really ..."

"And why is it that my Weatherbug is giving me the weather for Topeka? Who gives a damn about Kansas anyway?! It's like you all are conspiring against me to waste as much of my valuable time as possible! Well, don't just stand there looking dumb. Fix it!"
posted by krinklyfig at 5:02 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, you'd just tell Senator Stevens that the tubes are clogged, and that he should unplug 'em and blow out the gunk.
posted by davejay at 5:07 PM on July 24, 2007


And hopefully the Harriet Meirs Alberto Gonzales Dick Cheney Donald Rumsfeld fall guy arrester.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:15 PM on July 24, 2007


And hopefully the Harriet Meirs Alberto Gonzales Dick Cheney Donald Rumsfeld fall guy arrester.
Oh, please. I'm all for bringing Bush to justice, but Harriet Miers refused a Congressional subpoena. She needs to be arrested.

And if you think that Dick Cheney is a mere "fall guy", I repeat: Oh, please.
posted by Flunkie at 5:35 PM on July 24, 2007


If he is called sergeant at arms he should carry a halberd at least.
posted by Iron Rat at 5:50 PM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know, that would actually be a fucking cool job.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:00 PM on July 24, 2007


Also, just for shits and giggles, the same position in British Parliament is The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:01 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


What, exactly, is the penalty for refusing a subpoena issued by a branch of government with no executive or judicial authority?

So let's say the Sergeant at Arms arrests someone for contempt of Congress. Then what? It's not like Congress can prosecute anyone.
posted by The World Famous at 6:02 PM on July 24, 2007


To a degree Mr. Famous, they certainly can.
posted by paxton at 6:10 PM on July 24, 2007


So let's say the Sergeant at Arms arrests someone for contempt of Congress. Then what? It's not like Congress can prosecute anyone.
There are several different types of contempt of Congress. Fortunately, one of them, "inherent contempt", works without need of the support of the Executive Branch.

A charge of inherent contempt allows the Sergeant at Arms to haul the accused directly onto the floor of the accusing house, wherein he or she is immediately tried, and, if convicted, is subject to punishment as that house decides.

This is a longstanding power, and has been held up by the Supreme Court as Constitutional.
posted by Flunkie at 6:13 PM on July 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


On the orders of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms can even arrest the President of the United States.

I like that this is mentioned. Even the President arrested? No way! What a crazy position that has the power to compel the President of the United States to follow laws!
posted by blacklite at 6:16 PM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


blacklite makes a pretty good point, I would have thought that any DC cop would be at least technically empowered to arrest the President for the same reasons as he might arrest you or me with or without a warrant. Sure, it ain't ever gonna happen, but I don't think it's for constitutional reasons.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:44 PM on July 24, 2007


"greatest deliberative body in the world" Oh please. Really? Why is it the greatest deliberative body in the world?
posted by mattoxic at 7:07 PM on July 24, 2007


Also, just for shits and giggles, the same position in British Parliament is The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.

I sometimes wish I was a porn producer. But knowing this I reaaallly wish I was a porn producer.
posted by Cyrano at 7:30 PM on July 24, 2007


Why is it the greatest deliberative body in the world?

Because the people who coined that title don't know about Mathowie, Jessamyn and Cortex.
posted by The World Famous at 7:30 PM on July 24, 2007


You know, Americans are funny. Many are staunchly anti-monarchist, while reserving the same sort of veneration for the office of the President. It's interesting, and no, this is not a dig.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:42 PM on July 24, 2007


Many are staunchly anti-monarchist, while reserving the same sort of veneration for the office of the President.

anti-monarchist veneration?

think you had a definite article go AWOL on you there.
posted by spiderwire at 7:56 PM on July 24, 2007


yes well I've been drinking. I meant monarchist-style veneration.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:13 PM on July 24, 2007


veneration in the style of monarchs? like... going to visit the pope?

i kid, i kid
posted by spiderwire at 8:22 PM on July 24, 2007


I wasn't saying that the VP is a fall guy. I'm saying that no one of importance will be so arrested. Hence scratching out people that deserve it.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:15 AM on July 25, 2007


Whoa, hey. Thanks for throwing me a bone with that second to last link.
posted by Heminator at 7:23 AM on July 25, 2007


Eek! In the House, not the Senate!
posted by litfit at 9:20 AM on July 25, 2007



If he is called sergeant at arms he should carry a halberd at least.


I'm a bit late to the topic here, but the House's Sergeant At Arms does have a mace, Iron Rat
posted by xorry at 11:01 AM on July 26, 2007


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