Letter to the Editor: Turn Off

Letter to the Editor: Turn Off

July 08, 2009
Originally published in The Washington Times

Oliver North argues that Honduras was right to remove its president, who violated his country’s constitution (“Wrong-turn Obama,” Opinion, Sunday). Contrary to President Obama’s claims, Honduras acted legally. Honduran law dictated its president’s removal after he used coercion and money from a foreign dictator to push an illegal referendum to extend his rule. Article 239 of the Honduran constitution bans presidents from holding office if they even propose a repeal of term limits. Article 272 lets the military enforce constitutional term limits.

The military removed the president on orders from the country’s Supreme Court. Of the 128 members of the Honduran Congress 123 voted to replace him with a civilian, the Congress’ speaker.

Using troops to enforce court orders is not unprecedented—it happens in the United States, too. Federal troops enforced a court order desegregating Little Rock’s public schools in 1957, when Arkansas’ racist governor defied it.