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Looks Like Manning May Not be Eligible to Run for Office

Looks Like Manning May Not be Eligible to Run for Office

She’s still on active duty.

In January, Chelsea Manning announced she filed papers to run for the Senate in Maryland, making her an opponent of Sen. Ben Cardin.

It turns out, Manning may not be eligible to run because “she is on a technical form of unpaid active duty.” This goes against “Department of Defense regulations that prohibit military personnel from seeking public office.”

The Washington Post continued:

Shorty after she launched her Senate bid, conservative media questioned her eligibility to run. A Daily Caller headline read, “Former Military Lawyers: Chelsea Manning Subject To Prosecution For Running For Office.”

Manning, who is running as an anti-establishment alternative to Cardin, shrugged off the apparent conflict.

“If you ask me, this doesn’t sound like a story beyond the conservative blogosphere,” Kelly Wright, a spokeswoman for the Manning campaign, said in a statement.

Yeah, well, the rules still apply to you, Manning.

Manning received a 35 year sentence in 2013 and dishonorable discharge from the Army due to “passing government secrets to WikeLeaks in violation of the Espionage Act.” She served seven years of that sentence.

It’s important to note that former President Barack Obama only commuted her sentence and did not pardon her. Manning has continued to appeal her conviction, which means she is still on active duty even until that ends. USA Today reported last May:

While Manning’s court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. As an active duty soldier, Manning will continue to receive health care and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, but she will not be paid.

“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Foster said.

The Army refused to disclose the other terms of Manning’s release, six years before her eligibility for parole, citing privacy concerns. She had been sentenced to 35 years for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks. Manning appeared at court martial in the uniform of an enlisted man.

Like all soldiers, Manning will be assigned to an Army post but it is unclear where and to whom she will report.

Maryland verified that Manning meets the Constitution criteria to make a run: “she’s a U.S. citizen, a Maryland resident and at least 30 years old, said Jared DeMarinis, director of the candidacy and campaign division of the Maryland Board of Elections.”

A registered voter can file a lawsuit to challenge her qualifications. But Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway points out that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Powell v. McCormack may make a lawsuit useless. The court ruled that “the only bars to eligibility to serve in Congress are the ones set forth in the Constitution.”

Eugene Fidell, a military expert and professor of military of justice at Yale Law School, said that the defense department “could send Manning a letter, put the case back into disciplinary mode or even gear up another court martial.” Fidell has doubts the military will do anything because “[S]ervices don’t like to create martyrs.”

But in all honesty, I thought this was all a publicity stunt for the attention seeking Manning, who loves to splash herself on magazine covers and fill her tweets with emojis. Despite Manning’s popularity with the left, experts have considered Cardin as a very safe candidate to win his third term. He won in 2006 to replace Sen. Paul Sarbanes. His re-election in 2012 came easy when he demolished his Democratic opponents and then his Republican opponent in the general election. Ballotpedia showed that Cardin defeated Republican candidate Dan Bongino by 780,737 votes.

The fact that Cardin is considered an overwhelming favorite may be another reason why the military might just brush this aside and not take any action.


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JustShootMeNow | February 1, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Should be serving the remainder of it’s enlistment in the Aleutian or perhaps North Korea

HE not she.
my cat can have kittens in an oven, don’t make them biscuits.

Why should we trust content from a site which can’t even use the correct pronouns?

This sort of irrationality has made it almost impossible to even communicate with each other.

Oh, so we all get to pay for his continuing medical bills. Good, I was soooo worried about that.

Though this—

“[S]ervices don’t like to create martyrs.”

—may be the silliest single statement I’ve ever heard about any military establishment.

Diverso, ma uguale?! | February 1, 2018 at 1:28 pm


He still has a penis.

Please stop giving up key terrain.

JackRussellTerrierist | February 1, 2018 at 1:43 pm

I dom’t get why the left is so enamored of him, other than the transgender operation we paid for. His passing of information to Assange has only damaged the ‘rats and their cohorts.

    Because obama probably has sexual fantasies about him.

    Besides, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    He revealed the names of Afghani’s that were helping us there. When the Taliban retakes control of territory the first thing they do is execute those people.

    Also revealed the names of hundreds of US intelligence operatives, resulting in the termination of much of our operations overseas against jihadis in two dozen countries for the better part of a year.

    That’s why D’s are so enamored of BRADLEY Manning – he’s a TRAITOR to his country.

I love Legal Insurrection, but every time you guys call Manning a she, I don’t know ….

Someone needs to learn proper timing. This should have remained unannounced until either Manning made it to the runoff, or better still been elected. THEN move in with handcuffs ready.

He’s still on active duty?

Transgender mental (e.g. sexual orientation) and physical.

When is the baby due?

Well, I’m glad the reason he can’t run has nothing to do with him being a Transformer.

Probably a moot point, since he is very unlikely to defeat Cardin. Even Maryland isn’t that nuts.

He couldn’t have served “seven years” of his sentence, which began in 2013, or are you counting time served before conviction?

It turns out, Manning may not be eligible to run because “she is on a technical form of unpaid active duty.” This goes against “Department of Defense regulations that prohibit military personnel from seeking public office.”

Come on, that is obvious garbage. How could a DoD regulation possibly affect someone’s eligibility to run for office? The most you can say is that if she runs she’ll be violating the DoD regulation, and might face discipline. OK, maybe that will happen, and maybe she’ll have to pay some penalty, or even have to resign from the force, but how on earth can you turn that into a claim that she’s not eligible to run? The Department of Defense is not in charge of Congress, and cannot change the requirements for a seat in Congress.

    Bucky Barkingham in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I agree with you, and the article even cites a SCOTUS ruling in another case that only the Constitutional requirements determine eligibility to run for office. As to whether such a run violates DOD regulations, Manning has already shown what HE thinks of military regulations. It’s not likely that the squishes who administer the DOD nowadays would even try ti impose any discipline on HIM.

    Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Manning may run for the House. He may be elected to the House. However, The House, under Article 1 section 5, “shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,”. This makes it possible for the House to decide not to seat Manning, if past behavior is a violation of standing House qualifications.

      Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 1, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      No, it does not. The House can resolve any dispute over whether he was elected or not, but if there’s no doubt that he was elected the House can’t refuse to seat him just because it doesn’t like him.

      Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 1, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Oh, and there isn’t and can’t be any such thing as “standing House qualifications”.

        Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm

        Why not, pray tell? A member of the house can be suspended or expelled for various ethics violations of which indictment on felony charges, either civilian or military would be such a violation. And, any member can be expelled, pursuant to Article 1, clause 5, by a vote of 2/3s of the House membership. No reason is necessary, under the Constitution.

        Yes Manning can not be barred by the laws of the US or Maryland from running for the office. But, if elected, he can be charged with a House ethics violation and removed from his seat.

          Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 2, 2018 at 12:11 am

          The power to expel a member is not related to the power to judge elections, returns, and qualifications. The most obvious proof that they are distinct powers is that decisions on elections, returns, and qualifications are made by a simple majority, while expulsion requires two thirds.

          The elections, returns, and qualifications power does not allow the House to refuse to seat a member just because it doesn’t like him. If he has clearly won the election, and clearly fits the qualifications for the office — which are constitutionally prescribed and cannot be changed — then the House has no option but to seat him.

          Once seated, two thirds of the House may immediately expel him, for any reason they see fit. At least, that’s the most obvious interpretation of the constitution. However, and this is a huge however, Congress has a very strong and very long-standing tradition of understanding this power to mean that it may only expel a member for offenses committed in the current term, not for anything that happened earlier.

          This is so firmly entrenched in congressional culture and history that the Supreme Court made explicit note of it. SCOTUS did not endorse this view, but it took into account in its decision the fact that the then-current congress was likely to take the same view that all its predecessors did, and was unlikely to turn around and expel a member for something he did before the last election. The same is almost certainly true of the senate that will meet in 2019; if Manning is elected, the senate will accept its predecessors’ interpretation of the constitution, and will decline to expel him.

    redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    He’s in violation of a DOD Directive i linked in poast down thread. i even cited the relevant para.

    feel free to read it and get back to us. just by filing, AIUI, he’s in violation and subject to UCMJ action.

      Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | February 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      Who cares if he violates a DOD directive? That’s between him and the DOD. It’s got nothing to do with his eligibility for office, and is none of any voter’s or any court’s business.

        redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 5:29 pm

        so, anyone else also subject to the DOD Directive below would have standing to sue re elegibility, citing violation of para 4.2.2?

        interesting theory you have there…

          Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | February 1, 2018 at 7:37 pm

          No, they wouldn’t. There is no question that Manning is eligible, no matter how many DOD directives he may be violating. DOD has no power to make anyone ineligible for office. And no matter how many such directives he is violating, nobody but DOD itself has the authority to discipline him for it, and nobody has standing to sue DOD if it chooses not to.

    Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm


    “According to Brenner-Beck, the regulation in question is DOD Directive 1344.10 Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces, dated Feb. 9, 2008, para. 4.2.2.

    “That paragraph is punitive and violation of it subjects her to courts-martial for violation of a lawful order or regulation under Article 92,” Brenner-Beck told TheDCNF. “Her activities campaigning for herself and fundraising for herself may also violate other provisions of the DoD Directive, themselves separately punishable under the UCMJ, art. 92.””

    Full article:

      Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | February 2, 2018 at 3:11 am

      So ****ing what? I don’t care what the ***ing DOD regulations say, so stop bloody quoting them at me. No DOD regulation can make a person ineligible to run for the senate from Maryland.

      Get it through your head that the DOD gets no say in who gets to run in Maryland elections. The MD electoral authorities do not answer to the DOD. Therefore any claim that Manning is ineligible to run because of some DOD regulation is an obvious load of ****.

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | February 3, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Well, no, it’s called the Hatch Act.

      Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | February 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      1. The Hatch Act does not apply to servicemen on active duty.

      2. Even if it did, the same objections apply. The Hatch Act cannot make someone ineligible to run for the senate from Maryland. No statute can do that.

A registered voter can file a lawsuit to challenge her qualifications.

Again, obvious garbage. Whether the DOD chooses to enforce its regulations is none of the business of any registered voter, or for that matter of any civilian court. Therefore no voter has standing to file such a challenge, and no court has jurisdiction to hear it.

    True. What we have here are two issues:
    1) The House’s qualifications for membership.
    2) The DoD regulations regarding active duty members of the military.

    Under 1) he can run for office, be elected, and sworn in.

    Under 2), after 1) occurs, the Army is fully within its rights to haul his rump off to the hoosegow.

    (Although there are some funky bits in the middle there about sitting members of the House and Senate being immune to certain legal actions, so timing would be important as not to step on constitutional toes)

    redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | February 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    if the DOD *doesn’t* enforce the regs on him, they’ll never be able to prosecute anyone else on the same charge.

    same reason they’ve taken forever to prosecute the deserter Bergdhal. he abandoned his post in a combat zone & went over to the enemy.

    if you let him off, how are you going to prosecute Pvt Snuffy who only shacked up for a couple of days with his stripper girlfriend?

      Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | February 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Bulldust. There is no such defense as “why didn’t you discipline that guy?”. It is entirely up to DOD when and whether and how to enforce its regs. But what you seem to refuse to understand none of this has anything to do with his eligibility. Even if DOD were to enforce its regs to the max, and throw him in the stockade for the rest of his enlistment, he would remain eligible to run. And if elected DOD would have to let him out of the stockade so he could attend the senate’s session.

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | February 3, 2018 at 5:35 am

    You may not agree with it but it’s still the law.

      Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | February 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      No, it is not the law that a registered voter can file a lawsuit to challenge her qualifications. Any such suit would be frivolous.

Mmmmkay. The military isn’t interested in raising this issue, so the only thing left to ask is whether the Manning or Cardin camp raised it. Once we get the answer to that question, then we know who the attention whore is.

    redc1c4 in reply to Valerie. | February 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    first guess is: “anyone who thinks traitors in uniform should be hung”… that pool is millions of Americans like myself.

    second of all, while the Army & DOD might want to ignore this, they might not have a choice: failure to enforce regs equitable make them difficult, if not impossible, to enforce at all.

    Bradley should be glad he’s both alive and not in prison. if he was smart, instead of the mentally ill freak he is, he’d disappear into obscurity.

    but no one ever said he was smart.

read para 4.2.2, then explain to me how Bradley *doesn’t* violate it by running for office.

doing so is punishable under UCMJ, which would put HIS sorry a55 back in prison, where HE belongs*.

(*actually, traitors should be hung, but i’ll settle for a firing squad, or even a needle.)

    Exiliado in reply to redc1c4. | February 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Such a wasted opportunity if the military does not seize him and toss him back where he belongs.

    this section nails it Serve as an election official, if su
    ch service is not as a representative of a
    partisan political party,

    as someone whose job it was to enforce ucmj on people I find it odd people whom never served think normal rules apply to service members.
    read your enlistment contracts and the ucmj if you have questions.
    those of us who served/serve know our rights were limited (and we willingly allowed it) so s to do what we could to protect the civilian rights.
    cry all you want milhouse, you’re still an idiot who mouths off with no personal knowledge of how sh*t works.

      Milhouse in reply to dmacleo. | February 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm


      read para 4.2.2, then explain to me how Bradley *doesn’t* violate it by running for office.

      Nobody has claimed he’s not violating it. You’re either too stupid to understand that, or deliberately raising a straw man, i.e. lying your face off.

      dmacleo, the same goes for you. How dare you call me an idiot, when I have consistently been posting the obvious truth? You’re the idiot here, imagining that a DOD regulation has the power to change the rules for a candidacy for congress. You keep citing DOD regs as if it matters how many of them Manning violates. He can violate the whole d*mn book, for all I care. It makes no difference. He’s still eligible for office, because nobody outside the DOD gives a sh*t what DOD thinks about anything. DOD can’t tell the various boards of elections in Maryland whom they can or can’t put on their ballots.

      Valerie in reply to dmacleo. | February 1, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      It’s not the the UCMJ does not matter: It’s that there is no real penalty that can be brought to bear against this f**kup. His career is already toast.

Voice_of_Reason | February 1, 2018 at 5:41 pm

So, it can appeal its conviction and that means it’s still on active duty? that’s preposterous. but anyway, charge it with AWOL if it is still on active duty!

Challenging the eligibility of opponents: one of Obama’s classic tricks. Too bad, I really wanted to see this race implode.

Thane_Eichenauer | February 2, 2018 at 1:59 am

Kid Rock-ed again! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Ohhh. the irony!!!!

He’s changed his first name, but not his last name????
Would not “Womanning” be more appropriate? Somebody needs to tell the poor thing!

C’mon, guys. You disappoint me.
Manning is running for the SENATE not the House.

Sorry I out myself.

Anything but having tolook at that pic again.

I swearI am hittingall the right keys.