Patterico's Pontifications

1/15/2024

Constitutional Vanguard: The Dispatch, My Favorite Site, Is Misleading Its Audience About the Maine Secretary of State’s 14th Amendment Decision

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:13 pm



Today’s piece, running nearly 6,000 words, is entirely free to all subscribers. Excerpt:

Isgur and French have both told their readers and listeners that the level of process given by the Maine Secretary of State was “none.” Isgur, who is the principal offender, has also: said that Donald Trump was not given an opportunity to defend himself; strongly implied that the Maine Secretary of State conducted no hearings and took testimony from no witnesses; and repeatedly claimed (and since corrected herself, on this claim only) that the Maine Secretary of State did not make it clear what standard she was applying.

As I will show in detail in this post, all of these claims are false. The Maine Secretary of State gave the parties notice and an opportunity to respond, which are the hallmarks of procedural due process. The Secretary of State conducted a hearing with testimony from witnesses. Trump, through his lawyers, participated in that hearing. Before that hearing, the parties exchanged witness lists and exhibit lists. There was briefing. Trump filed objections. And the Maine Secretary of State issued a written decision, detailing all of the procedures she had followed, explicitly stating the standard she was using, and explaining her reasoning—including descriptions of the evidence that she used to reach her conclusions.

Not only would you know virtually none of this from listening to the Advisory Opinions podcast, you would actually conclude the opposite of the truth—because that podcast described the process as “none,” and strongly implied there had been no hearing and no witnesses. You would also be misled if you relied on the Collision newsletter, which said that Trump had no chance to provide his side of the case, and that the Maine Secretary of State had failed to disclose the standard she applied, or the evidence upon which she had relied.

All of that is just flat wrong.

Hopefully by next Monday, I will publish a piece principally for paid subscribers that I have been worked on, off and on, for months. This one I wanted to make public to all, because I am seeking a correction from my favorite legal podcast, and I want the hosts of that podcast to be able to read my entire argument.

Read it here. Subscribe here.


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