Patterico's Pontifications

2/6/2024

Trump’s Immunity Claim Rejected By Appeals Court

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:18 am



[guest post by Dana]]

Excerpts from the opinion:

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the judges wrote in their 57-page decision, saying that “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct.”

“We reject all three potential bases for immunity both as a categorical defense to federal criminal prosecutions of former Presidents and as applied to this case in particular,” the decision said.

Response from the Trump camp:

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung issued a statement that criticized the decision and said Trump would appeal to the Supreme Court, claiming the case “violates the Constitution and threatens the bedrock of our Republic.”

If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party. Without complete immunity, a President of the United States would not be able to properly function!” Cheung said.

Right. Because that’s happened Every Single Time a United States president has left office…

–Dana

116 Responses to “Trump’s Immunity Claim Rejected By Appeals Court”

  1. The right outcome.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. It’s not a threat, it’s a promise. He’s announcing that if Republicans take control of the Presidency, they *will* prosecute Joe Biden for some trumped up charge or another, and once that’s done, there will be retaliatory tit-for-tat behavior from each party until the end of the Republic.

    He’s probably *right* about that, but that’s entirely a choice that is under his control.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  3. Trump’s theory of the case means that there is *no process whatsoever* capable of punishing a President for violating the law, as long as his party supports him.

    This is a recipe for dictatorship.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  4. Read the decision. It is a proper bitch slap of a cynical delaying tactic. That Trump continues to paint himself as the victim of hostile forces is just a continuation of the frauds that he is already charged with.

    Shame on you if you believe this crap.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  5. > That Trump continues to paint himself as the victim of hostile forces is just a continuation of the frauds that he is already charged with.

    It’s working for him, why would he change?

    aphrael (71d87c)

  6. Is there anyone who believes that the impeachment and post-Presidency legal action against Bill Clinton was payback for Watergate? Or that Trump’s first* impeachment was payback for Clinton?

    ——————
    * I will accept that it was politically motivated and probably unwarranted, as it was neither a constitutional violation nor a criminal act. Presidents have lawful discretion, and that includes bad motives. But the animus was directed solely at Trump, not any tat for a previous tit.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  7. It’s working for him, why would he change?

    I hope for some remorse as he meets Bubba on his first day in jail.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  8. #4

    Trump actually believes he is entitled to abosolute immunity. I don’t deny his sincerity on this. After all, the leaders he models himself after have it.

    #6

    No on both counts. The animus for Clinton and Trump was specific to those two leaders — not revenge.

    Appalled (0ae745)

  9. Keith Whittington (Professor of Politics at Princeton) at The Volokh Conspiracy:

    ……….
    ………(T)he panel went with the distinction in Marbury v. Madison between discretionary and ministerial acts and concludes that discretionary acts are largely outside the purview of the courts. But acts that violate a constitutionally valid criminal law also violate the president’s legal duties and thus cannot be understood to be purely discretionary acts within the constitutional and legal authority of the president to make.
    ……..
    Likewise, the court thinks the weight of functional considerations lean toward no blanket immunity in this context.

    The federal prosecution of a former President fits the case “[w]hen judicial action is needed to serve broad public interests” in order to “vindicate the public interest in an ongoing criminal prosecution.” (Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731 (1982)) at 754. The risks of chilling Presidential action or permitting meritless, harassing prosecutions are unlikely, unsupported by history and “too remote and shadowy to shape the course of justice.” See (Clark v. United States, 289 U.S.1) at 16. We therefore conclude that functional policy considerations rooted in the structure of our government do not immunize former Presidents from federal criminal prosecution.
    ………..
    We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results. Nor can we sanction his apparent contention that the Executive has carte blanche to violate the rights of individual citizens to vote and to have their votes count.

    (The) Court does not find Trump’s argument of no prosecution if acquitted in an impeachment trial consistent with the text and purpose of the relevant constitutional clauses.

    In drafting the Impeachment Judgment Clause, to the extent that the Framers contemplated whether impeachment would have a preclusive effect on future criminal charges, the available evidence suggests that their intent was to ensure that a subsequent prosecution would not be barred.

    ………..

    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  10. Now the sides get to argue about what merits a post POTUS prosecution and what doesn’t.

    Dick Dutton (ddc02c)

  11. Now the sides get to argue about what merits a post POTUS prosecution and what doesn’t.

    No, the MAGA side gets to posture and the rest of us get to laugh at them.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. “This is a recipe for dictatorship.”

    Prosecuting opponents is a dictatorship seven course meal.

    lloyd (7d14a7)

  13. Good per curiam ruling, two weeks too late. Hopefully, their reasoning will be solid enough for the USSC to decline hearing Trump’s trial-delaying appeal.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  14. “If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party. Without complete immunity, a President of the United States would not be able to properly function!” Cheung said.

    Right. Because that’s happened Every Single Time a United States president has left office…

    –Dana

    I mean, you do know where this is heading right?

    What’s to stop an outgoing President, at the last hour of the presidency, from issuing general Pardons to himself and his administration of all crimes.

    What’s the limiting principle there?

    whembly (5f7596)

  15. Of course, that doesn’t mean states couldn’t charge the outgoing President.

    But you do see where I’m going with this, yes?

    whembly (5f7596)

  16. What’s to stop an outgoing President, at the last hour of the presidency, from issuing general Pardons to himself and his administration of all crimes.

    What’s the limiting principle there?

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/6/2024 @ 2:52 pm

    None. Under the Constitution, the President’s pardon power is absolute.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. Of course, that doesn’t mean states couldn’t charge the outgoing President.

    But you do see where I’m going with this, yes?

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/6/2024 @ 2:53 pm

    Assuming the ex-President commits a state crime, of course he can be charged.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. Of course, that doesn’t mean states couldn’t charge the outgoing President.

    But you do see where I’m going with this, yes?

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/6/2024 @ 2:53 pm

    What’s your point? As I said, if an ex-President commits a state crime, why wouldn’t he be charged?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  19. “If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party. Without complete immunity, a President of the United States would not be able to properly function!” Cheung said.

    Right. Because that’s happened Every Single Time a United States president has left office…

    Only Trump thinks like that. And that’s why he should never have been allowed within a mile of the White House. All the Trump paths lead to the gutter.

    nk (3a6c42)

  20. What happens now?

    ………..
    The panel’s most aggressive move was not in the opinion itself, which is straightforwardly correct, but in the judgment that accompanies it on the docket. There, the panel gave the following directions regarding the “issuance of the mandate,” a next step that must take place before Judge Chutkan can resume Trump’s criminal trial:

    The Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate through February 12, 2024. If, within that period, Appellant notifies the Clerk in writing that he has filed an application with the Supreme Court for a stay of the mandate pending the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate pending the Supreme Court’s final disposition of the application. The filing of a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc will not result in any withholding of the mandate, although the grant of rehearing or rehearing en banc would result in a recall of the mandate if the mandate has already issued.-

    In effect, this means that Trump can only stop the issuance of the mandate by petitioning the Supreme Court for a stay pending a full application for certiorari, not by seeking rehearing either before the panel or the en banc D.C. Circuit. This is an extremely strong vote of confidence by the panel of how its decision might fare in front of the full D.C. Circuit. …….

    As for the Supreme Court, the court’s judgment doesn’t do much other than compel Trump to seek a stay of the mandate pending a petition for certiorari within the week. Once he does, the mandate will be stayed until the Supreme Court decides that application. In short, it makes clear that the fate of Trump’s legal challenge—and thus the likelihood that he faces the D.C. criminal trial before the 2024 elections—lies entirely in the Supreme Court’s hands now.

    There is still plenty of time, if the high court acts with reasonable dispatch, for Judge Chutkan to run a trial before the election. ……..

    What the Court will do, of course, is anyone’s guess. ………

    ………(The appeals court panel) states quite explicitly, it narrowly tailors its holding “to the case before [them], in which a former President has been indicted on federal criminal charges arising from his alleged conspiracy to overturn federal election results and unlawfully overstay his presidential term.” In this sense, the panel’s holding may be distinguishable from some future case involving a former president accused of conduct dissimilar to what Trump is accused of and more plausibly suggesting immunity. This may make some justices more willing to let the current opinion stand.

    The question of whether Trump is immune from criminal prosecution—or, as the per curiam delicately puts it, his “conspiracy to unlawfully overstay his term as President and to displace his duly elected successor”—is not one which divides the circuit courts of appeals. Nor are the Supreme Court justices remotely likely to find that, actually, presidents are immune from criminal charges for trying to overturn the constitutional order. There is actually no good reason for the Supreme Court to take up this matter.
    ………..

    My emphasis.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/6/2024 @ 11:31 am

    * I will accept that it was politically motivated and probably unwarranted, as it was neither a constitutional violation nor a criminal act. Presidents have lawful discretion, and that includes bad motives.

    In the first Trump impeachment, Trump simply didn’t do what they accused him of. He was not trying to use Ukraine to smear Joe Biden, and it actually would be stupid to think he would think that a good idea. The idea of trading aid for an announcement of an investigation came from Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and when it was broached to Trump he rejected it – twice. Sondland went ahead anyway. What Trump did do wrong was withheld the aid secretly, in violation of the process fora budget recission, but he reversed himself right after it became known (aid to Ukraine was very popular in Congress in both parties) It wasn’t
    worth impeaching him for. After all, it should be a high crime or misdemeanor (crime not being taken literally in the sense of a violation of the criminal code)

    In the case of Bill Clinton in 1998/9, the Republicans were driven to impeaching him by logic, and his refusal to tell the truth. (And Bill Clinton had signed the law that made questions about other relationships or requests of same with subordinates legitimate queries)
    +et)

    That was not what Clinton should have been impeached for. It was too minor. He should have been impeached for murdering the Branch Davidians in Waco (using his vast knowledge of corrupt people and Rolodex) and covering it up. But they never investigated that fully.

    But the animus was directed solely at Trump, not any tat for a previous tit.

    That is correct, and is probably a much stronger motive.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. in which a former President has been indicted on federal criminal charges arising from his alleged conspiracy to overturn federal election results and unlawfully overstay his presidential term.”

    Trump made no attempt to overstay his presidential term, although many people who paid too much attention to the Democratic narrative may think so. And maybe some of the mob may have thought so.

    He made an attempt to be elected to the presidency again on the basis of lies and legal maneuvers.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  23. ” Every Single Time a United States president has left office…”

    It’s been widely reported that the Democrats were going through every action Nixon took as President and poring over every page of the DC legal code to hit him with every law on the books to go for a conviction.

    That was one of the big motivators for Ford’s pardon – to forestall that plan.

    Randolph Carter (ed40fb)

  24. In any case, it just means that in the future, all Presidents will pardon themselves of all federal crimes explicitly using the Presidential Pardon power. Once every day and twice on Tuesdays for good measure.

    So all the convictions will be state crimes.

    Randolph Carter (ed40fb)

  25. In effect, this means that Trump can only stop the issuance of the mandate by petitioning the Supreme Court for a stay pending a full application for certiorari, not by seeking rehearing either before the panel or the en banc D.C. Circuit. This is an extremely strong vote of confidence by the panel of how its decision might fare in front of the full D.C. Circuit. …….

    And at the Supreme Court. This was a magnificent opinion and they took their time. Haste makes waste. I really don’t see any reason for anyone to revisit this. The SC will refuse the request forthwith.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  26. None. Under the Constitution, the President’s pardon power is absolute.

    Except as regards himself, where it is nil.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  27. But you do see where I’m going with this, yes?

    Yes, but you don’t.

    The problem with facetious indictments for political spite is that the lawyers get sanctioned and limited in future employment. Look at what is going to happen to John Eastman and half a dozen people in GA. Look at the terrible disgrace that fell on the Public Interest Legal Foundation and the Claremont Institute due to Eastman. Chapman University and the Federalist Society cannot be happy either.

    Extra credit: Rudy Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro and others.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  28. It only takes four Justices to grant certiorari. Unless they figure that Trump has already been enough of a pain in the ass.

    nk (7810e0)

  29. Only Trump thinks like that. And that’s why he should never have been allowed within a mile of the White House. All the Trump paths lead to the gutter.

    And why, FFS, should we let him even try to go back.

    The SC will disqualify him, as it should, hopefully 9-0.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  30. Unless they figure that Trump has already been enough of a pain in the ass.

    Why would they think that?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  31. It only takes four Justices to grant certiorari

    This is true, but why would they? Do four members of the court think that a President should be able to openly commit crimes? Do they have some limiting level of crime they’d allow? Shoplifting, say?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  32. Unless they figure that Trump has already been enough of a pain in the ass.

    Why would they think that?

    I know, right? The greatest President since Henry Harrison Ford whose uncle went to MIT and if there was any justice would have five or six Noble prizes?

    nk (7810e0)

  33. None. Under the Constitution, the President’s pardon power is absolute.

    The Constitution wasn’t designed for a man to be his own judge and jury, even a president. Why didn’t Nixon pardon himself before quitting?
    Oh, and today was a day when an appeals court denied an ex-president’s assertion that he has an absolute power.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  34. The Constitution wasn’t designed against communists.

    John Adams: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    We’re pretty much past being a moral and religious people.

    Randolph Carter (ed40fb)

  35. If the events of Jan. 6th had led to something like the Compromise of 1877, would that have been legal?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compromise_of_1877#:~:text=The%20Compromise%20of%201877%2C%20also,political%20violence%20in%20exchange%20for

    Randolph Carter (ed40fb)

  36. As someone who believes that all men (in the generalized meaning in which it includes women, Judge Alito 🙁 ) are equal, the person who becomes president and then ceases to be president is also required to follow the law or face arrest and prosecution. The appeals court didn’t make up some new reading of the law, it confirmed that in fact the President is equal to everyone else. So it isn’t a case of “Oh, now it’s a ruuuuuullllleeee” (because someone is 5) it’s a case of something that has always been the rule. The founding fathers didn’t believe that the President suddenly became better than everyone else.

    Nic (896fdf)

  37. The SC will disqualify him, as it should, hopefully 9-0.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/6/2024 @ 6:45 pm

    That is as likely to happen as Trump being indicted for insurrection before Thursday.

    Rip Murdock (68deca)

  38. None. Under the Constitution, the President’s pardon power is absolute.

    The Constitution wasn’t designed for a man to be his own judge and jury, even a president. Why didn’t Nixon pardon himself before quitting?

    Nixon probably didn’t think of it, or he knew he was going to be pardoned by Ford when he resigned. Whether or not a President can be his own judge and jury, there is nothing in the plain language of Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution that precludes a self-pardon, nor could there be any party that would have standing to challenge it.

    Rip Murdock (68deca)

  39. None. Under the Constitution, the President’s pardon power is absolute.

    Except as regards himself, where it is nil.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/6/2024 @ 6:33 pm

    Show your work. As I noted in post 38, there is nothing in Pardon Clause that would prevent a self-pardon. The only remedy would be impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (68deca)

  40. There’s nothing in the Constitution that expressly allows a self-pardon, or that a person can be his own judge and jury, but I’ll be more than happy to see a Supreme Court settle the debate if/when a president attempts such a thing.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  41. There’s nothing in the Constitution that expressly allows a self-pardon, or that a person can be his own judge and jury, but I’ll be more than happy to see a Supreme Court settle the debate if/when a president attempts such a thing.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 2/6/2024 @ 8:54 pm

    Who would have standing to challenge a self-pardon? The answer is no one. The only remedy is impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (68deca)

  42. @18

    Of course, that doesn’t mean states couldn’t charge the outgoing President.

    But you do see where I’m going with this, yes?

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/6/2024 @ 2:53 pm

    What’s your point? As I said, if an ex-President commits a state crime, why wouldn’t he be charged?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/6/2024 @ 3:31 pm

    Apologies, we agree on this and its my fault that I misunderstood you.

    If I had the crystal ball, I really don’t think SCOTUS would take up the immunity case, because its of a political question that I’m sure the courts would want to avoid ruling during election season.

    I think the BIG dealio that could impact Jack Smith’s case against Trump, is the United States v. Fischer case.

    whembly (5f7596)

  43. A presidential self pardon does not have the president be his own judge and jury. It has the president be his own prosecutor which is part of his Executive powers.

    It’s like those people writing the ‘judge and jury’ articles haven’t read the Constitution

    Ingot9455 (3125e7)

  44. The Founders argued for weeks over the presidential pardon power and its potential abuse. Some quit the Convention over the subject. NOT ONCE did anyone suggest that a scoundrel might pardon himself. It was not their understanding that he would be able to.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  45. A Textualist might argue as Rip does, but an Originalist might not. A justice who felt that the spirit of the thing had meaning also might not.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  46. The Founders argued for weeks over the presidential pardon power and its potential abuse. Some quit the Convention over the subject. NOT ONCE did anyone suggest that a scoundrel might pardon himself. It was not their understanding that he would be able to.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/6/2024 @ 10:44 pm

    If the Founding Fathers thought the presidential pardon power might be abused, they should have written restrictions on its use into the Constitution. As it is, there are only two restrictions on the pardon power: it only applies to “Offences against the United States” and the President cannot forgive “in Cases of Impeachment.”

    According to this history of the pardon power, there was little discussion and no mention of any walkouts.

    Rip Murdock (bec137)

  47. A lot of the founding fathers were slave holders which is why most african-americans are brown not black and have neanderthal genes. Those from africa don’t have neanderthal genes.

    asset (fc7895)

  48. Who would have standing to challenge a self-pardon?

    The same persons who have standing to bring indictments and prosecute criminals. The name escapes me, but I think it starts with Department and ends in Justice.

    nk (8e6985)

  49. If the Founding Fathers thought the presidential pardon power might be abused, they should have written restrictions on its use into the Constitution.

    They talked about it, but they missed that particular abuse, a product of our less honorable age. It was, as some have said, something Nixon didn’t try. But Donald Trump has no honor at all, so he just might.

    The downside: pardoning one self suggests there are crimes of which he is aware, and if the pardon doesn’t hold, he’s in the sh1t.

    You’ve suggested that there is no one with standing to challenge the pardon. This is clearly wrong. Any prosecutor who levels a charge would have standing to challenge the pardon.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  50. I see that nk saw that first.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  51. According to this history of the pardon power, there was little discussion and no mention of any walkouts.

    Try the source

    Edmund Randolph, an architect of the Virginia Plan and a member of the small “Committee of Detail” that hammered the thing together, refused to sign the final document (as did Elbridge Gerry and George Mason among those who remained to the end). Randolph was opposed to the scope of the pardon power throughout and listed it among his reasons for not signing.

    Example: Sept 15, 1787:

    Mr Randolph moved to “except cases of treason”. The prerogative of pardon in these cases was too great a trust. The President may himself be guilty. The Traytors may be his own instruments.

    Col: Mason supported the motion.

    Mr Govr Morris had rather there should be no pardon for treason, than let the power devolve on the Legislature.

    Mr Wilson. Pardon is necessary for cases of treason, and is best placed in the hands of the Executive. If he be himself a party to the guilt he can be impeached and prosecuted.

    Mr. King thought it would be inconsistent with the Constitutional separation of the Executive & Legislative powers to let the prerogative be exercised by the latter — A Legislative body is utterly unfit for the purpose. They are governed too much by the passions of the moment. In Massachusetts, one assembly would have hung all the insurgents in that State: the next was equally disposed to pardon them all. He suggested the expedient of requiring the concurrence of the Senate in Acts of Pardon.

    Mr. Madison admitted the force of objections to the Legislature, but the pardon of treasons was so peculiarly improper for the President that he should acquiesce in the transfer of it to the former, rather than leave it altogether in the hands of the latter. He would prefer to either an association of the Senate as a Council of advice, with the President.

    Mr Randolph could not admit the Senate into a share of the Power. the great danger to liberty lay in a combination between the President & that body —

    Col: Mason. The Senate has already too much power — There can be no danger of too much lenity in legislative pardons, as the Senate must con concur, & the President moreover can require ⅔ of both Houses

    (Farand, Vol 2)

    The motion failed 2 states (VA & GA) to 8, with CT divided.

    Here we see that 1) the concept of self-pardon is not discussed, as the idea of a later prosecution after he pardons his minions would not be possible, and that the scope of the pardon power was of great concern, particularly with treason.

    September 17 was the day that the document was signed. George Mason listed a number of points, mostly regarding the strong central government but also this:

    The President of the United States has the unrestrained power of granting pardons for treason, which may be sometimes exercised to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the crime, and thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt.

    (Farand, Vol 2)

    Again, the idea of a self-pardon is clearly missing here. Had it come up, people like Mason and Randolph would have been wildly opposed.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  52. Both Nixon and Clinton considered, and discarded, the idea of a self-pardon or the subterfuge of the 25th Amendment.

    The legal and constitutional ability of a president to pardon himself (self-pardon) is an unresolved issue. During the Watergate scandal and shortly before the Richard Nixon’s resignation, Nixon’s lawyer suggested that a self-pardon would be legal but the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion that concluded that a President may not self-pardon “[u]nder the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case”. The 1974 memo laid out a scenario in which, under the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the president could declare himself unable to perform his duties and could appoint the vice president as acting president. The acting president could then pardon the president and “thereafter the president could either resign or resume the duties of his office.” The informal Nixon memo only addressed the presidential self-pardon in 69 words with no citations and lacks legal analysis, and is thus not authoritative on the issue. The issue arose again in 1998, during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

    There is a long survey of the topic at the Wiki page, starting with this:

    Common arguments against self-pardons include the themes of self-judging and self-dealing, the unjust nature of the president being above the law, violations of the public trust, the inclusion of the word “grant” in the relevant clause (one cannot grant something to oneself), the definition of “pardon” (because one cannot grant forgiveness to oneself), and the inadequacy of other safeguards such as political consequences. However, such arguments have been disputed, and since the Supreme Court has issued constitutional rulings that affirmed the president’s “unlimited” pardon power, a constitutional amendment or a Supreme Court decision on a self-pardon would be required to settle the constitutionality of a self-pardon.

    Of course, in no other case (and there have been some) has the Supreme Court indicated any limit on the pardon power. This corner case remains untested.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  53. the inclusion of the word “grant” in the relevant clause (one cannot grant something to oneself)

    So, they DID limit it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  54. nk (8e6985) — 2/7/2024 @ 4:39 am

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 6:38 am

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 7:07 am

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 7:13 am

    I doubt that the Department of Justice (or a random prosecutor) would be able to block a self-pardon. The President could simply order the DoJ not to do so. Under what statute would the DoJ bring a prosecution or challenge? The only response could be the President’s impeachment.

    The 1974 OLC Memo is only advice, would not be the basis for a prosecution. As Wikipedia states, the OLC memo lacks legal analysis and is not authoritative, and that the idea of a self-pardon’s constitutionality is unresolved. The fact that a self-pardon is expressly not prohibited in Constitution suggests it’s constitutional. There a no penumbras.

    Besides, if anyone will break a constitutional norm it’s Donald Trump.

    Rip Murdock (bec137)

  55. The article at https://www.justsecurity.org/73539/why-a-self-pardon-is-not-constitutional/ has another silliness about how a pardon requires that there must be a ‘giver’ and a ‘recipient’ and that they must be two different people, as with a kidney donor.

    But of course there are many times when someone grants something to themselves. The classic example is a sole proprietor of a business. He may well have a checking account that he uses for his home expenses and another that he uses for his business expenses simply for bookkeeping ease. When he needs to pay himself money from one account to another he does so.

    Randolph Carter (059b73)

  56. I doubt that the Department of Justice (or a random prosecutor) would be able to block a self-pardon.

    Block? What block? The pardon does the blocking should the defendant be indicted. Like double jeopardy, infancy, and insanity. Otherwise, it’s just there.

    The President could simply order the DoJ not to do so.

    Which President? The general federal statute of limitations is five years and none at all for the most serious crimes.

    nk (3cf084)

  57. Can a justice of the peace officiate their own wedding?

    Randolph Carter (059b73)

  58. I doubt that the Department of Justice (or a random prosecutor) would be able to block a self-pardon.

    Block? What block? The pardon does the blocking should the defendant be indicted. Like double jeopardy, infancy, and insanity. Otherwise, it’s just there.

    The President could simply order the DoJ not to do so.

    Which President? The general federal statute of limitations is five years and none at all for the most serious crimes.

    nk (3cf084) — 2/7/2024 @ 9:13 am

    You are being obtuse. Your post at 4:39 am said:

    Who would have standing to challenge a self-pardon?

    The same persons who have standing to bring indictments and prosecute criminals. The name escapes me, but I think it starts with Department and ends in Justice.

    nk (8e6985) — 2/7/2024 @ 4:39 am

    To which I responded that the President (any President that self-pardons) can simply order the Justice Department not to challenge a his or her self-pardon.

    Can a justice of the peace officiate their own wedding?

    Randolph Carter (059b73) — 2/7/2024 @ 10:32 am

    There is nothing in the Constitution that forbids it.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  59. the inclusion of the word “grant” in the relevant clause (one cannot grant something to oneself

    )

    So, they DID limit it.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 7:24 am

    That’s one interpretation of the word “grant” in the Pardons Clause. The Clause does not say “the President cannot grant himself a pardon”; the only specific limitations on the Pardon Power is regards “offences against the United States” and impeachments.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. Under what statute would the DoJ bring a prosecution or challenge?

    Any statute that does not have “unless they have been pardoned” in it. Now, it is an affirmative defense “Hey, I’ve been pardoned”, sure. But at that point the prosecutor can say “Oh, no, I don’t believe you have been” and it goes to an interlocutory appeal.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  61. @59: In a world were some argue that “Officer of the United States” excludes the Executive, I don’t feel embarrassed to rely on the word “grant”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  62. Double jeopardy defenses happen all the time, and prosecutors often appeal saying it’s really not so.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  63. Besides, if anyone will break a constitutional norm it’s Donald Trump.

    Is there a point? Because I’m pretty sure that he can’t do it by himself. He might declare himself Holy Roman Emperor, too, but it would be of questionable effect.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  64. > Because I’m pretty sure that he can’t do it by himself.

    Right, but his sycophants in Congress will support him.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  65. Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

    Trump will NOT attend tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing. Pretty sure that his lawyers insisted.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  66. @65

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

    Trump will NOT attend tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing. Pretty sure that his lawyers insisted.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 11:56 am

    Actually, that’s the right call by his lawyers there.

    whembly (5f7596)

  67. Trump will NOT attend tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing. Pretty sure that his lawyers insisted.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 11:56 am

    I’m guessing he will be at the Nevada caucuses tomorrow.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  68. Under what statute would the DoJ bring a prosecution or challenge?

    Any statute that does not have “unless they have been pardoned” in it. Now, it is an affirmative defense “Hey, I’ve been pardoned”, sure. But at that point the prosecutor can say “Oh, no, I don’t believe you have been” and it goes to an interlocutory appeal.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 11:34 am

    LOL! Now you’re just making stuff up. A prosecution would need to grounded in a specific statute, not what a prosecutor says or believes. Again, Trump could order the Justice Department not to challenge a self pardon, and there is nothing the DOJ could do except obey (or resign, but I’m sure Trump could find some non-disbarred compliant lawyers to follow his orders.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 11:56 am

    Trump will NOT attend tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing. Pretty sure that his lawyers insisted.

    It will be broadcast on NPR, starting at 9:30 am Eastern time Thursday.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  70. The Founders argued for weeks over the presidential pardon power and its potential abuse. Some quit the Convention over the subject. NOT ONCE did anyone suggest that a scoundrel might pardon himself. It was not their understanding that he would be able to.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/6/2024 @ 10:44 pm

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 7:07 am

    Your history at 7:07 am still does not provide any evidence that “some quit the Convention over the subject.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  71. He might declare himself Holy Roman Emperor, too, but it would be of questionable effect.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/7/2024 @ 11:50 am

    True, but as I’ve said, the plain language of the Pardons Clause doesn’t prevent Trump from a self-pardon.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  72. Again, Trump could order the Justice Department not to blah, blah, blah …

    Only if he is still President, trollbot. Once he is no longer President, he could not order the Justice Department unless it was a sandwich on Grubhub.

    nk (3cf084)

  73. Only if he is still President, trollbot. Once he is no longer President, he could not order the Justice Department unless it was a sandwich on Grubhub.

    nk (3cf084) — 2/7/2024 @ 1:37 pm

    No argument there, I assume Trump will self-pardon while he was President, and then order the DOJ not to challenge it. Once he left office, however, the self-pardon would still be valid and need to be honored by following administrations. There is no constitutional provision that allows another administration to challenge a pardon (or self-pardon), based on the plain language of the Pardon clause and current Supreme Court precedent.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  74. I still speculate that if convicted, Trump will not win in 2024 and will not be in the position to self pardon.

    If he does win after being convicted, then I see civil unrest.

    As to standing, this self-imposed requirement follows from Article III’s case or controversy clause. I think a federal court could choose to waive a rigid application of the rule if said rule would deny review of a highly controversial and questioned federal matter. Due process is implicated here as the President would be attempting to be judge in his own case. I suspect the same would happen if Trump uses the 25th amendment to claim incapacitation so that Vice President Noem could then step in and execute the pardon power. It’s the same basic question of power. Now SCOTUS will be confronted with civil unrest one way or the other so there likely would not be a simple way to avoid the question. There is some precedent for first amendment cases preceding without a rigid adherence to standing.

    It’s why nomination of someone facing multiple felonies is such an irresponsible action….and one that will either face reconsideration by the GOP or will result in the GOP losing decisively in 2024. This would be a chaos tsunami and would threaten not just the stability of our government but our very ability to react effectively to foreign actors trying to take advantage of it. It should be an open question to every congressman how he might view such an assertion of power in terms of impeachment if it arises. My belief is that most Republicans will need to support the self pardon in order to support Trump in 2024. It will be the ultimate in beclowning.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  75. The President granting a pardon to himself is not being a judge in his own case. It is being the Executive in his own case.

    The clemency power of the pardon is an Executive Branch power, not a Judicial Branch power.

    The clemency power can be exercised for any reason the Executive deems – sometimes it is to right a wrong, sometimes it is mercy, sometimes it is to correct an underling, sometimes it is to correct the record of the past, often it is political, and it could be for any reason I haven’t even bothered to write down.

    Randolph Carter (059b73)

  76. If he does win after being convicted, then I see civil unrest.

    Hopefully not an insurrection to prevent a peaceful transfer of power, because THAT would generate a gleeful retribution.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  77. LOL! Now you’re just making stuff up. A prosecution would need to grounded in a specific statute, not what a prosecutor says or believes.

    Sure. Trump shoots 3 members of the DC Appellate court, then pardons himself. He is charged by the DC city government of killing federal officials (I think it’s a crime, but I’m not going to look it up). He responds to the indictment by saying “I’ve been pardoned!”). The DC government asks for a trial, and the judge makes a ruling.

    Now this goes to an appellate court, just like a claim of double jeopardy or lack of jurisdiction would, to see if there is reason to allow a trial or not.

    Pretty much what happened, the other way around, in the immunity claim, except that the immunity claim had more nuance.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  78. There is no constitutional provision that allows another administration to challenge a pardon (or self-pardon), based on the plain language of the Pardon clause and current Supreme Court precedent.

    But the Supreme Court can alter a precedent and the exact claim has never been tested. You START with saying “I’m right!” then since you are right you assert no objection can be made. Completely circular.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  79. Sure. Trump shoots 3 members of the DC Appellate court, then pardons himself.

    End of story.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  80. Why the Supreme Court Should Grant Certiorari in United States v. Trump

    ……… The main reason to grant certiorari is simply that, as Supreme Court Rule 10 states, “a United States court of appeals has decided an important question of federal law”—a former president’s immunity from prosecution—“that has not been, but should be, settled by [the Supreme] Court.” An additional but less obvious reason why the D.C. Circuit decision is important is that it contains loose reasoning that will have a potentially large collateral impact on the construction of criminal statutes to burden the Article II authorities of sitting presidents.

    The problem in the opinion comes mainly in its implications for the application of criminal statutes to the president. …….

    The executive branch recognizes a broad constitutionally based clear statement rule to determine whether generally worded criminal statutes apply to the president. In a 1995 opinion, Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head Walter Dellinger described the presidential clear statement rule as follows: “[G]eneral statutes must be read as not applying to the President if they do not expressly apply where application would arguably limit the President’s constitutional role.” Dellinger added: “[S]tatutes that do not expressly apply to the President must be construed as not applying to the President if such application would involve a possible conflict with the President’s constitutional prerogatives” (emphasis in the original). Dellinger acknowledged an exception to this rule when a statute “raises no separation of powers questions were it to be applied to the President.” He gave the example of bribery, since the Constitution “confers no power in the President to receive bribes,” and indeed specifically contemplates impeachment for “bribery” and “specifically forbids any increase in the President’s compensation for his service while he is in office, which is what a bribe would function to do.”
    ……….
    The problem with the D.C. Circuit opinion is that in places its reasoning is inconsistent with—and thus calls into question—this plain statement rule.
    ……….
    The court’s conclusion that Marbury does not preclude federal courts from entertaining a criminal prosecution of a former president may be right, but this reasoning is undisciplined and sweeps broadly. In saying that Trump’s acts “allegedly violated generally applicable criminal laws” and thus “were not properly within the scope of his lawful discretion,” the court gets matters exactly backwards from the perspective of the plain statement rule…….

    ……….The Court stated, for example: “Instead of inhibiting the President’s lawful discretionary action, the prospect of federal criminal liability might serve as a structural benefit to deter possible abuses of power and criminal behavior.” Perhaps so, but this is, again, the opposite presumption of the plain statement rule, which emphasizes the importance of the president’s lawful discretionary action in the face of generally worded criminal laws, and is premised on a worry about the chilling impact of applying such laws to Article II action. ………

    The implications of the D.C. Circuit opinion for the plain statement rule matter for two reasons. First, Trump can and will argue at trial that at least some of the statutes he allegedly violated do not apply to him because they “possibly conflict” with the president’s constitutional prerogatives. Second, the plain statement implications will unduly constrain and chill presidents in office, not because they aim to commit crimes, but because they will be exposed to potentially much broader (and uncertain) criminal exposure in carrying out everyday Article II acts.

    ………..(The plain statement rule) as articulated by the Justice Department has never been examined by the Supreme Court—indeed, the Court has never had a case involving a prosecution of a president. The D.C. Circuit opinion, if not reviewed by the Supreme Court, will have an outsized influence on all questions related to the criminal liability of presidents, including the plain statement rule. …….

    ………..The importance of the immunity issue in the D.C. Circuit opinion is the main reason to grant, but the need for review is underscored by the opinion’s clear implications for the plain statement rule, which will potentially affect the scope of presidential power of future presidents. ………
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  81. > If he does win after being convicted, then I see civil unrest.

    You’re optimistic; I see civil unrest *if he’s convicted*.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  82. > > Sure. Trump shoots 3 members of the DC Appellate court, then pardons himself.

    > End of story.

    Nah.

    The DC government isn’t directly answerable to Trump, and the DC government would still bring charges. The people running the DC government are hostile to Trump and won’t accept the validity of the pardon.

    Trump’s lawyers file a motion for summary judgment saying “our client wins, he was pardoned.”

    The lawyer for DC files a reply brief saying “that pardon is ineffective because $reasoning”

    The DC judge issues a ruling.

    The losing party appeals.

    It ends up in the Supreme Court. (There’s an interesting side question about whether the DC Court of Appeals can hear this appeal under these circumstances or if everyone on the court needs to recuse themselves, but it’s settled somehow and the settlement isn’t relevant to the hypo).

    I think you are *right* that the plain language of the pardon clause means this is ok, but i also think that any serious look at the intent and legislative history suggests that it isn’t ok.

    So I don’t think it’s clear how the Supreme Court would rule.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  83. You’re optimistic; I see civil unrest *if he’s convicted*.

    I see civil unrest unless he’s proclaimed God.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  84. So I don’t think it’s clear how the Supreme Court would rule.

    Neither do I, but you have the process right.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  85. > Neither do I, but you have the process right.

    At this point i’ll gently remind you that i’m licensed in two states, it would be a very bad sign if i didn’t have the process right 🙂

    aphrael (71d87c)

  86. Biden’s documents investigation completed. Hannety thinks white wash we’ll see.

    asset (f2593b)

  87. @75, Article I section 3: “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law.”

    How could a President simultaneously be liable for punishment and have the power to self pardon. It would seem that a self pardon would make this part of the Constitution nugatory. How would this make sense?

    AJ_Liberty (7f74fa)

  88. maybe being impeached after granting a self-pardon nullifies the effect of a pardon?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  89. @85: well, yeah, but … well ‘nuf said.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  90. maybe being impeached after granting a self-pardon nullifies the effect of a pardon?

    This what we engineers call “a kludge” — the process was broken before you tried to fix it here.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  91. A self-pardon would give a President absolute immunity, like a king or emperor. There would not be an atrocity he could not commit while in office and then pardon himself for it.

    The Founders were not loco in the cabeza I doan theenk. But Trump supporters are, to propose that with almost a year still left in Biden’s term.

    nk (890a96)

  92. @91, nk, you must be new here. Welcome! Alas whembly will certainly join us this morning and explain that he has great confidence that the institutions will hold Emperor Trump to account…impeaching him but never quite removing him…because that would be heartless…and lead to the next Democrat being impeached for being a Democrat….which is synonymous with being evil. This is the circle of life we now enjoy.

    Can’t pass any border security legislation because it’s not perfect. Can’t impeach Mayorkas because there’s no high crime or misdemeanor…or gross incompetence. Can’t fund Ukraine until we pass an unpassable border security bill. And Tucker is off promoting Putin propaganda. Yeah get me off that train…..

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  93. 87 , doesn’t that make it clear that the first step in a case like this is Impeachment-and-Removal?

    Randolph Carter (d9e3a9)

  94. @91 So much concern about what recourse is available to counter an elected president who seeks to pardon himself.

    What is the recourse for an unelected rogue prosecutor leveraging a heavily skewed venue/judge to prosecute an elected president on jacked up charges? Appeals? Judicial review? LOL

    lloyd (1c7c2e)

  95. The Founders envisioned the Judicial branch as the weakest branch, not the strongest as it now seeks to become. The check on absolute power is the will of the people, not the branch most insulated from it.

    lloyd (1c7c2e)

  96. He who builds on the people builds on mud. The people are strong only through the institutions they form. As Trump is finding out.

    nk (149173)

  97. The president and the executive branch is as much an institution as any other. It was a direct question. So far, you don’t have an answer.

    lloyd (1c7c2e)

  98. Although coverage on NPR started at 9:30, oral arguments in the Supreme Court are scheduled to start at 10 am.. Each side gets 30 minutes and the Colorado Secretary of State’s office gets 10, for a total of 80 minutes, although nowadays the Court often runs over.

    And it may start later if the court announces some decisions first.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  99. I’m interested in what points the reporters and the lawyers may miss,

    Big things to miss:

    Laws about primaries are not binding on political parties

    A state can make any rules it wants for choosing presidential electors — but it can’t decide questions of federal law,

    The disqualification does not kick in until after a person is elected (and can then be waived, at least theoretically,)

    A party can trump up a disqualification for Trump’s VP as well (aid and comfort to an insurrection by promising clemency)

    Trump was not a conspirator, even unindicted, in any charge for an act of violence.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  100. * Laws about ELECTIONS FOR DELEGATES TO NATIONAL CONVENTIONS are not binding on political parties

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  101. > So much concern about what recourse is available to counter an elected president who seeks to pardon himself.

    And rightly so. A self-pardoning power could be used to allow a rogue President to *completely dismantle our system of government* and then pardon himself for it. It is one of the greatest threats to public liberty that I can imagine.

    > What is the recourse for an unelected rogue prosecutor leveraging a heavily skewed venue/judge to prosecute an elected president on jacked up charges? Appeals? Judicial review? LOL

    Congress could impeach the federal prosecutor in question, right? If that’s enough of a check on Presidential abuse, why is it not enough of a check on prosecutorial abuse?

    > The check on absolute power is the will of the people, not the branch most insulated from it.

    The President isn’t elected by the will of the people, he’s elected by the state legislatures (who have delegated the exercise of their power to the people, but that’s not part of the constitutional design).

    But the bigger problem with this is that absolute power cannot be checked by the will of the people because *absolute power* involves the ability to interfere with the power of the people to exercise their will. Their must be *some* counterbalancing force capable of preventing that.

    A President has the power to completely nullify the expression of the will of the people, even if he doesn’t have the *authority* to use that power. The President being able to pardon himself for using power in excess of his authority means that the only thing keeping any President from being a dictator is his own self-restraint.

    It is *absolutely inevitable* that a system which depends only on the self-restraint of the President to avoid a dictatorship will eventually fall to dictatorship when someone with poor self-restraint discovers there are no actual restraints.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  102. What is the recourse for an unelected rogue prosecutor leveraging a heavily skewed venue/judge to prosecute an elected president on jacked up charges?

    Disbarment, for one.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  103. Hamas rejected a ceasefire but headlines blameIsrael

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  104. Inpossible terms

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  105. Biden’s Immunity Claim Accepted by the DOJ. They’re literally going with “Too Incompetent to Stand Trial”

    https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/1755688869297598516

    SaveFarris (79ab12)

  106. @103 Sammy the longer this goes on Oct. 7 will have a lessing impact on those who were not rabid netanyahu supporters. The rest of the world sees daily dead palestinian children in gaza and what the settlers are doing to palestinians on the west bank who were not involved in oct. 7. If Israel does not go in and finish off hamas regardless of problems this situation will only get worse. Most young americans want a ceasefire and the rabid Israel supporters ( I am a reluctant Israel supporter who knows hamas must be destroyed) Calling them anti-semites and hamas supporters will backfire as calling anti-vietnam war protesters communists did 50 years ago. I don’t want a modern day kent state.

    asset (50362e)

  107. Biden’s Immunity Claim Accepted by the DOJ. They’re literally going with “Too Incompetent to Stand Trial”

    SaveFarris (79ab12) — 2/8/2024 @ 1:34 pm

    The DOJ has long held (since 1973) that an “indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions,” so no matter what the special counsel said, there was never going to be a prosecution of President Biden.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  108. Laws about ELECTIONS FOR DELEGATES TO NATIONAL CONVENTIONS are not binding on political parties

    Really? So the GOP can have an official “No Women” rule?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  109. Really? So the GOP can have an official “No Women” rule?

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/8/2024 @ 2:52 pm

    Probably, since political parties are private organizations.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  110. Out of fairness to whembly, I am going to highlight the charges Merchant is making that matter:

    Willis and Wade claim they did not have a personal, romantic relationship before Willis appointed Wade as a special prosecutor, but Terrence Bradley (“Bradley”) will refute that claim. Bradley is an attorney and a member of the Georgia Bar. Bradley and Wade were friends and business associates. Bradley has non-privileged, personal knowledge that the romantic relationship between Wade and Willis began prior to Willis being sworn as the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia in January 2021. Thus, Bradley can confirm that Willis contracted with Wade after Wade and Willis began a romantic relationship, thus rebutting Wade’s claim in his affidavit that they did not start dating until 2022. Bradley obtained information about the relationship between Wade and Willis directly from Wade when Wade was not seeking legal advice from Bradley. Bradley obtained this information in a personal capacity as Wade’s friend prior to Wade’s decision to file for divorce. While Bradley would later represent Wade for a time in his divorce proceeding, the information about the relationship was obtained prior to any attorney-client relationship beginning, and none of Bradley’s testimony will relate to any privileged attorney-client communications or work product. Bradley also has personal knowledge that Wade and Willis regularly stayed together at her home until Willis’ father moved into her home sometime in 2020.

    Robin Yeartie (“Yeartie”) was an employee of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and long-time friend of Willis. Yeartie and Willis lived together for a time in a residence in the East Point/Hapeville area of Fulton County. When Yeartie moved out, Willis continued living at the residence. Bradley will confirm that Willis and Wade stayed together at this apartment until Yeartie’s employment was terminated in the Fall of 2022, at which time Willis and Wade began staying in what was known commonly as a “safehouse” that Fulton County, Georgia rented for Willis. Willis and Wade stayed together at both residences regularly.

    While these sound like witnesses with axes to grind, this is material to Merchant’s filings and the case she wants to make. If the court decides that the Wade Willis relationship does not matter at all, it needs to make that official now and cancel the hearing. If it is undecided about that, it needs to hold a hearing with the cameras off and in private. (Fulton County proceedings are televised). Willis will not escape scrutiny — there is a committee of the State Leg that wants to hear from her.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  111. Here is the local paper reporting on the Fani Willis hearing:

    https://www.ajc.com/politics/blockbuster-hearing-could-be-key-moment-in-fulton-trump-case/TTBDNW7LYFDURMSX7ZDREV2H6E/

    It notes that the filings have become bitter and personal and that’s unusual. (Not surprising, though, given the nature of the accusations). Also noted, look for some rulings today.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  112. Today? So they don’t observe Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday in Georgia, eh?

    nk (4f0857)

  113. #112

    One of the laughs in this family is that my wife and I were going through a town in Maine, and she observed that I needed to look, because they had Confederate War Memorials too.

    Took me a while before I was fit to drive again….

    Appalled (03f53c)

  114. Probably, since political parties are private organizations.

    That argument as struck down in the 60’s when previously all-white primaries were opened to black voters. Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  115. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/12/2024 @ 9:45 am

    That argument as struck down in the 60’s when previously all-white primaries were opened to black voters. Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    That was because it was a state run primary and even the smaller Texas system was struk down.

    But conventions are completely unofficial. And don’t have a direct connection to name n the ballot. The state can run ap rimary and a party can use a caucus or select other delegates.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  116. ooooof…

    NEW: Judge in the Georgia criminal case against President Trump says “I think it’s possible that the facts alleged could result in disqualification [for Fani Willis]. I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations” pic.twitter.com/TkP2nDQAxX

    — Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 12, 2024

    whembly (5f7596)

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