Sunday, January 31, 2016

More grist for the law professors' mill-- indicting a presidential candidate


Over at the New Reform Club, Seth Barrett Tillman argues that law professors and media commentators are wasting their time speculating about Ted Cruz's eligibility, when there is an even more complicated set of issues that could provide endless grist for the scholarly mill: He asks what would happen if a major party candidate (say, Hillary Clinton) were indicted and/or convicted (a) before the party convention, (b) before the November election, (c) before the electors meet, (d) before inauguration, or (e) after inauguration.

Tillman's post is designed to generate discussion of Clinton's particular case. But the legal issues are more general. Although I doubt that Hillary Clinton will be indicted, you may recall that in August of 2015, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had announced his candidacy, was indicted by a Texas grand jury. He quickly dropped out of the race, but his legal troubles continue. If you don't like using Clinton as an example because you think she's been treated unfairly, imagine that Donald Trump or Marco Rubio were indicted for shady business dealings.  Tillman is certainly right that the legal issues are at least as interesting as the meaning of "natural born citizen."

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