Monday, September 26, 2016
Presidential Tax Returns and the Constitution
Gerard N. Magliocca
A significant criticism of Donald Trump is that he has not released his tax returns (which I'm sure are amazing and fantastic if only we could see them). There has been a convention in recent decades that presidential candidates should release their tax returns. Why? Because Richard Nixon was accused of tax evasion while he was President. I'm not a tax expert, but my understanding is that Nixon took questionable deductions (one was for donating his vice-presidential papers) that got him in trouble.
Trump's refusal to release his tax returns may very well be a matter of principal [no sic!] as they may demonstrate that he lacks the principal to be a billionaire to the extent he has claimed. Such a release would be Trump self-branding himself as a LOSER.
Certainly if Trump wins the election, and nearly certainly even if he doesn't, the House will be controlled by Rs. Given the way they've rallied behind Trump, I can't see this or any other impeachment absent something both public and shocking even by his low standards.
I concur on that, without the dig.
Further, going after Trump for his tax returns over Trump U would be clearly pretextual, given his arm's length relationship, and since the IRS has a copy, and, IIRC, subpoenas are one of the exceptions to IRS privacy regulations. If they want his returns, they don't ask him, they ask the IRS. I doubt the IRS has destroyed THOSE records.
It's extremely unlikely there's anything there that's hugely embarrassing, given that the IRS is largely run by Democrats, and nothing has leaked as yet. He has been audited over and over, and if it has ever uncovered anything significant, it has been kept remarkably quiet.
Perhaps Brett has information about such "arm's length relationship" he could share with us that might dispute certain recent investigative reports that Trump Foundations funds were used to pay business obligations of Trump's businesses. As to Brett's comments on audits, has Trump made statements about what was or was not uncovered on Trump's audited returns? In fact ther are new revelations that Trump had certain payments due his businesses paid to his Foundation, perhaps to avoid income taxes on earned income. As I noted earlier, Trump's refusals to release his tax returns is a matter of principal [no sic!}.
I agree with Mark Field that House Republicans are supportive of Trump enough (only stronger if Trump has the mandate of an election behind him) that an impeachment is unlikely unless something significantly public and shocking occurs.
And, "shocking" given Trump being elected will mean pretty much so. It would be something that occurs during his term of office most definitely and office related unless we are talking something like a violent felony or something. OTOH, Republicans would be somewhat more open to impeaching Hillary Clinton, her election less notable.
I think it a bit silly really to think something like Trump's tax forms or whatever will be the "out" even as far as Republicans getting Mike Pence in control. BTW, Nixon released his forms while being audited.
As I recall, the votes against the Nixon tax evasion charge were a combination of members who thought that the evidence was insufficient and those who thought that the charge, even if true, did not constitute an impeachable offense. Elizabeth Holtzman claimed during the Clinton impeachment that the committee's rejection of this charge established that a "personal" crime was not impeachable (though she left out the fact that she voted for it).
Brett is correct that congressional committees sometimes get tax records by requesting them from the IRS, though only certain committees (such as Ways and Means) have standing authority to obtain such records.
In the event that Trump wins, we will see how vigorous congressional oversight will be. Neither party has covered itself in glory with respect to overseeing the behavior of their own party's administration, but this time could be different. We will see.
That Mike Pence "out" referenced by Joe (assuming House Republican impeached a President Trum), might be thwarted by Democrats in the Senate to let a Republican President play out his term to impact the future of the Republican Party.
Perhaps mls has some inside info from his staff days regarding the leaking of IRS returns by the committees referenced. Brett seems of the view that if Trump's tax returns had negative info, such would have been leaked.
Why precisely would a GOP Congress subpoena a GOP president's tax records?
In any case, Congress has done nothing in the past to use its kmpeachment power or more reasonably its power of the purse to enforce its subpoenas.
Pence's gambit: allow minority in Congress to establish an investigation of Trump, pass legislation giving that group power to decide whether Trump is able to discharge his duties, convince cabinet members of the same, then deliver message to Congress that he's taking the reins. Profit?
"Perhaps Brett has information about such "arm's length relationship" he could share with us that might dispute certain recent investigative reports that Trump Foundations funds were used to pay business obligations of Trump's businesses."
An arms length relationship doesn't mean he didn't profit from it, just that he wasn't involved in the day to day running of it. Trump appears to follow this business model quite often where he trades the use of his name for a fixed cut of a business' cash flow, without otherwise being involved. Such was the case with Trump University.
Other businesses he runs more directly, mostly related to his core competency of the building and hotel/casino trade.
Really, you shouldn't comment on his business dealings without being aware of this rather public info about them, that makes sense of a lot of the charges against him.
Stayed up to watch the debate. Not very impressive. Both of them did what they needed to do, but no more. Clinton got through the night without a collapse. (Though her eye did wander at times, it wasn't too bad.) Trump didn't come across as a monster.
Yes, she definitely established that she was more the policy wonk, but nobody doubts that. As Trump says, she's got plenty of experience, but it's bad experience. People who oppose her think she's a policy wonk with bad judgement and a lack of scruples, not that she's ignorant or incompetent.
Likewise, nobody thinks Trump is a policy wonk. You can hire wonks to work for you. They think he's got more scruples than Clinton, (Admittedly a low bar.) and the right intentions. The fear about Trump relates to his temperament. He passed that bar last night, too.
I think they've both relieved the fears their potential supporters might have, while doing nothing to peel loose the other candidate's supporters. They've both just firmed up their own bases, that's all.
"Clinton got through the night without a collapse. (Though her eye did wander at times, it wasn't too bad.) "
Mark them well. Trump is two years older than Hillary. Last night she stood erect with solid posture all night while Trump slouched supporting himself via his arms on his podium for much of the night. Early he got a glass of water, his hand visibly shook holding it, and he quickly put it down. But the partisans have a meme to push about HRC's health so we see how that works.
The partisans have a meme push about HRC's health because she collapsed in public. That does tend to cause concerns about your health.
I didn't notice Trump's hand shaking, but that's possibly because I was watching Hillary's eye wandering. Both of them are elderly, I should hope to be as health as either at their age.
Perhaps they can agree to each be examined by independent doctors, to lay the rumors to rest.
I think technically HTC won. Trump seemed more flustered and spending time walking away from past remarks and positions. The refusal to release his returns and the stiffing charge were played well.
Trump did well at times though, especially by focusing on trade and taking a Jerry Brown-Sanders view with no apologies. Trade is a great wedge issue for a Republican but their normal free market fundamentalism has kept them from taking advantage of it. Trumps willingness to think outside that could be a real plus. And whenever he discussed it he mentioned manufacturing swing states. Well played.
The partisans have a meme push about HRC's health because she collapsed in public.
Lie, those rumors were being pushed well before that.
Of course, Hillary "won," by any objective standard. But the only important question is whether the debate turned any undecided people into Hillary voters. I have no way to know how the debate affected such people.
As for trade, Paul Krugman, at his NY Times blog, writes:
Trump’s whole view on trade is that other people are taking advantage of us — that it’s all about dominance, and that we’re weak. And even if you think we’ve pushed globalization too far, even if you are worried about the effects of trade on income distribution, that’s just a foolish way to think about the problem.
So don’t score Trump as somehow winning on trade. Yes, he blustered more confidently on that subject than on anything else. But he was talking absolute garbage even there.
Whether his proposed fixes would 'work' is not ultimately important politically. What is is that it's a textbook wedge that no recent Rep has been bold enough to use. But Trump is, and that's potentially astute of him
Mista Whiskas, she got a closed head injury several years ago, with a slow and questionable recovery, so the public collapse just revived justified concerns.
I know you don't like the fact that there are indications she's concealing something neurological, like maybe an inoperable blood clot, (She's on a blood thinner.) but that doesn't mean they're not there.
I would say there's no indication that she's suffering from any kind of dementia, more likely something motor related. I don't actually think it's anything that disqualifies you from being President, more like something that makes her choice of VP more important.
But her age, both their ages, is enough to do that.
I understand the Oxford English dictionary is considering adding "TrumPence" to replace "tuppence." But The Donald is a man of principal on not releasing his tax returns.
Brett's understanding of "arm's length" regarding private foundation tax law seems premised on The Donald's small hands/fingers.
By the Bybee [expletives deleted], does The Donald's coif cover an open head injury? The Donald should be as transparent as Brett on this aspect.
Brett, these rumors are almost ridiculously baseless save for arm chair medical practitioners analogous to your arm chair legal analysis. I mean 'blood thinner...might be blood clot...' Trump is, according to his 'doctors note' on a 'blood thinner' (a daily baby aspirin), so I guess he might have a blood clot too. We can gin the innuendo machine up now analogously, I mean, was his inability to support himself through the debate last night and shaking hands due to a blood clot (we know he takes a blood thinner after all!) or some other concealed condition? We're just asking questions here, you know...
That she's on a prescription blood thinner isn't a rumor. She's stated on TV that she expects to be on one for the rest of her life. Nothing like baby asprin, (Which is just a general precaution.) she's on the kind of blood thinner my mom was on, the kind where you need regular monitoring, and they only put you on that if you're at risk from clots.
But, yeah, if you don't want to be serious, you can make out like Trump has health problems, too. I don't care, as I've already said, they're both in fairly decent shape for their ages, which are advanced enough that if either is elected, their VP stands a good chance of being needed.
I really only brought it up to point out that by holding up through the debate, she'd put that one to rest for a while.
"Nothing like baby asprin"
Actually, similar drugs. But even this tossed on wall doesn't help you as Trump's 'doctor's note' also stated Trump was on a statin as well. Do you think the condition for which he takes his prescribed blood thinner is what made his hand shake and him unable to stand erect without supporting himself last nite? I think I'll do a google of those three facts/symptoms and see what condition they may indicate. Then we can take the more serious ones and start to ask questions about whether Trump is suffering from them and maybe that's why he's hiding medical records from the public!
Brett continues to grade Trump on a cover including the "policy wonk" comment as if the problem for critics is that Trump isn't quite as detailed orientated as Clinton or an average newbie member of a city council or something.
Having a Gary Johnson (having a few moments of late) supporter call him out repeatedly is particularly interesting. It is correct as said supporter notes that actual good policy isn't the only concern for voters, so being "foolish" (if so, well, Trump, you know ...) alone isn't all that matters there.
To recall the subject of this post, tax information for decades has been seen as an appropriate means for the electorate to be educated about their candidates. When the person only has his business career to show people, it is that much more important. Even put aside reports that there is evidence of violation of tax laws; would not want to accuse him of being a criminal without appropriate information. And, Clinton provides LOADS of stuff isn't deemed enough if she "hides" other stuff. But, perhaps special rules are being applied there.
In the past, as well, it was noted that as an outsider, Trump would be more open to impeachment. It appears Mark Field's comment that he only would be impeached for something really bad was agreed upon. So, that's one less check though as noted there are also investigations, though apparently Clinton and Obama handled them for two terms.
"a cover"? curve ... I noticed moderation kicked in after 48 hours in a recent post but a few more comments were let thru. As suggested by one of them, hopefully Sandy Levinson relaxed during the debate with some wine or the beverage of his choice.
Worst presidential debate in my lifetime. Clinton cannot speak plain english to save her life and Trump offers run on sentences which often veer into incomprehensibility.
That being said, the Hillary and the Donald both said what their core constituencies wanted to hear. Clinton has a plan for everything and Trump is a business man who can clean up the messes created by those plans.
I am unsure whether thus debate moves the horserace one way or another. The GOP debates did not, where Cruz, Rubio and Bush did a better job getting after Trump than did Clinton.
Yes, Brett suggested that Sandy relax with some wine during the debate. Brett seems to have chosen bourbon (Jack Daniels, the brand inspired by a slave?) and whines post-debate.
I think they both solidified their bases, probably to Johnson's detriment. But Trump screwed up supporting the use of the no-fly list for regulating who can buy guns, because his base includes gun owners, who won't be amused by that.
I continue to think Trump has good advisors, and will be a decent President if he listens to them, but I'm not going to claim he's got good instincts on everything. He certainly does not.
What's your problem, you think I ought to be a mindless booster of the candidate I've chosen to support?
We're faced with a horrible choice this year, and I've chosen my side, and I am not obligated to pretend the candidate I'm supporting isn't a lousy candidate. Some more honesty on that score would be good all around. People who insist on pretending Hillary isn't also awful just beclown themselves, given all we know about her.
I can understand preferring her if you've got a strong preference for left-wing policies, and don't really care much about corruption in government. But pretending that she's some kind of plaster saint just makes you look silly.
I don't care to lie about Trump. He's not remotely my ideal candidate.
The problem is the strawman that the main concern is you think Trump is your "ideal candidate" so pointing out that "I'm not going to claim he's got good instincts on everything" is supposed to be something less than amusing.
The policy wonk comment hits to my basic concern -- the lack of perspective being applied here. The average Clinton supporter, though some do really respect her or at least think she is quite qualified, don't treat her like a "saint." You lack perspective about her, thinking her so horrible, that in effect those who don't think she is a secular devil probably seem to you to think that.
The corruption point, e.g. If someone was determined to vote on that issue, Trump is not someone I'd think the objective voter would be that promising. Nor those who think Clinton is hiding stuff. Or, any number of other things. It is not that people don't care about such things. They don't agree with you on the merits and factoring in everything think Clinton (or Johnson for Mr. W.) is the better choice.
I welcome more honesty though I don't think you are lying. I don't even know how much Trump is lying a lot of the time. B.s. is different from lies.
Trump is not a politician, and so he does not speak as a politician speaks.
Politicians get used to the idea that, when they say something, each individual part of it is going to be subject to criticism out of context from the rest of it. So they tend to carefully parse their words. This doesn't necessarily mean they tell the truth, but they speak so that they can defend the individual pieces, not just the whole.
Outside of politics, and I suppose law, this is not how people talk. People tend to speak in a manner that approaches what they mean by successive approximation. They'll overstate something, then backtrack. They'll say things which would be false taken literally, knowing that the people they're speaking to are actually making an effort to understand them, and will not hold hyperbole or figurative speech against them.
This is the manner in which Trump speaks. It makes him easy to attack among people whose lives are politics, but such attacks don't bother his supporters, because his supporters are not parsing everything he says from a, "How can I interpret this to make Trump look as bad as possible" perspective. They are interpreting it to understand him.
And, yeah, there's some BS involved.
Hillary, of course, IS a politician, and when she says something that's literally false, it's generally going to be a conscious lie, not hyperbole. When she says that Comey confirmed she was telling the truth about her email, that wasn't some attempt to approach the truth by successive approximation, where when challenged she'd back track. She was just lying.
Let's concede Trump just talks the way you describe. But he's going in for a job, the top job, in a field which, as you concede, everyone talks differently, more carefully, than that. Given that a huge role of the job he's seeking is to act as a sort of political spokesperson for the nation and master of ceremonies, isn't his inability to talk the way people in that profession talk going to be a major disqualified? When he offends state dinner after state dinner, the excuse 'well, he just doesn't know how to talk like people in this job talk' isn't going to be very helpful.
Just like after the GOP debates, Trump is dominating the post-debate snap polls. The one significant outlier was the CBS poll, which was a pure Dem media propaganda effort using a massively Democrat pool of voters who came into the debate +25% Clinton.
Either the Trump supporters troll these polls, even at the leftist sites, or the man really does speak to a large number of people.
I assume that if he's speaking at a state dinner, and a diplomat intends to be offended, that it doesn't much matter what Trump says, he'll be offended. That's what is going on here, people being offended by what Trump says because they meant to be offended.
What's promising is that Trump may be willing to diplomatically offend people who ought to be offended.
Mr. W: isn't his inability to talk the way people in that profession talk going to be a major disqualified?
Not among a plurality or even a majority of the voters.
The American people so widely believe that the nation is on the wrong track and so widely loathe the professional ruling class driving the train that simply speaking differently, if somewhat incoherently, is apparently a positive among much of the electorate.
Yes Brett, the willingness to offend other nation's heads of states and diplomats, and through them their people, is going to be great for us. You might even say huuuge? Because diplomatic offenses never lead to international disasters, and most of those that did deserved the slight!
This is what my grandma called 'dead right,' at best.
"Trump supporters troll these polls, even at the leftist sites"
Could this have been (unintentionally funnier) for here?
I'll give you an example. It would probably offend the Nigerian ambassador if Trump were to say, "Computer scams are a major source of your foreign exchange, and everybody knows you're not making any effort to stop them."
But, why should the President of the United States be afraid to confront Nigeria over this?
Brett philosophizes some, latching on to a piece of my comment, skipping over the overall content about his lack of perspective. My comments there hold.
I would note that this does go to what comes off some support of Trump and what he stands for. He has received criticism here for that and contra now and then saying Trump is "horrible" or some similar adjective, the general impression ... as he yet again says here ... is that he thinks Trump could be "decent" as a President. I simply don't see that level of equanimity regarding Hillary Clinton.
Mr. W. is correct that Trump is running for a job and it requires in part being a politician, even if that animal is unsavory to some people. Along with the ability to listen to advisors/delegate etc.* enough (which even Brett cites as a requirement), Trump is seriously lacking here on balance. It is part of what people who don't think Clinton (or Johnson) are "saints" or "love government" or "don't care about corruption" use to determine Trump is a bad bet here.
The average person are not the b.s. artists of the level of Trump, don't think it's about politics or law. If we want to be philosophical, his tendencies seem that of a salesman (positive) or huckster/con artist (negative). A lot of puffery and selling an idea. There is something of an overlap to a politician there which suggests perhaps why he is having success. But, again, an objective outsider who "hates politics" might find this troubling too. ymmv.
It's easy to attack him both for that generally (his overall TYPE) and because HE PERSONALLY takes things so far. It is not just something "the left" sees either. This includes the scope of the opposition.
* And, looking at the people he chose here, an objective outside would find them a dubious mix. Mike Pence very well might appeal to a certain breed of conservative. But, consider, Chris Christie, chosen for the transition team if Trump wins. If corruption in government is your concern, THIS GUY isn't really the person you want in that significant position. People with connections to Russia also are not great if you fear foreign actors will have undue influence either.
BTW, Trump is a politician now & when it suits, his people praise his abilities there. So, we are really talking scope there. Ditto the Nigerian thing. Since the beginning, foreign policy included criticizing foreign nations in various respects. The idea this isn't done and Trump boorish comments of that sort will be some improvement is a rather simplistic view of how things work.
When I think of a Trump foreign policy, I recall Nixon and the Soviets during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. When the Israelis counter-attacked, Egyptian anti-tank missiles destroyed the majority of the Israeli tanks and the Russians were threatening to send paratroops into the Middle East. Nixon responded by raising our nuclear alert level to DefCon 3 while we replaced the Israeli tanks out of our NATO stockpiles. This scared the hell out of the Kremlin and they backed down.
If the voters elect Trump, I suspect our enemies and our allies will be extremely wary because they will have no idea how the president-elect will use American hard power. If Trump hires a good foreign policy team, they could use this wariness to our benefit.
Clinton is a known quantity who comes on hard initially, but has no staying power. See Iran, Libya and Syria. Our enemies will wait out her opening moves before pushing against our interests again. They play the long game.
Because we might need Nigeria's cooperation in combatting international terrorism, stabilizing oil markets, etc, and that kind of offense undercuts US support in those nations for cooperation on those things
Mista Whiskas said... Because we might need Nigeria's cooperation in combatting international terrorism, stabilizing oil markets, etc, and that kind of offense undercuts US support in those nations for cooperation on those things
If you make an example out of one outlaw country, the others get a clue.
Your idea of invading a country and building it back to teach 'outlaw' (here I was just talking about nations not working with us on what should be common goals, that's only 'outlaw' to the rankest imperialist) nations a lesson failed so miserably that both major party candidates argued over one another trying to out deny their past support for it.
Mr. W: Your idea of invading a country and building it back to teach 'outlaw'
When did I ever suggest military action?
The US runs or has enormous influence over the world financial and trade systems. Thus, we enjoy dozens of levers to reward our friends and punish those who screw with us, without putting a single boot on the ground.
I've discussed how I've come to realize that Bart is a wannabe dictator at heart, and all his hyperbole about the political realities he opposes as 'tyrannical' and 'dictatorial' makes sense once you realize it's a projection of his own 'will to power.' Domestically, what Bary calls 'tyranny' and 'dictatorship' is clearly that the majority of the public don't want what he's selling. He concedes that a new executive could reverse Obama's 'diktats' and that tomorrow Congress and a willing President could reverse what he calls the 'bureaucratic dictatorship.' His gripe is that because they don't do what Bart wants its proof of dictatorship, if they, or even some non-majoritarian process, decided to do what Bart wants, it'd be proof it's not a dictatorship. It's the projection of his dictatorial mindset on his enemies.
But look how much more in the style of the old Roman emperor is Bart's foreign policy ideas. Brett scoffs at our potential Baboon in Chief offending Nigeria. As is Brett's way, he couldn't have chosen a better example than Nigeria to undercut his own example. Oil rich and currently split Muslim and Christian with the latter barely holding on to power, it's critical for us to win the 'hearts and minds' of this nation. If we undercut the pro-Western factions there we deliver this nation into civil war and/or the hands of Islamic radicalism. This would disrupt oil markets and provide a haven for terrorists.
Bart compounds Brett's stupidity here with his display of his imperial will to power: if Nigeria dares be offended by our leaders offending them and shrinks in their resolve to do our bidding, then we should consider them an 'outlaw' nation and 'punish' them using our raw military or financial power. No cooperation among independent and free nations, but a yoke to which other nations must be out by naked power. That's Bart vision, the finest in imperial Roman more mindset.
About the debate...I think it's hard to argue,even conceding arguendo the usual points made against inclusion of third party candidates, that the debate would have suffered by including Johnson. Both HRC and Trump repeated themselves, meandered and talked over each other. There was plenty of time to have included Johnson without taking much if anything away from the public hearing the other two out. I continue to hold that any candidate on enough ballots to win election should at the least be invited to the first debate, even if you relegated their time to a percent commensurate with what they're polling. Otherwise a self fulfilling prophecy takes place and the debates become a kind of contribution to the big two parties from the media companies that produce and air the debate.
"any candidate on enough ballots to win election"
Not sure what this means. At the very least, you have to include Jill Stein. Four candidates alone very well could have reduced time for the two top tier candidates (who realistically will be the ones who win in each state; Johnson winning enough to be a spoiler being possible at best) to do what the debate is there to do.
And, since Johnson and Stein really has no shot at winning, why would just getting on ballots to do so theoretically be the test? The only shot for Johnson really is to play spoiler. Well, Evan McMullin dreams of doing that. So, why not include him? He's on the ballot on a few states, enough to spoiler in theory, and it is "self-fulling" to say he doesn't have enough support, right? The debate will help him.
The debate system along with the current electoral system does benefit the two party system, true enough, but having five candidates at the debate would have issues too. I think it's okay to include the third party candidates in one of the debates myself. It would add to the overall experience to have different perspectives there. Wouldn't be the first debate and again figure at least four, maybe five (and if a tiny chance to win is enough, can see people arguing for more -- if some candidate is on over twenty ballots, is that enough?) be there.
ETA: People are always going to "meander" etc. during debates. If you have less time, they will still do that, crowding out other stuff. So, e.g., Trump liked when there was a crowd as compared to three candidates alone to focus things on him. Thus, I'd push back a bit on the "plenty" of time bit.
Read the Constitution.
Apart from the handful of powers and checks Article I grants Congress, Article II puts the President in charge of foreign policy. This is not a dictatorship, but rather the natural job of a head of state.
Next, the Constitution expressly limits rights to the People of the United States and grants nothing to foreign nations or nationals. The President exercising the power of the United States against our rivals and enemies (and any nation or group which harms Americans is an enemy) to advance the interests of the United States is also not a dictatorship.
Once again, a dictatorship is the executive exercising the powers of the legislature and judiciary to rule by decree over the People.
I hope that clarifies things for you.
Perhaps SPAM I AM! can inform us exactly how the Constitution provides for the "People of the United States" to exercise rights they are expressly granted, rights they alone have according to SPAM I AM! And just how, under the Constitution, do the "People of the United States" accomplish this, by unanimity, by a majority, by a supermajority? In the past SPAM I AM! has suggested "armed revolution" as an alternative to governance that SPAM I AM! looks upon as a dictatorship. Does the Constitution provide for this? Of course SPAM I AM! does not speak for the "People of the United States" (nor do I).
Check out this Harvard Law Review Note "The Meaning(s) of 'The People' in the Constitution" at:
SPAM I AM! can be expected to respond with his "Dick-Tater Head" rants unless moderation provides relief.
Yes, as things stand, Johnson and Stein have no chance of carrying any state. For Stein this is because there just isn't much support for European "Green" politics in America.
For Johnson, (Much as I think he's a terrible fit to the LP.) it's because "as things stand" includes being excluded from the debates and almost all campaign coverage. The exclusion of 3rd party candidates from the debates is an explicit cartel measure adopted by the top two parties to prevent upstart parties from gaining on them. It really has no other purpose, there has never, so far as I know, been more than 4 candidates on the ballot in enough states to theoretically win, and that's a perfectly manageable number for a candidate debate or forum. A properly conducted debate, I mean, like the League did, not these modern travesties.
I say this even though I'm horrified that, in the year when the major parties both picked candidates unpopular enough that the LP had a shot, they went and nominated somebody who wasn't remotely a libertarian. It's just a fact: If you can poll double digits in some states even being barred from candidate forums and airbrushed out of most of the coverage, given fair treatment you'd be a real contender.
The Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates exists solely to make sure candidates like Johnson don't get exposure. That's all. Everybody thought the League was doing a fabulous job with the debates until they dared to try to include Ron Paul.
Brett's 11:07 AM comment closes with this:
"I don't care to lie about Trump. He's not remotely my ideal candidate."
This suggests a contest, subject to moderation of course, on who might be Brett's "ideal candidate." I'll let the usual suspects duke it out.
Well, I was really looking forward to voting for Rand Paul, until he dropped out. Not quite as principled as his father, but still better than your average Republican.
I see Trump has taken the trouble to explain his support of the no-fly list. Notice that the Democrats quoted thought that it was an outrage to modify the list to provide for due process protections...
Perhaps those who have read the Constitution might check out at the Legal History Blog its post on Michael J. Klarman's "The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution" with the book description that might raise some eyebrows. I await reviews.
Bart, you're so much of the mindset of a Roman imperialist you don't even get the nature of my comment, which is not about the authority of the President to direct our nation to engage in crass, punitive imperialistic fashion but about the *morality* of doing so. Of course, authoritarian personality types eschew morality for the worship of the exercise of power.
But even on the ground you confusedly, absent any moral compass, wander to, you're still wrong. The President is given some areas to direct foreign policy (such as appointing our and accepting others ambassadors and being the commander in chief *when called into service*), but Congress is still granted the power of the 'big choices' of foreign policy (ex declaration of war).
Furthermore, most meaningful options the President could use in this area would require either Congress use some Art I or Treaty Power to effectuate it, and ultimately there's pretty much no non-ceremonial power in foreign policy the President can exercise if Congress ties up the purse strings on him or her!
Ron Paul has demonstrated his principal [no sic] since dropping out of direct politics. But was Ron more principled on race [see Ron's newsletters] than his son? I can understand Brett's obvious greater devotion to Ron who borders on The Donald's attracting older undereducated white men who loathe and fear the changing demographics.
Brett's "... but still better than your average Republican." praise for Rand calls for another content to describe the "average Republican" in attempts to identify other Republicans who may be better or worse.
Brett, what about Johnson galls your libertarian philosophy? As Governor he vetoed an unprecedented number of spending bills and started one of the largest privatization efforts at the state level in a while. I can't think of a fiscal area where he doesn't trump Trump on libertarian grounds. What social policy evil makes him so beyond the pale for you that you'd turn to someone you admit is non libertarian, not an ideal candidate for you?
"Once again, a dictatorship is the executive exercising the powers of the legislature and judiciary to rule by decree over the People."
Not if 1. the legislature delegates the power exercised along with guiding principles which can be, and are commonly, invoked to curtail overreach on the part of the executive and 2. the quasi-judicial decisions of the executive are appealable to the courts of the independent judiciary, which commonly rules against the executive. That's what exists today, and it's only 'dictatorship' in the minds of a madman or the hyperbolic propaganda of an unprincipled partisan.
Shag, your determination to see anybody who disagrees with you as a racist continues.
Johnson is terrible on freedom of association. Traditionally Libertarians have always understood freedom of association to be more important than non-discrimination, at least for the private sector. (Government being an exception because you have no choice about associating with it.)
Johnson is terrible on the 2nd amendment. The LP I was a member of was more principled on guns than the NRA. Not anymore, I guess.
He's pretty bad on freedom of religion, too.
On eminent domain.
Wants Planned Parenthood funded with tax money. Libertarians are not, traditionally, in favor of taxing people to hand the money to causes they abhor.
Johnson is going to lose, that's a given. If he were a principled Libertarian, I could feel good about casting a protest vote for him, anyway. But a "Libertarian" as unprincipled as him makes a lousy protest vote, so I might as well vote for the lesser evil among the evils that can get elected, there not being a *good* candidate on the ballot this year.
For the Downton Abbey fans here:
Imagine a viewer of the show remarks: Lord Crawley allows head butler Carson to 1. Decide many day to day matters pertaining to the state, but within a guiding principle laid down by Lord Crawley, and often Crawley finds Carson has indeed run afoul of these principles and he reversed the butler's decisions (for example, he told Carson he could make purchasing choices for the furnishing of the estate 'provided they're made in accordance with contemporary senses of fashion' and when the conservative Carson chose those hideously out of date curtains Crawley forced him to return them and purchase something more up to date) and 2. Lord Crawley grants head butler Carson to immediately decide disrupted between staff, but the staff can appeal Carson's resolutions of disputes to Lord Crawley, who can reverse them and commonly does (as when he overruled his decision forbidding Daisy from studying during down times in the estates' kitchen).
Only a madman with an insanely idiosyncratic grasp of what the word means in ordinary or academic use or an anti-Carson partisan with a grudge against the fellow and in a hyperbolic rant would call head butler Carson the 'dictator' of Downton Abbey.
Brett, where's Johnson terrible on the 2nd Amendment? That's news to me.
And I think his PP position is it shouldn't be singled out for exclusion when grants are given out because it engaged in constitutionally protected activity. You wouldn't want the NRA to be excluded from a government grant to promote gun safety based on the grounds that to many people some other things the NRA engages in are abhorred by many, would you?
And I can get that he runs afoul of LP orthodoxy on association and the closely related issue of current religious freedom claims, but in what world does that match, in big government magnitude, Trump's positions on entitlements and military spending (both of which Johnson wants to take, if not an axe at least a scalpel too)?
Brett fails to mention that Johnson who made his financial stake on ganja and has pushed politically for its legalization has curtailed his partoking [sic] thereof during his campaign to demonstrate he doesn't act under its influence in his serious bid for the presidency. Some might call this hypocrazy [sic] but it's only pandering. Yet with all of Brett's criticism of Johnson, Johnson will get a greater vote for the Libertarian Party than did Ron Paul with his racist newsletters.
Brett could have mentioned that Bill Weld, the LP's VP candidate, has something in common with The Donald: they each invested in for profit education, with Weld's investment going belly up and Trump's becoming a scandal and a class action for fraud, etc.
By the Bybee [expletives deleted], is a principled libertarian an oxymoron, or is this only half right? Who recalls the old days at this Blog when Brett was a self-described anarcho libertarian? Brett now concedes he will cast his vote for an evil person:
"But a 'Libertarian' as unprincipled as him makes a lousy protest vote, so I might as well vote for the lesser evil among the evils that can get elected, there not being a 'good' candidate on the ballot this year."
who is not even an "average Republican" or in any meaningful way a libertarian.
Granted, on the 2nd amendment I had Johnson confused with his VP.
As a libertarian, I wouldn't want the NRA to be getting government grants, for much the same reason I wouldn't want the Brady Bunch to be getting them. I want a bare bones, minimal government.
Is Johnson more libertarian than Trump? Yeah, probably. But he's not libertarian enough for me to dismiss the fact that he has no chance, and throw my vote away.
A more libertarian Libertarian candidate would have been more tempting. As another lesser evil, but one with no chance of defeating the greater evil? Why bother?
The LP over the years has gone to pot and now Johnson hesitates on its use by him while he is a serious candidate. Is he suggesting that POTUS get off the pot as well?
By the Bybee [expletives deleted], it has been pointed out to Johnson that in his campaigning he has not been consistent with the LP's platform. Johnson responded that he does not feel bound/limited thereby, in particular regarding his support for the EPA (that The Donald wants to eliminate). Brett would probably regard Johnson as unprincipled on his EPA position.
Brett, that answer doesn't wash because Trump will easily win South Carolina, and you know it. He doesn't need your vote there, so you're hardly throwing it away to use it for Johnson.
You also didn't answer my question. Would you vote for a law that gave grants to any organization promoting gun safety but which specifically and only excluded the NRA because of its work in the constitutionally protected but also controversial area of 2nd Amendment rights?
I wouldn't call Johnson's MJ abstinence pledge to be pandering as much as I'd call it an unfortunate sham he felt like he had to do over the Aleppo blunder. I wouldn't find the occasional use of marihuana by a President any more troubling than the occasional imbibing of alcohol. The decriminalized nalization of pot would go a long way towards addressing the disproportionate harassment and in aeration of minorities and the poor.
I don't see why some version of the EPA can't fit properly into a LP platform. Libertarians believe government intervention to protect property and persons from the intentional or negligent acts of others is justified. Many acts of pollution involve acts of trespass or harm to persons.
"I hope that clarifies things for you."
Perhaps. Perhaps, not in the way desired.
Gary Johnson doesn't think Hillary Clinton should be arrested for the whole email thing. So, clearly in the eyes of Brett he's a lousy candidate and probably a reprobate. Plus, he picked a veep who supports Breyer and Garland. Clearly a lefty.
Since impeachment is on the table and "Downton Abbey" was referenced, looking forward to Michelle Dockery in "Good Behavior." She plays a thief and con artist. So, you know, even more germane, I guess. Yeah. About time for moderation.
BD: "Once again, a dictatorship is the executive exercising the powers of the legislature and judiciary to rule by decree over the People."
Mr. W: Not if 1. the legislature delegates the power exercised along with guiding principles which can be, and are commonly, invoked to curtail overreach on the part of the executive and
The legislature delegating the power to decree law to a dictator is precisely how a classical Roman dictatorship and our absolute bureaucracy are formed.
2. the quasi-judicial decisions of the executive are appealable to the courts of the independent judiciary, which commonly rules against the executive.
As we have discussed previously, the progressive courts routinely defer to the absolute bureaucracy and reversal is as rare as a libertarian winning election to Congress. You are not arguing against the existence of the dictatorship, but rather quibbling over its scope.
Mr. W: Bart, you're so much of the mindset of a Roman imperialist you don't even get the nature of my comment, which is not about the authority of the President to direct our nation to engage in crass, punitive imperialistic fashion but about the *morality* of doing so.
A president which is not using his or her constitutional powers to prevent foreign governments and citizens from harming Americans is not doing his or her job and is very arguably acting immorally.
The President is given some areas to direct foreign policy (such as appointing our and accepting others ambassadors and being the commander in chief *when called into service*), but Congress is still granted the power of the 'big choices' of foreign policy (ex declaration of war).
You have it ass backwards, Article II provides a broad grant of all executive and CiC powers to the president and Article I grants Congress a handful of specific powers. Where Congress does not exercise its powers, the president often has free reign.
Traditionally Libertarians have always understood freedom of association to be more important than non-discrimination
They prioritize a right that's NOT mentioned in the Constitution over one that is?
Really? Perhaps you could point to where the Constitution mentions non-discrimination by private entities. Because from what I can see, the 14th amendment explicitly applies to states.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
This was, in fact, the basis on which Goldwater opposed the 1964 Civil Rights act, that it over-reached by applying to private actors. He was right about that. Racial discrimination, like many despicable acts, is a right of free individuals.
Really. The "freedom of association" is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The right to association is surely present, sure, and the 9A alone helps there. And, reasonably enough it is seen as implied by the text of the 1A, at least for the subjects present (religion, petition etc.).
The right to not associate with customers in public accommodations is a bit harder probably. If one cares about original understanding, the power of the state to require those who choose to run public businesses that serve the public to serve all comers was accepted at least in respect to serving blacks. See, e.g., Justice Harlan's dissent in The Civil Rights Cases.
You can racially discriminate in purely private situations. For instance, you need not have friends of a certain race or welcome them into your home. OTOH, in part because of state action, public accommodations is different.
Gary Johnson has various negatives for certain libertarians, but then so does Trump. Brett is willing to support a "horrible" candidate there. It's a matter of priorities.
Putting aside the fact that you dodged the point about "freedom of association" being found nowhere in the Constitution, and putting aside the fact that you didn't mention that you only had private behavior in mind,
The "state action" doctrine of current 14th A law is judge-made. What the text actually says is that states shall not "deny" equal protection of the laws. That means that they have an affirmative obligation to enforce the equal treatment of all citizens. If they fail in that obligation -- say, by failing to enforce murder laws against lynching or by failing to provide equal education or by failing to enforce common law obligations affecting public accommodations -- then they've violated the 14th A.
The right to association is surely present, sure, and the 9A alone helps there. And, reasonably enough it is seen as implied by the text of the 1A, at least for the subjects present (religion, petition etc.).
I don't disagree with your post, particularly the point about public accommodations (see above), which completely undermines Brett's argument about the CRA.
I personally think a right to free association should be protected. Brett, however, claims to be a literalist and he regularly rejects any right not mentioned expressly. For him now to rely on unenumerated right is pretty ironic.
Brett has a right to be despicable in his views and others have the right to point out that Brett is often despicable.
"The legislature delegating the power to decree law to a dictator is precisely how a classical Roman dictatorship"
I'll correct this nonsense as many times as you put it up. The concept of a 'dictatorship' from the Roman example is one based on near complete power in the dicatator (see any definition of this term), and does not flow from the idea of what we have: the legislature delegating the power to decree law *only within intelligible guiding principles laid down by the legislature, enforceable, and commonly done so, by an independent judiciary.* You omit the critical difference in order to borrow the emotional import of your hyperbole, but you ignore it's essence, because under that your analogy is uncommonly silly and inapt.
"the progressive courts routinely defer to the absolute bureaucracy and reversal is as rare as a libertarian winning election to Congress"
Utter hogwash, and demonstrably so. You like to move the goalposts when faced with the undeniable evidence of our courts blocking executive decrees (imagine a Soviet Court blocking Stalin's decree! one can't, and this is why your attempt to borrow the emotional import of equating our system to Stalin's is otherwise uncommonly silly and inapt) by invoking ever higher criteria (economically significant decrees, for example). But you don't have that escape route here: the courts routinely overturn the decisions of administrative agencies. Many of Obama's 9-0 losses involve this, to take one set of examples.
"A president which is not using his or her constitutional powers to prevent foreign governments and citizens from harming Americans is not doing his or her job and is very arguably acting immorally."
A President is supposed to safeguard Americans, but they are not given a pass for any behavior in doing so. A President who 'safeguarded' America by turning away poor Jewish emigres fleeing the Holocaust would still be a moral monster, or one who dropped a nuclear bomb on Tehran because they took an American citizen prisoner would be as well. In the example we are talking about, we are mentioning a nation who is 1. offended by our potential Buffoon in Chief 2. because of that offense commits only the offense of *not working as vigorously as they might* to aid us, and 3. you advocate that we use our raw power to 'punish' this nation. That's immoral, and I'm sorry, but not surprised you lack the basic moral compass to recognize this. Authoritarian personality types often have this basic moral failing.
"Article II provides a broad grant of all executive and CiC powers"
You're begging the question by assuming 'executive and CiC powers' mean most foreign policy decisions. The CiC power is expressly limited to when the armed forces are called into service, it can be argued that the only express calls to service expressly recognized by the Constitution are 1. the calling of the militia into service and 2. declaration of war.
Congress is given the express, specific powers to declare war, make rules for the regulation and governance of military forces, regulation of the currency, to approve treaties, regulate foreign commerce, and other powers that would be called upon in any meaningful foreign policy. The specific and *express* powers in foreign policy granted to the President are actually quite remarkably, comparatively, trivial ones. They've been aggrandized by worshipers of Executive power such as yourself.
"The right to association is surely present, sure,"
joe, with all due respect, that's not true. The 'right to association' is nowhere mentioned in the text of the Constitution or its amendments. It's a judicially crafted derivative, a 'penumbra or emanation' if you will, of the kind that people like Brett usually mock, of what is actually mentioned.
Brett argues that non-discrimination law can't be supported by the 14th Amendment because of the 'state action' doctrine. I'll let Mark Field, who is invariably more well spoken and erudite than myself, deal with that angle. Instead, I'll note that I think most federal non-discrimination law is not based on the 14th, but on the commerce clause. Most federal non-discrimination has to do with discrimination in matters of commerce (you can't turn down a weary black man seeking lodging in your hotel,* but you can not let him in your private club).
*I use that exact example because MLK, who many modern conservatives, having given up the meme that he was a dirty, communist, philandering agitator to admit he was a great figure because some of what he said can be used against affirmative action programs, explicitly raised it in his I have a Dream Speech.
joe, if you want to bring up a right to association, you've committed no foul.
But for Brett to do the same? It's the sin box. He's mocked such extra-textual rights before, and now he actually *prioritizes* one!
We are on the same page (at least on THIS issue), Mark Field.
Mr. W., I noted it was not "explicitly" mentioned, but do think it is "present" as a component of certain things. For instance, religious associations. I have no problem really with the penumbra deal, though I think Douglas does the best job in his Poe v. Ullman dissent when he makes a more comprehensive case.
Mark Field's comments [and he correctly thinks a strong 14A case for regulations can be made, if at times calling into question current doctrine] does advance the cause. There are different ways to approach it.
Part of Brett's argument is that there is a specific liberty of non-association, a component of the right to privacy (though he might not phrase it that way), and my argument is in part to show that "public" matters are being regulated here appropriately. Defining limits there is an important part of the debate over privacy, liberty and so forth.
BD: "The legislature delegating the power to decree law to a dictator is precisely how a classical Roman dictatorship"
I'll correct this nonsense as many times as you put it up. The concept of a 'dictatorship' from the Roman example is one based on near complete power in the dicatator (see any definition of this term), and does not flow from the idea of what we have: the legislature delegating the power to decree law *only within intelligible guiding principles laid down by the legislature, enforceable, and commonly done so, by an independent judiciary.*
There is theory and reality.
I am well aware of false distinctions made by the progressive courts to rubber stamp the facially unconstitutional absolute bureaucracy. These distinctions do not exist in practice.
Congress makes incredibly broad delegations of power in their enabling statutes and then the Courts are allowing the bureaucracy to rewrite the laws of Congress to further expand those delegations and to allow dispensations from following the law. See, e.g., the Obamacare decrees and dispensations and the EPA GHG rules. Hell, an allegedly conservative Supreme Court rubber stamped the absolute bureaucracy rewriting the plain language of congressional limitation on the Obamacare subsidies to spend money Congress had not appropriated.
Where exactly are these checks you claim exist?
"imagine a Soviet Court blocking Stalin's decree! one can't"
Imagine the Supreme Court blocking an Obamacare decree.
Now, imagine a Supreme Court appointed by any Democrat blocking ANY decree of the absolute bureaucracy!
Professor Balkin gets this reality and is openly calling for the courts appointed by Democrats to rubber stamp decrees of the absolute bureaucracy to allow a somewhat misnamed "presidential governance" of the nation. Is Jack being "silly and inapt?"
BD: "Article II provides a broad grant of all executive and CiC powers"
You're begging the question by assuming 'executive and CiC powers' mean most foreign policy decisions.
Me and every single court recognizes that the president exercised all foreign policy powers not expressly granted to Congress and some of those granted to Congress when Congress does not act.
This issue is not even in dispute outside of your mind.
Congress is given the express, specific powers to declare war, make rules for the regulation and governance of military forces, regulation of the currency, to approve treaties, regulate foreign commerce, and other powers that would be called upon in any meaningful foreign policy. The specific and *express* powers in foreign policy granted to the President are actually quite remarkably, comparatively, trivial ones.
As CiC, the President has the power to employ the forces under his command to defend the nation against those making war upon us. The president may not start a war with our a congressional declaration. Once the war is legally underway, the president has almost complete discretion on how, where and when to wage the war.
Congress has the power to enact regulations to maintain military order and discipline. (See the UCMJ) Where Congress declines to act in this area, the President may do so. This Article I power does not extend to commanding our military forces.
The president determines our foreign relations with other nations and makes treaties. Congress has no power to determine relations or make treaties. However, the Senate must approve a treaty before it becomes legally binding on the United States.
Congress can regulate private commerce. When we are at war, the president can blockade commerce with and any travel to and from enemy nations and their allies.
"The "state action" doctrine of current 14th A law is judge-made. What the text actually says is that states shall not "deny" equal protection of the laws. That means that they have an affirmative obligation to enforce the equal treatment of all citizens. If they fail in that obligation -- say, by failing to enforce murder laws against lynching or by failing to provide equal education or by failing to enforce common law obligations affecting public accommodations -- then they've violated the 14th A."
Right. So the government going after your murderer is a "privilege or immunity". Is the government going after somebody who doesn't want to sell you a cake? I don't think so.
Libertarians oppose public accommodation laws. Or used to, anyway.
I have Trumpian stamina Bart, and I will keep swatting down this nonsense as much as you put it up.
"These distinctions do not exist in practice."
Do you want me to cite case after case of the courts striking down executive decrees for violating the 'intelligible principle' laid down as guidance by the legislature? The Bush administration (both of them!) in environmental law alone should provide more than ample examples!
"Imagine the Supreme Court blocking an Obamacare decree. "
They did block the Medicaid expansion, which was a critical component of the law. So, again, demonstrably wrong (imagine Stalinist USSR, Stalin saying 'X and Y regulation will go forth to remedy Z problem, and some Soviet bureaucrat *blocking* Z! Unimaginable, yes, because Bart's analogy to that regime is uncommonly silly and inapt).
"imagine a Supreme Court appointed by any Democrat blocking ANY decree of the absolute bureaucracy!"
Easy, Michigan v. EPA (see how easy that was?).
All of the rest of your comments, re: the executive vs. congress powers, is non-responsive nonsense.
"So the government going after your murderer is a "privilege or immunity". Is the government going after somebody who doesn't want to sell you a cake? I don't think so."
Brett, why? If the government has, in its wisdom, made laws against both murder and discrimination in commerce (it has power over interstate commerce, yes), seeing both as evils, what's the difference you see as so obvious.
The difference is that nobody has a right to murder you, but people do have a right to decide who they engage in economic transactions with.
BOTH sides of transactions are entitled to be free.
So the government going after your murderer is a "privilege or immunity". Is the government going after somebody who doesn't want to sell you a cake? I don't think so.
Libertarians oppose public accommodation laws. Or used to, anyway.
It's nice that they do, but that doesn't really get to the legal argument. Those laws do exist; they've existed for roughly 500 years. They need to be enforced equally because that's expressly required by the Constitution.
And you still haven't explained how you rely on an unenumerated right.
"The difference is that nobody has a right to murder you, but people do have a right to decide who they engage in economic transactions with.
BOTH sides of transactions are entitled to be free."
Begging the question. People feel murder is not a right, and most people also feel discrimination in commerce is not a right.
But let's make it more comparable to you, emotionally. You think mere trespasses (I, without permission, took a nap in your feild) are worthy of government intervention, no? Well, most people think discrimination in commerce is also that. The Constitution, at least in inter-state commerce, seems to explicilty allow that power. So, the difference for you?
BD: "These distinctions do not exist in practice."
Mr. W: Do you want me to cite case after case of the courts striking down executive decrees for violating the 'intelligible principle' laid down as guidance by the legislature?
You failed to do so in the past, but are welcome to attempt to do so in the future. Remember, you are looking for final judgments after appeals have been exhausted, not the temporary injunctions and such which you offered in the past.
There are over 178,000 pages of regulations or regulatory activities published in the Federal Register and tens of thousands of pages of administrative rulings interpreting the rules are issued EVERY YEAR. The vast majority of these are not challenged and far less than 1% are reversed in a final judgment of the Article III courts. No amount of Trumpian stamina on your part can change that reality.
If your point is 100% of Stalin's decrees were imposed, but only 99.9% of our absolute bureaucracy's decrees were imposed, I agree with you. My point is that 0.1% of bureaucratic decrees the courts do reverse do not make the 99.9% which are imposed any less dictatorial.
BD: "Imagine the Supreme Court blocking an Obamacare decree. "
Mr. W: They did block the Medicaid expansion
That was a provision of a law of Congress, not an executive decree.
BD: "imagine a Supreme Court appointed by any Democrat blocking ANY decree of the absolute bureaucracy!"
Easy, Michigan v. EPA
What part of "appointed by any Democrat" did you not understand?
In fact, Michigan v. EPA proves my point. Every Democrat appointee voted to rubber stamp the EPA in that case.
If you have any other questions, be sure to get them in before Gerard shuts down the comments.
The difference is that nobody has a right to murder you, but people do have a right to decide who they engage in economic transactions with.
The relevancy of the difference is unclear.
Mark Field discussed not "a right to murder" as such but evenhanded use of state power to protect life, liberty and property. Some libertarian (of some sort) utopia of no rules of public accommodations aside, there are various laws protecting service of the general public. The unenumerated right (like that of "association"), with reasonable regulations, is not denied by me personally.
And, his argument also applies to a range of things involving clear private action including states selectively protecting against violence. The focus here is equal protection. In that respect, if there WAS some state privilege to kill, let's say euthanasia or the death penalty, it would still have to be done evenhandedly.
Look, I'm not arguing that Gary Johnson is wrong on current legal precedent. I'm arguing that he's wrong on libertarian ideology.
If current legal precedent were identical to libertarian ideology, there'd be no need for a Libertarian party. By adopting current legal precedent, Johnson renders the LP redundant.
There was an argument for public accommodation laws, a practical argument: You're traveling from one place to another, your car breaks down in some little town, and the only restaurant/hotel won't serve you, you're utterly screwed. Maybe you have to eat garbage or sleep under a bridge. This is an argument that has a great deal of force.
It's an argument that has no force at all when applied to florists and people who bake wedding cakes.
You're looking for your whooping, so I'll supply.
1. Areas where an executives decrees are struck down by an independent judiciary for violating the guiding principle laid down by the legislature. As promised, I'll focus today's whooping on only one of many possible areas, a Bush, and environmental laws, and even further narrowed, just ESA law:
"Of 78 federal court rulings and settlements in species cases resolved since January 2001, the Bush administration won just one: Judges agreed that western gray squirrels in the Pacific Northwest did not warrant protection, according to the center, which filed most of the challenges."
One out of 78? It's like the reverse of the very Stalin examples me you give!
BD: "imagine a Supreme Court appointed by any Democrat blocking ANY decree of the absolute bureaucracy!"
Ah, you said ANY, so, HOSANNA-TABOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL v. EEOC, among many others applies.
I was correct per the comments kicking in after a set amount of time.Post a Comment
Brett cited the Constitution. That is why three people discussed it. He focuses on "ideology" alone. Fine. Gary Johnson challenges accepted doctrine. But, he isn't starting from scratch. So, centuries of precedent will matter.
Again, public accommodation law exists and equal protection requires even handled application of them. Not just for certain groups. Brett might be okay with bakeries not serving blacks, but that isn't the actual alternative in place in the modern day. Even in the 1950s, Southern states had public accommodation laws, carte blanche not the rule. Specific types of discrimination were allowed.
Finally, they are not just in place -- haven't just been in place -- for hundreds of years merely to deal with travelers between towns with the nearest alternative a day away or something. Putting aside the various state action involved, such as state privileges of incorporation, there is a general understanding THE PUBLIC is being served here. A bakery -- which does provide various important services, including cultural and religious goods -- is not a home.
It's a public business that serves the public. Thus, the state can legitimately require non-discrimination.