Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Reason enough to remove

Even setting aside all his other crimes and misdemeanors,  Trump's attacks on the judiciary warrant his removal from office.

For a president whose single achievement has been to secure many appointments to the bench, establishing a precedent that decisions of judges are to be disregarded if they were appointed by a president you dislike seems remarkably stupid, even for him.


  1. It's "remarkably stupid" to appeal a judge's decision? So there should be no appeals process? Do you really believe that?

    Sounds crazy to me.

  2. He's referring to Trump's stated antipathy toward the judge who made this ruling, specifically that he was an Obama appointee. It's a stupid thing to say, unless the sole purpose is to (yet again) stoke the fires of resentment that constitutes his only base. (As if scores of other rulings unfavorable to Trump haven't come from Bush I and Bush II appointees...)

  3. The chief justice explicitly warned against characterizing judges as Obama judges or Trunp judges for the obvious reason that to function the judiciary is supposed to remain independent. Congress cannot operate if it is denied information about the government; that was a complaint made about George in the Declaration.

    I have been trying to warn since March and April 2016 that Trump is a fascist. His operational mode is fuhrerprinzip -- he gets to say what the judges do and with the Congress can do.

    In 1952 Joe Alsop, a progressive Republican, warned his friends that the Republican Party was in danger of becoming a native fascist party. He was premature but only because of the actions of Flanders, Smith, Eisenhower and Brownell in blocking it.

    12 years later Goldwater began the purge of conservatives from the party, which was furthered by Reagan and now has been nearly completed by Trump.

  4. ... establishing a precedent that decisions of judges are to be disregarded if they were appointed by a president you dislike seems remarkably stupid ...

    Not as stupid as your incomprehension of what Trump charged -- that the judge's decision isn't grounded in law.

    Unlike you, I let my ignorance of the details suspend judgment. Assume, arguendo, that Trump is right -- that the judge (like a certain Hawaiian judge) reached an unanchored conclusion.

    What then? Does that warrant the judges removal?

  5. "...that the judge's decision isn't grounded in law."

    That's being really, really generous to Trump. As far as I can tell, he has simply claimed that it was a "crazy" and "wrong" decision by an "Obama-appointed judge." If that somehow qualifies as a legal argument I can predict how his appeal will go.

    And the bulk of legal analysis - which is to say, pretty much all of it - is behind the judge in question, not Trump's lawyers.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Here are what appear to me to be the two central graphs in the story:

      Mehta found that the House Oversight and Reform Committee had valid reasons for subpoenaing several years of Trump’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars, even though the scope covered the time before he was president.

      The White House and Trump’s legal team have argued that lawmakers have no legitimate legislative purpose in demanding the records and accused Democrats of trying to dig up dirt on the president for political reasons.

      Ok, what are those reasons? What is the specific crime of which then-citizen Trump stands accused?

      I don't know the answer to either of those questions, and the story itself is of little help. However, it links to a story about the judge's decision, which says this:

      Trump's attorneys had argued that the subpoena, issued by Cummings earlier this year, was unconstitutional because it wasn't tied to legislation. But attorneys for the House said that the records will help strengthen ethics and disclosure laws and see if Trump is in compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

      Ummm. Okay. To me, that's transparently nonsense. Just as the whole Russian collusion schlamozzle was transparent nonsense, which was abundantly clear to everyone not afflicted with TDS.

      Nevertheless, I will grant that Congress allocated to itself this power. What is its limiting principle? If there is one, I can't find it. Is it possible for Congress to allocate to itself an unfettered power, given that the Constitution is all about limiting power?

      You may have heard about the right to privacy — it is one of the penumberated rights. Does this step on that right to privacy? If not, why not?

      I understand from the story that GOP Congresses have used this power too.

      Fine, then a pox on both their houses.

      Do you really want to give Congress this kind of power to hound political opponents?

      Is Trump so badly in the wrong by suggesting that the decision is outcome-driven, rather than based upon any analysis of Constitutional law?

  6. It wasn't the first time Trump has attacked a judge on non-judicial standards.

  7. Harry, Obama attacked the Supreme Court, too.

    Unfortunately exposing his ignorance of Constitutional law in general, and the 1A in particular. Odd, for a professor of Constitutional law.

    I don't recall getting exercised about that.

    How many standards do you have?

  8. Objecting to a decision is different from attacking judges personally.

  9. Sounds like a distinction without difference.

    And what of Justice Ginsburg's personal attack on Trump. Did you call for her removal from the bench?

    Sure, I wish Trump would criticize the judicial branch less often.

    Just as I wish judges deserved criticism for politically motivated decisions far less than they do.

    1. Your link makes Mr. Eagar's point for him. I'm not sure what you actually thought you were accomplishing by posting it.

    2. Sure would be nice if you could provide some specifics.

      I think RBGs attack was unseemly. So was Obama's. So are Trump's.

      The point being, in case you missed it, that Harry gets exercised very selectively.

      And I can't help but notice you have ignored the issues underlying that judge's decision.

      Are you happy to have that power vested in a GOP congress?

      If not -- and I sure as hell wouldn't be -- then perhaps some outrage re-consideration would be in order.

  10. So, everything McConnell said about refusing to advise and consent (or not) about the Garland nomination was a lie. Are you going to retract your defense of that, Skipper?

  11. Are you going to retract your defense of that, Skipper?

    Clearly, you did not comprehend my defense. I have an idea, quote exactly what I said, so I know what I have to defend.

    Really super easy to do. Why is it perpetually beyond you?

  12. You don't know what your defense was?

  13. Harry, stop the whingeing. Please quote exactly what I said, so we both know precisely what I am responding to. You have already wasted more of your time prevaricating than it would to produce the quote.

    Which you have a perfect track record of not doing. No mystery as to why.