With the filing of a lawsuit to bar Donald Trump from that states Primary and General ballots we have now given Donals Trump what many, if not all, Presidential Candidates want……A truly historical election. Article III of the 14th Amendment has rarely been invoked and never been tested in the federal courts completely. We now have the chance to see just what, if anything it means in a practical real world way.
I will not be addressing whether what is happening is a good thing politically; I leave that for a later posting. Rather I want to encourage everyone to read up on the 14th Amendment, both its history and legal scholarship. I think you will be both shocked, surprised, and disappointed by what you find. I was but I was also please to note one thing. Since the Civil War the United States has had no significant insurrections , in fact I found only three possible candidates and all three could be and are no more than what happen on January 6th 2021 (excepting the occupation of the Capital). An until now the 14th’s Section 3 has been little thought of and invoked even less. Why this should be makes for a great history paper and I will refrain from do that here.
What is going to be happening, starting now, is a test of just what the 3rd article of the 14th Amendment really means. With the death of the last person to ever fight in the Civil War in 1959 is the 3rd article a “dead letter”? There are good arguments for this. The debate on the 14th Amendment hardly touched on the 3rd article an I have found nothing in the debates about disqualification. (See CREW for details of disqualification)This will be the first time since the 1860’s anyone on the level of a National office is in danger of being disqualified. This is important for both legal and political reasons. With Donald Trump facing this problem rest assured the MAGA-GOP will, somehow, take actions to apply disqualification to the first non-MAGA-GOP to run for President or Vice President. It will happen.
As for the law? I don’t know. I do know that every American needs to watch the coming trials carefully. I mean not just the trials of Donals Trump and his Co-Conspirators but also all of the trials dealing with who is allowed on the ballot(s). Even the most radical judge can be a good judge when they know they are being watch. Watched not only by their peers, nor the scholars of law, but by also by the electorate at large. You don’t have to do much, just let anyone and everyone know you are watching. An unlike the radical right, the common electorate needs no threats, just their eyes and minds.
For the past few months I’ve been hearing a growing alarm over the ”AI Problem”. First my credentials: lI have been a ”Coder/Programer/Software Engine/Software Designer” since 1973. A while I retired in 2013 I’ve kept up a lively interest in the industry. Also I am a great fan of Science Fiction, in fact some of my earliest favorite stores are Dr. A’s Robot novels & short stories. A while I have never directly worked on any Artificial Intelligence projects i have written a few programs that faked being human. It is not as hard to do as the layman thinks.
My suggestion to the current issues with AI is quite simple. Let’s just go back to the legal doctrine on who is responsible when a slave broke the law. Back in Roman times the owner of a slave was held responsible for any and everything a slave did, good or bad. Let’s just do the same thing with all programs, AIish or not. The person, corporate or individual, should be held responsible for anything the Program does. Criminal or Civil.
I know that it will take a lot of effort to work out the details on how the law(s) would work but we have a great deal of legal history to draw from, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, and Chinese just to name a few. The benefits would be great. First and for most there is someone who can and should be held responsible for the use/misuse of a program. I also know that there can, and should be, objections to this idea but I am convinced this a place to start.
Let me quite clear at the start; I am NOT a Legal scholar, nor a Jurist or Justice, nor even an attorney or lawyer. I am just a dedicated student of the both the Law, the Constitution and it’s history. I do take no little pride in having been this for almost 50 years now. Because of this I feel I can, with some trepidation put my two cents in. I also look forward to anyone who is any of those things I said I wasn’t above to jump in an correct any error or misstatements I make here. That said……
Given what the ‘new’ Attorney General Barr has said this week along with other persons in the Administration have said about turning over Pres. Trumps federal tax returns I am going to do something I haven’t done since November 2016. I’m going to make a prediction about what is going to happen politically. But first a little back story: 48 years ago when I started my study of the law (Business Law 101) on of the things Professor McNutt drilled into our heads was that words in the law often had very firm definition and usage. He started with two of the most, according to him, miss read words in the law. They are “will” and “shall”. I will not bother with all he told us about “will” as it is the word “Shall” that is going to be making all the news.
My prediction is this, that the IRS and/or the Treasury Dept. will refuse to supply the requested Tax returns of President Trump on one or mer grounds. The first, and I think most obvious, is that the Congress has no ‘ legitimate’ legislative purpose for see the documents. The second is that do to the separation of powers the law in question( 26 US Code 6103) can not be applied to the President. There maybe more but my knowledge of the subject is not great enough for me to venture deeper. Also just these two are more than enough to give SCOTUS a very severe case of heart burn.
I’m not going to even attempt to guess how the Court will rule, I’ll only say that both are set with many pitfalls and the Court is facing the real possibility of writing a decision to rival ‘Dread Scot’. As for myself I would like to see how things would evolve if the Court Rules that there are some laws that can not be applied to the President just because s/he is the President. Just what an author of apocalyptic SF needs to fill in the back story. I can just see it now, none of the executive branch needs to follow any of the laws passed by Congress because of the doctrine of the. Unitary Executive and no law can be applied to the President because of separations of powers.
I’m now going to make my prediction: it will take anywhere from 9 to 12 months for all of the challenges to the demand of the Congress to work it’s way up to the SCOTUS and the court will not issue anything till the last minute. I expect and hope the court will say Pres. Trump must comply and I expect Pres. Trump to stonewall it just like Pres. Andrew Jackson did. This would then give the House an actual impeachable act but not enough time before the election to actually impeach the President before the election.
Thought Experiment Time:
It is Wednesday 4 Nov 2020 and one of the following things has happened:
Donald Trump has lost the election
Donald Trump has won. The GOP has retaken the House and kept the Senate.
Donald Trump has won. The Dems have kept the house and the GOP has kept the Senate
Donald Trump has won and the Dems have taken both houses of Congress.
For the past few days a great deal has been written and said about Donald Trump’s statement about women who get abortions should be punished, even for murder. I’m not goi g to debate whether he said what is being attributed. Personally, I was watching the interview and heard what Mr. Trump said. So let’s look at the real issue here. If abortion is made a crime and that persons who perform the abortion can be punished for the act of performing an abortion; where does that leave the person who had the abortion?
To make things simple for our discussion lets go with the hypothetical case where you are a legal person from the moment of conception (not a position I would take but it will simplify out reasoning). This means that any medical procedure that would result in the death of the embryo- fetus- baby, would be in facade, a type of homicide aka murder. In fact most abortion procedures now in use would be considered ‘willful and deliberate’, or ‘with premeditation ‘. In jurisdictions where the death penalty are still used, this would be just the kind of crime the death penalty was intended for. So anyone performing an abortion would be guilty of the worst kind of homicide.
So let’s go with this case: A person contracts with another person for that person to dire earthly kill a third person. Would not that first person February just as guilty of murder as the second person who actually committed the merder. In ever jurisdiction I know about this is the case. If you arrange for someone to kill another person you are just as guilty as the person who did the actual act.
Therefore, if abortion is an act of homicide and the person conducting the abortion is guilty of homicide, then the person contracting (arranging) the abortion is also guilty of homicide.