Category: 2016 U.S. Presidential election Page 3 of 4

Trump – The Master Bilker

Three Trumps

Donald Trump often has referred to himself as the Master Builder.  The name comes from an Ibsen play about an architect whose empire might have been sparked by the burning of his wife’s childhood home. Perhaps Trump misses the irony.   Who better to school us about shady deals, scams and scandals than Donald Trump? It’s a matter of time, maybe until the debates, when the public eye is trained on Trump’s own questionable escapades.

“After all, the chief business of the American people is business,” said Calvin Coolidge. Doing business in America means rubbing up against federal and state officials and getting rules bent, if not splintered; buying your way into clover and out of the briar patch. Development especially requires governmental consent. Wherever official discretion tops the bill, motivation is a Stage-door Johnny.

Atlantic City: Trump Casinos

Let’s start with the easy one. Trump ran up a tax bill of about $30 million on his Atlantic City casinos. Bankruptcy couldn’t save him from the tax man. His casinos piled up debt by failing to file returns for years. New Jersey auditors pursued the case vigorously from the 2009 bankruptcy filing until 2011, the same year Chris Christie was sworn in as Garden State Governor. The case was soon settled for $5 million, with Christie’s people denying any knowledge of it. No one from the Trump Organization or the State of New Jersey has offered justification for the deep discount.

Texas: Trump University

In Texas, then-Attorney General Greg Abbott opened a similar investigation against the bogus school in 2010. Investigators led by Assistant Attorney General John Owens developed a case showing that Texans were cheated out of $2.9 million due to Trump University’s deceptive business practices. Owens recommended suing for $5.4 million. The lawsuit was stopped by Abbott’s Deputy, who outranked Owens. Trump University was permitted to slink off into the brush.

Three years later Abbott received a $35,000 contribution from Trump interests for his Gubernatorial campaign. The amount paid for tuition by a student victimized by the Trump U. boiler room operation: $35,000. Earlier this year, the current Texas Attorney General tried to muzzle Owens to prevent him from discussing the case.

Florida: Trump University

Next up, some fun in the Sunshine State. Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, began investigating Trump University on September 13. 2013. Four days later, Trump interests contributed $25,000 to Bondi’s reëlection campaign. One month after the grease, Bondi dropped her investigation.

New York: Trump SoHo

Trump touted his Trump SoHo as a $370 million masterpiece in 2006, while it was under construction. Four years later the project refunded $2.7 million to potential buyers, which represented 90% of all contract deposits. Around the same time, the Manhattan District Attorney closed a criminal investigation centering on the Trumps and the SoHo project. It’s been alleged that the buyers withdrew their criminal complaints as a condition of the settlement, documents of which have been kept confidential.  Although Trump was not the developer, he licensed his name, was a minority  stakeholder, and was contracted to manage it.

Next Stop, Potemkin Village?

Trump’s bankruptcies began shutting down his financing sources. Commercial banks wouldn’t touch his projects. It was Kismet that he hooked up with Bayrock, a development company headed by Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan native who became a developer. Arif established a beachhead in Manhattan with plans to settle the untamed Borough of Brooklyn.

Arif hired Felix Sater, Russian-born and Brooklyn-bred, as his lieutenant. Sater had already amassed an impressive record. He had been convicted of stabbing a woman in the face with the stem of a margarita glass.  He was also under investigation for taking part in a stock fraud scheme with organized crime. He covered all bases by informing to the U.S. government at the same time. He is a defendant, along with Arif, in a racketeering case filed this summer.

Bayrock rented space in Trump Tower, while Arif and Sater dreamed of building  towers across America and the former U.S.S.R. Sater’s plans for a Trump Moscow got no traction. However, Bayrock spearheaded the above-mentioned Trump Soho, which was branded a Trump project under a licensing agreement. The Trumps collected substantial fees in connection with the licensing.

SoHo Fallout

Sater is now defending the racketeering and tax evasion charges in New York, as well as stock fraud charges in Israel. Trump for his part said that he barely knew Sater and might not even recognize him. He maintains this dubious posture despite the fact that Sater for a time was listed as a senior adviser to the Trump Organization, signed a development deal with Trump for Moscow, and also inked that licensing deal for the Trump SoHo, for which he received a lot of money.
We’ve just scratched the surface.  The reader can draw his or her conclusions about Trump’s culpability in these schemes. He can’t argue that he was not a part of any of them. Mostly, he denies knowledge or memory of these shady dealings.  Ignorance and faulty recollection are themselves disqualifying qualities for one seeking to be U.S. President. Treachery, ignorance, recklessness or feeble-mindedness? Mr. Trump, pick your poison.

The Spoils System – Like Apple Pie

The Spoils System
An interesting piece ran in today’s New York Times.  Richard Painter, the former chief Ethics Lawyer for George W. Bush and a former University of Minnesota law professor, wrote that Hillary Clinton has not violated any law in her dealings with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.  Let’s have that again:  Hillary Clinton has not violated any federal ethics law.  None.  Not crooked. Not dirty. Not sordid. Not the Wicked Witch of the West. The Clinton Foundation at most is a product of the Spoils System, and to the victors go the spoils.

Playing Favorites

“Was there favoritism?” Painter asks, then the discourse trails off about something having to do with the woods and a wild bear. Of course, officials elected and appointed play favorites.  That’s probably how you got your first job – through somebody you know. I know I did.

“If favoritism by political appointees toward outside persons or organizations were illegal,” writes Painter, “the United States government would be quite different than it is today.”  In short, the answer to the question about favoritism is a resounding “Duh?”   We used to call it the spoils system.  Americans didn’t invent it. It’s been around at least as long as tribes have existed. Doesn’t everyone have a slow relative who needs a boost?  No?  Well, maybe that slow relative is you.

Or maybe some smart kid from your district applies, whose family has supported you since you first ran for Town Council.  Now that you’re a Congressman and the kid is a Senior at Excited State, he’ll be working as one of your aides. Believe me, that kid worked hard and deserves a chance. So do the other 10,000 kids whose letters went directly to the circular file.  Fair, it isn’t.  Painter’s point is that it’s how Washington has always worked and is not about to change, no matter who wins.

The Appearance of Impropriety

Painter addresses the tougher problem, that this Foundation is unconventional because its funds come principally from donations rather than family wealth. Those donors are not always disinterested people.  They have expectations.  Even without a smoking gun,  Clinton’s opposition will scrutinize every appointment, appropriation or award for a link to a donation and every donation to an appointment, appropriation or award.  That’s as it should be, because these transactions in parallel create the appearance, if not the fact, of impropriety.   

If even the appearance of impropriety is to be avoided, Painter argues, then Bill and Chelsea Clinton should step down, and Hillary should vow never to take part in the Foundation after she leaves office.  At this point, I’d be tempted to tell Mr. Painter that he is coloring outside the lines if it weren’t for the fact that the Clintons always paint so close to those same lines.  This gets us back to the beginning.  Nothing they have done is illegal, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.  If there is a hole, they’ve been known to slip through it.  Part of Clinton Fatigue was exhaustion of following them through their scrapes with law and ethics.  They’ve usually prevailed (except for Bill being disbarred for not knowing what “is” is).

For example, it recently – today –  came to light that some of Bill’s personal aides doubled up at the Clinton Foundation. They are being compensated with funds paid by the federal government under the Former President’s Act even though Bill Clinton could afford to pay his aides from the family’s  own funds. Plus, they were drawing pay from the Foundation. In addition, government funds were used to buy IT equipment for the fund, as well as for the Clintons’ private servers. Not illegal but sleezy, the kind of thing that Bill’s gotten smacked for in the past.  I suggest that Congress take another look at that statute because there is a hole Bill could drive a truck through –and did.

The Tradeoff

If Hillary is elected and all of the Clintons step away from the Foundation, and if they agree not to double dip out of the Former Presidents’ Fund, will that keep everybody quiet?   Of course not.  There will always be a new version of the Lincoln Bedroom, the Chinese contributors, the Bangladeshi banker, the aides with two pay checks, and the moving van backed up to the White House memoribilia room. Clintons will be Clintons.

Hillary, Spoils and All

 Will Hillary overreach?  Duh.  But she’s far less likely to lead us into financial disaster, global depression or another insane war than what’s-his-name.  

And in the end, I will go with someone who knows the political landscape and its complexities, even if some of the White House silverware’s gone missing. 

Make America Gated Again: Trump on Deportation

Immigration Policy

Donald Trump announced his plan for deportation of undocumented immigrants and greater restrictions on immigration. By these means, Trump plans to turn America into one enormous gated community. Unless I miss my guess, tonight Donald Trump was off-script and off his meds. He took time from campaigning in states he has no chance to carry, such as Maine and Washington, to make an impromptu trip to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to deliver his anti-immigration message in person.

It’s not entirely clear what took place. Trump said they never discussed payment for his proposed Wall. Peña Nieto disputes Trump’s account. He said that he made it clear that Mexico would not pay for the Wall. The two men also disagreed on Trump’s assertion that Mexico has unfairly benefited from the NAFTA trade agreement. Trump gave the impression that, despite these minor quibbles, they had a cordial chat. Trump was subdued in their joint appearance following the meeting.

The Hair Apparent then flew to Phoenix, Arizona, and replaced his quiet tone with his familiar face-reddening bluster. There he delivered an off-book rendition of the most recent version of his immigration policy. He clearly has renounced any thought of softening his policy or his rhetoric.

Exit Strategy

• There will be no amnesty. All undocumented immigrants will be deported, where they can reapply for entry. He didn’t mention the fate of their American-born children who by law are citizens.
• Any immigrant caught re-entering illegally will be incarcerated for a very long time – the “mandatory minimum.” Then after the U.S. has paid room and board, it will deport him or her again.
• He will create a deportation task force to deport all dangerous criminals “on day one.” Trump suggested that Hillary Clinton, his opponent, should be part of this group.
• He will cancel Obama’s executive orders, one of which gave work permits to over a half million young immigrants who came to the US as children.
• He will add 5,000 more border patrol officers.
• He will block federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, meaning American cities that provide shelter – not Sanctuary – to undocumented immigrants.
• He reiterated his concept of “extreme vetting,” by which he means an ideological certification, a screening test that has electrodes attached to it.

The Takeaway

Trump still has not formulated a clear plan for dealing with most of the undocumented immigrants; only the criminally dangerous ones. There are a lot of ruffles and flourishes but he lacks a coherent statement addressing non-violent immigrants who are in the U.S. without papers.

In addition, he has reverted to type. Last week he pivoted, claiming a new softness on immigration. Tonight’s speech slammed the book shut on a softer approach and a softer, more “Presidential” demeanor.

In front of a crowd of his impassioned supporters, he spoke again to the nativist strain in America. He and his supporters forget that, at some earlier time, their ancestors crossed into this land of infinite possibility. No doubt they came from a harsher and less promising environment. They were seeking just what today’s immigrants seek – a better life for themselves and their children.

For the Presidential Debate: A Klansman of One’s Own

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Why There is a Donald Trump: The Authoritarian Strain

tumblr_obpvgfOkjt1rbam90o1_500 Donald Trump watches Vladimir Putin admiringly, as the despot reassembles the Russian Empire, and he dreams of similar conquest.  Trump has vowed to make America great again, and domination is what he means.  Donald Trump’s vision is a grotesque paraphrase of Ronald Reagan. Trump sees this country as the Shining Fortress of Solitude on the Hill, dispatching the military to rule over its Imperial outposts.

Trump supporters long for an America of memory, one that will not be kicked around. But this is a faulty memory, a confabulation. For all but the twenty-five years following the Second World War, America hasn’t dominated the world.   America didn’t win the World Wars alone, for that matter.  America did not even get into those wars for two years after they began.

The undeclared Korean War is a stalemate that has never been resolved. The Vietnam War was a debacle.  The first Gulf War essentially was uncontested, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been unqualified disasters. No disrespect for those who served and serve, the wars themselves were atrocious mistakes. The Iraq war was a fraud on the troops and the taxpayers.

Yet Trump promises to return America to its winning ways.  He believes in an America of the imagination, a vision of Empire that drove this country down the dishonorable road of genocide and displacement of the indigenous peoples; into a series of wars in the West to maximize its North American territory;  and wars in the Caribbean and the Philippines to drive Spain out of North America once and for all, while establishing a U.S. beachhead in East Asia.

Empire is inherently despotic, even those that are nominally democratic, because there is no equality between the ruler and the ruled, domestic or foreign.   Trump says, “I am your voice.” No, you’re not. You’re not my voice, and you’re not my Nation.

The American people will have to fall much farther than we think we have fallen to abandon our civic sovereignty, our right of self-determination. Why would Americans give up the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to someone who does not respect the rule of law?

Trump’s admiration for Putin is instructive.  He lauds Putin’s assertiveness in the Crimea and Syria, just as he attacks Obama for his decision not to enter those military theaters.  Russia’s actions have precedent,  pushing out to the expanse of the former Tsarist and Soviet Empires.  Putin has the backing of many countrymen who rue the collapse of Communism.  Marcel H. Van Herpen, the author of Putin’s Wars,  explains why Russians are willing to yield their hard-won freedoms:

In such a case, the home country’s imperial conquests provide an ersatz satisfaction. Feelings of powerlessness and a lack of personal pride and individual accomplishment are compensated by a process of identification with the power and the glory of their country. The lack of personal respect that they receive as individuals is compensated by the respect—and fear—that their home country inspires. “If a man is proud of his Belief, his Fatherland, his People,” one can still read in an anonymous Russian publication of 2007 attacking democracy, “he finds internal pride in himself as a representative of this great people and great country.” This mechanism can be observed in a population of serfs that has been enslaved, as well as in a population that gives up its original freedom and enslaves itself for the sake of national glory.

Trump’s nostalgia for an idealized American past, a short-lived one at that, taps into an anger borne of a sense of powerlessness. Americans have limits, as all other people of the world do.  People who grew up in the post-Second World War era take this as a defeat, because from 1945 to 1968, America was a country of nearly limitless resource and possibility.  That era has been gone for longer than it was here, and all of us longing for it will have to live off the fumes. The world has changed, and America is no longer its overwhelming economic force.

For many Americans, it has meant financial desperation and hopelessness for their children.  Somebody’s going to pay for that.  The authoritarian strain in America is real. It has been gaining force, while the European-descended portion of population slips in political force and our economy comes back to the pack.

© 2016  The Revolted Colonies

You’e Fired!…and You’re Fired…and You’re Fired!

Molotov-Cocktail-psd37320

 

It took Donald Trump exactly two days to undo his new Teleprompter demeanor and turn his campaign on its head again. He demoted campaign manager Paul Manafort in favor  of Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, a team calculated to walk Trump back further into the political wilderness.

No matter what you thought of the content of Trump’s recent speeches, the fact that he was delivering them in a more conventional style gave the impression that he was starting the all-important pivot from sideshow freak to politician. In fact, the Celebrity Apprentice Candidate reality show was continuing off-camera the entire time. The pivot, when it came, turned away from the center, not toward it.

It’s been all bad news for the Trump campaign lately. Poll numbers are going through the floor. He was blaming his opponent, Hillary Clinton, until recently, when he declared the media as the true scourge and President Obama and Clinton as the founders of ISIS. He dog-whistled his Second Amendment friends what to do when President Hillary Clinton nominates Supreme Court Judges unacceptable to the Duck Dynasty crowd.  This situation cried out for a campaign chief who knows how to put out fires. Instead, he hired someone who brings his own Molotov Cocktails.

Stephen Bannon is now CEO of the campaign. He is the former chairman of Breitbart News, the late Andrew Breitbart’s conservative e-zine for the Torch and Pitchfork Crowd.  A former Goldman Sachs investment banker turned Sarah Palin acolyte, Bannon was named the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America in October 2015 by Bloomberg News. For example, Bannon thinks that Fox News is too soft and needs to take the gloves off.

Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Conway is a lawyer and pollster.  She had been a GOP operative since 1988.   Trump first tried hiring Conway while she had been running Ted Cruz’s super-PAC. When his campaign collapsed, Trump hired her initially to improve Trump’s image with women.

The story within the story is that Manafort had been a compromise choice, acceptable to the Republican National Committee and Trump.  After six weeks, Trump’s campaign was failing and, hey, you can’t fire the candidate, can you?

Actually, the RNC had been working on trying to dump Trump but hadn’t found a way out of its mess. After exploring the legal and electoral consequences, it reallocated its resources to protect the down-ballot candidates in the House and Senate, where the GOP currently holds majorities.  Its hold on the Senate is tenuous and especially troubling.   Retaining Senate control is the key to blocking any of Clinton’s judicial nominees.

Finally, the RNC pulled back on its operational support. This, in turn, caused Trump to fire the RNC symbolically, by canning Manafort.    Hiring Bannon was Trump’s declaration of war.  Trump accompanied this staff turnover with the announcement that he will not pivot. Trump’s going to dance with the one who brought him, even if they both fall off the dance floor.

© 2016 The Revolted Colonies

Third Rate Romance

low rent rendevousLow Rent Rendevous

This week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign launched Together for America, formalizing its recruitment of Republicans who are defecting from its nominee. The website so far consists of a list of Republicans and Independents who have officially declared for Clinton. The common fear and loathing of Donald Trump have made for strange bedfellows, but no one is calling this a love match. Hillary has been reviled by the right as much as President Obama and for a longer period of time.

Long-time National Security advisor Brent Scowcroft, Bush 2 Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry Paulson, Nixon and Reagan EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus, and Bush I National Security Advisor and Intelligence Director John Negroponte are the best-known names on the Leaders list.   They have thrown their support to Hillary Clinton this one time as a vote against Trump.   Her foreign policy approach, although criticized by Republicans, does not scare them the way Trump does.

This Who’s Who is dominated by foreign policy experts, who are appalled by Trump’s unabashed lack of information, experience, temperament or curiosity. Global politics are far too complex to be handled like a hotel acquisition. Clinton is not their domestic dream. Her economic policies will get the typical Republican rebuff.

Clinton’s economic speech delivered this week in Michigan was predictably Middle of the Road. The far-right National Review crowd called it a disaster, and policy wonks correctly called it lacking in specifics.  Left-leaning economists and pols have been quiet with good reason. The plan satisfies some of the main Progressive goals. She has protected her left flank sufficiently. More importantly, she signaled that she would not abandon her economic plan for a short-term marriage of convenience.

© The Revolted Colonies 2016

On Deck

http://latimes.com
If the Republican brain trust figures out how to part ways with Donald Trump, there is only one person to replace him:  Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez announced his retirement from baseball, falling just 4 home runs short of reaching the magic number of 700.   He’ll start his new role as a New York Yankee consultant and special instructor in February.  Between now and then, he’s got a lot of free time.
On the list of the most hated people of all time.  Donald Trump came in at #18.  Hillary Clinton was #142.  A-Rod didn’t even break the top 1,000. After today’s tearful retirement speech, some fans are wishing him well.  Probably not his fellow players.
Nobody in baseball has lied more than A-Rod.  He lied about not taking steroids. When he was caught, he lied again.  He lied so bad that he got thrown out of baseball for an entire season because of his steroid use.  That’s one record he holds. 
As bad as that might seem, being the country’s most dishonest ball player is not in the same league as being a cheating corporate executive (#9), a shyster lawyer (#7) or a money-grubbing Congressman (#2).  By the way, lobbyists were #1. That’s understandable because most of them are corporate executives, lawyers or former members of Congress. 
With all of A-Rod’s plusses, the only argument against putting him on the ballot is his lack of experience.  However, that doesn’t seem to be an obstacle this year.
Besides, he is one of baseball’s richest stars. In 2007, he opted out of his Yankee contract, fired his agent and negotiated a new contract for $275 million. Talk about the Art of the Deal–and he hasn’t filed for bankruptcy even once.

 The Republicans should act quickly if they are serious about picking up A-Rod’s option for the fall campaign.  In a week, he can sign up with another ball club, and he’ll be looking for one with a short porch in left field.

© The Revolted Colonies 2016

Randolph and Mortimer Sit This One Out



Paramount Pictures 
The infamous Duke Brothers of the eponymous Philadelphia commodities firm will not be endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a press release issued by the firm and read aloud this morning by Curtis Biddle Rittenhouse IV, the firm spokesperson.  “Mr. Randolph and Mr. Mortimer have decided that they do not like the cut of Mr. Trump’s jib.  In fact, they wonder if he even has a jib.  Accordingly,” the release continued, “the firm of Duke & Duke cannot in good conscience support or endorse Mr. Trump.”  In responding to a follow-up question, Mr. Rittenhouse  was unable to recall when either of the Dukes last had done anything in good conscience.  “They seem to be quite serious about this, however.  They were refining their announcement over brandies.”
The Dukes decided that a Trump Presidency would be “déclassé.  Furthermore, Mr. Trump presents a threat to the survival of the Republic, perhaps a greater one than we do ourselves.”  The Dukes, who shorted the subprime mortgage market “quite by accident,” according to Mr. Mortimer’s memoir, were able to recoup a portion of their catastrophic losses from the Frozen Orange Juice Hoax of 1982, working their way up from rock bottom due to the charity of a visiting African Prince. “Damned lucky, that,” Mr. Mortimer was quoted at the time.  They were able to parlay the small sum of $10,000.00 into a portfolio estimated at $850 million, considerably less than their original stake but enough to pay up their dues at the Union League.
The Dukes had been unaware of the Trump candidacy, or of Trump himself, until a Biddle nephew informed them that the Harvard Republicans had spit the bit. Mr. Randolph, stumbling into the press conference while looking for the men’s room, joined in briefly. “Chip Biddle, Grace’s boy, is working in the firm this summer,” he said in reference to Charles Rittenhouse Biddle II. “Well now, he let slip that their little campus club had had a serious talk about this Trump fellow.  They don’t like him one bit. A Wharton man, it turns out.” Trump is a graduate of Philadelphia’s Wharton School but does not hold its prestigious M.B.A.  “It wouldn’t have changed a thing,” Mr. Randolph added. Only 10% of Harvard GOPs are supporting Trump.  The Dukes are paired off with the 90% who have decided not to vote for either party.
“We’d asked Mitt to give it another try but he thought we were just chatting him up. Then we had lunch with that nice Grover Norquist.  He suggested that we become familiar with this Fiscal Cliff fellow, but we declined.  We don’t know the family.”
© The Revolted Colonies 2016

  

November Forecast for North Carolina: High Voter Turnout

North Carolina’s 2013 voting law was struck down yesterday by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The decision levels the playing field for voting in this battleground state as well as others this November. The unanimous decision overturning the law was decided by a panel of three judges, only two of whom were Democratic appointees.   The Court rebuked the North Carolina General Assembly, which acted aggressively to impair African-Americans’ voting rights.  The Fourth Circuit indirectly told the Supreme Court that it had erred in terminating Justice Department pre-clearance to prevent discriminatory voting practices.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act took the extraordinary measure of identifying suspect districts, forty of which were in North Carolina, and of requiring the state to obtain federal pre-clearance of changes in its election procedures.  This was the law until 2013, when the Supreme Court repealed it in Shelby County v. Holder.  Chief Justice John Roberts employed a paradox worthy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reasoning that because voter turnout in suspect districts now exceeded fifty percent, African-American voters had achieved parity in voting,  and there was no more need for pre-clearance.  The fallacy is that increased voter turnout resulted in part from the ongoing existence of the preclearance requirement, not apart from it.

One month after the Shelby County decision, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a new set of voting practices that was a playbook for the Return of Jim Crow.  The five changes in voting practices targeted the African-American voting community “with almost surgical precision,” said Judge Diana Gribbon Motz in her Opinion.  The court struck down:
Voter I.D.
Prohibiting early voting
Prohibiting same day registration
Prohibiting out of precinct voting
Prohibiting pre-registration by 16 and 17 year-olds

The N.C. General Assembly created five anti-democratic voting practices, and now all have been shot down.

Law students are taught that a court  should defer to a legislature insofar as its stated intent in making a law.  The Fourth Circuit didn’t accept the North Carolina pretext, and it didn’t accept the District Court’s  nearly five-hundred page apologia.  When the Fourth  Circuit pulled back the curtain, it saw a racially-motivated body of lawmakers trying to turn back the hands of time.

Twice in as many months a court of high standing has unmasked the purported legislative intent when the parliamentarians were unable to prove that the law fulfilled its stated purpose.  This approach persuaded five Supreme Court Justices last month to overturn the Texas attack on women’s reproductive rights. The Court was given evidence that Texas was imposing more expensive and restrictive rules for an abortion than for a colonoscopy, many times more risky.  The Court drew the line.

This judicial approach is no “gotcha” for politicians who by mistake have enacted a flawed measure.  This is a court challenging the probity of the lawmakers.  It also is a red alert to lawyers. If a law is pernicious, don’t be deterred by the drafter’s facially acceptable statement of purpose.  Go below the surface, challenge the stated purpose and put the disingenuous legislators to their proof.

©The Revolted Colonies 2016

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