Category Archives: Law

Trump And The Judge

I’m no Trump fan, but I think all the pearl clutching from the media over his “so-called judge” tweet was ridiculous. So does Jonathan Turley. And as always, it’s particularly ridiculous coming from people who probably had no problem with Obama upbraiding (and in the process lying) the Justices who had honored him with their attendance at the State of the Union over Citizens United.

The Political Assassination Of Michael Flynn

I was no big fan of Flynn, but this sort of thing makes me support Trump, on principle. If they figure out who the leakers were, they should bring the hammer down on them. It’s a very frightening precedent.

[Wednesday-morning update]

What happened here is deeply worrying:

The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously. . . .

But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.

What if Congress won’t act? What if both the Senate and the House of Representatives are held by the same party as the president and members of both chambers are reluctant to cross a newly elected head of the executive branch who enjoys overwhelming approval of his party’s voters? In such a situation — our situation — shouldn’t we hope the deep state will rise up to act responsibly to take down a member of the administration who may have broken the law?

The answer is an unequivocal no.

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability.

That hasn’t been the case for eight years. This is just a continuation, likely by the same people.

[Update a while later]

The Empire strikes back:

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the “neverTrumpumpkin” conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.

Time for a rebel alliance. I hope Pompeo doesn’t have anything that can be used against him. But I fear that these people are morally capable of manufacturing things.

Federal Bureaucrats

…are disconsolate over the repeal of their regulations.


[Update a while later]

This is an amusing argument. And by “amusing,” I mean stupid:

Pizarchik is already working on ideas to write a new version of the stream rule under a future president, though he declined to share any details. He also hinted someone could mount a constitutional challenge to the review act itself, which critics have long argued tramples on the separation of powers.

“I believe there’s a good chance that, in a legal challenge, that a court will overturn Congress’ actions here as an unconstitutional usurpation of the executive branch’s powers,” he said.

So let me get this straight. He thinks that Congress repealing a rule arising from a law passed by Congress, per another law passed by Congress, is a usurpation of the executive branch’s powers? Hokay…

Do you know what’s a real usurpation of separation of powers? Unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats taking over the legislative function through rule making.

[Update a few minutes later]

As a (female) friend told me last week in DC, I bathe in and drink their tears every night:

“It’s almost a sense of dread, as in, what will happen to us,” said Gabrielle Martin, a trial lawyer and 30-year veteran at the Denver office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where colleagues now share daily, grim predictions about the fate of their jobs under Mr. Trump’s leadership.

“It’s like the movie music when the shark is coming,” Ms. Martin said, referring to “Jaws,” the 1975 thriller. “People are just wary — is the shark going to come up out of the water?”

Very soon, I hope.

Progress On Aging

…and the resistance to it. I think he’s right that it’s not based on science or logic, but philosophy. Some people (including Isaac Asimov) think that death is necessary, almost to the point of ultimately worshiping it. Of course, some of it could be a recognition, conscious or otherwise, of the supreme disruption to many accepted institutions that it would entail, including pensions, life-time appointments, death taxes, etc.

And I hate when they use the word “immortality.” I think an eternal life would be far worse than death, but that’s not the goal; it’s simply living as long as we want to continue to live.

Update a couple minutes later]

Sort of related: GM Salmonella cures cancer. Cool. But the anti-science left will oppose it because GM.