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Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:25 AM

Now that you have had time to assimilate it, what do you think of yesterday's SC decisions?

Things do tend to look a little different in the rear view mirror.

But, from what I have gathered, the NY state case against Trump was granted and the Congressional case against Trump was not granted, although the Chief Justice stated that no president was above the law or exempt from subpoena.

A 7-2 majority voted that a grand jury could have access to Trump's tax returns in New York case. However, it would be in secret. What kind of problems might that present?

In my opinion, the Congressional ruling is slightly more problematic. They ruled that the Congressional request for financial documents was not "narrow" enough. Who will define what "narrow" means in the future? It could be open to interpretation, relative to political opportunity. What is to prevent any Court from saying it is not "narrow" enough? Either the Congress has the power of oversight or they do not.

In appearance, it looks as if the SC is saying that no one is above the law and the President must adhere to the requests of the grand jury and must adhere to the requests from Congress of relevant information.

In reality, it might be only a cover, to delay and to deny justice in both cases, in my opinion.

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Reply Now that you have had time to assimilate it, what do you think of yesterday's SC decisions? (Original post)
kentuck Jul 2020 OP
Laelth Jul 2020 #1
kentuck Jul 2020 #2
soothsayer Jul 2020 #6
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #14
Laelth Jul 2020 #18
Happy Hoosier Jul 2020 #3
Laelth Jul 2020 #8
Happy Hoosier Jul 2020 #9
Laelth Jul 2020 #10
kentuck Jul 2020 #11
Happy Hoosier Jul 2020 #20
kentuck Jul 2020 #21
Happy Hoosier Jul 2020 #22
Laelth Jul 2020 #26
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #15
Laelth Jul 2020 #24
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #30
Laelth Jul 2020 #31
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #33
Laelth Jul 2020 #34
greymattermom Jul 2020 #4
spanone Jul 2020 #5
dalton99a Jul 2020 #7
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #16
mnhtnbb Jul 2020 #12
lagomorph777 Jul 2020 #17
Demsrule86 Jul 2020 #13
Silent3 Jul 2020 #19
jalan48 Jul 2020 #23
Demsrule86 Jul 2020 #29
LiberalFighter Jul 2020 #25
kentuck Jul 2020 #27
Laelth Jul 2020 #28
jalan48 Jul 2020 #32

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:37 AM

1. Both rulings took compromise positions.

It could have been worse.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:40 AM

2. Definitely!

How long before Trump disputes the Supremes and states that he does have absolute immunity?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:51 AM

6. Well k-lie said that's still his position

Q So he still thinks immunity is — he’s immune to investigation?

MS. MCENANY: The President still stands beside the posture that he made. He accepts any Supreme Court opinion as the law of the land, but nevertheless, doesn’t change his viewpoint. He can disagree with the opinion but he certainly will follow it.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:03 AM

14. Compromise but still surprisingly strong tilt toward the rule of law.

These are very positive landmark decisions.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:09 AM

18. In Mazars, the Court SAID that the President is not above the law.

That’s dicta. It carries no legal weight. What they DID was remand the case demanding a narrow “legislative purpose” for any Congressional subpoena to be considered valid and enforceable. That is now the law.

Admittedly, it could have been worse, but Congress still doesn’t have the evidence that it was seeking.

-Laelth

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:46 AM

3. I've heard people call it a "compromise" ruling.... I don't really see it that way.

To me, it seems to be the only possible reasonable position.

The President is not immune from subpoenas, but may argue that certain subpoenas are not reasonable or violate certain privileges. Any ordinary citizen can make the same arguments.

That's the proper ruling. It sucks that this means he gets to run out the clock, but that's due to slow-ass process.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 09:06 AM

8. The Mazars opinion wasn't the only possible answer.

Roberts hammered his “legislative purpose” doctrine in his lightweight Opinion, and I don’t like it because Congress also has an “oversight of the executive” function, above and beyond its legislative function. The representatives of “We, the People,” i.e. Congress, ought to be entitled to any and all evidence and/or testimony that they want when exercising their oversight function ... imo. But Roberts made clear that some “legislative purpose” must exist before a Congressional subpoena can be considered valid and enforceable. I think that’s overreach by the Court.

But, it was a compromise.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 09:44 AM

9. Possibly...

But I'm not so sure. I think the argument is that the stuff Congress is demanding pertains to personal conduct, and without a specific assertion of improper conduct by the executive with regards to behavior that material relates to, Congress cannot go on a fishing expedition. Otherwise, Congress could just subpoena the hell outta any President it didn't like. But Congress has broad powers of legislation, and if Congress wanted to see personal materials in order to inform the formation of legislation (for example, determining if certain financial behaviors of a President should be prohibited by law), then access to those materials could be justified. In other words, what law would Congress consider enacting based on the materials demanded?

If the desire for the materials is related to misconduct, those could be pursued under the impeachment powers.

Anyway, that's the way I see it.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 09:50 AM

10. That appears to be the Court's argument, yes.

But it means that the executive can tie up a congressional subpoena in court for years. It puts the onus on the court to decide what subpoenas are valid and which are not. I think it’s overreach. I would add that Congress’ impeachment powers are pathetic, at best, and do not serve Congress’ legitimate oversight function.

But, it was a compromise.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 09:53 AM

11. I agree.

It gives the Court the power to determine what is "too narrow" and what is not.

It is an over-reach by the Court, in my opinion.

The Congress should challenge it immediately, in some manner or other, in my opinion.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:45 AM

20. Can't agree with that

the courts have a role to play in balancing the powers of the executive and legislative branches.

If their ability of Congress to subpoena was essentially unlimited, then I COULD see Lindsey Graham just inundating the Biden Administration with a flurry of frivolous subpoenas. The Biden admin should be able to resort to the courts for relief.

IMO, the subpoena authority should be broad, but not unlimited. Certainly any citizen can challenge a subpoena the executive branch brings, however unlikely they are to prevail.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:48 AM

21. But should it be for "legislative" purposes only?

Isn't that what the ruling stated?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #21)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:59 AM

22. I stated my position above...

If the the subpoena materials are personal, and not obviously related to official business, then the demand should be related to legislative purposes, OR if a specific allegation is being made, as part of a misconduct (impeachment) inquiry. No fishing expeditions.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:32 AM

26. And we'd answer those subpoenas.

So what? Joe has nothing to hide. If Graham kept up with this nonsense, we’d criticize him in the media for conducting a REAL witch hunt and for wasting the time of Congress and the taxpayers’ money.

But government would continue, and everything would be fine. Congress DESERVES executive oversight powers that are not subservient to the will of the SCOTUS.

That said, the Mazars ruling is now the law, and this conversation is purely speculative.

-Laelth

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:04 AM

15. +1 My only complaint is they ignored the 1920s law that requires the taxes be handed over.

That law is long-standing and unambiguous.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:20 AM

24. Nope.

Now “narrow legislative purpose” is the requirement. The law you cite was, shall we say, “modified” by the SCOTUS yesterday.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:54 AM

30. Did they say something specific about the law?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #30)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:57 AM

31. Not to my knowledge.

But the effect of the ruling was to limit and abrogate the broad subpoena powers given to three, specific congressional committees that had been established by prior case law.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #31)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 12:05 PM

33. I don't think the law is struck down then.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #33)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 12:09 PM

34. No. It's not. It's still on the books.

But now it’s subject to SCOTUS review on a case-by-case basis. Now, it’s a judicial nightmare, and whatever subpoena power Congress had (before Mazars) is subject to the current whims and slow deliberation of our judicial system.

Great!

It was a compromise. I’ll take it, but I am not happy about it.

-Laelth

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:48 AM

4. So if Congress is investigating Russian influence,

they can subpoena any financial records related to Russia, and so on?

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:49 AM

5. Don't worry, as soon as we have a Democratic President the court will allow any kind of subpoena

and it will all be live on fox teevee in prime time

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Response to spanone (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 08:52 AM

7. +1. Zero credibility since December 12, 2000


when they installed George W. Bush as president


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Response to dalton99a (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:05 AM

16. SCROTUS needs to be expanded and subject to term limits.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 09:58 AM

12. I heard Adam Schiff being interviewed last night on Lawrence O'Donnell

and he indicated he thought the House Intelligence Committe would have no difficulty meeting the criteria set out by the Supremes for Congressional subpoenas.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #12)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:06 AM

17. Excellent. He knows what he's talking about.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:01 AM

13. I agree with both rulings.

The rule of law survived in the Vance ruling 9 justices said the president does not have unlimited immunity although Alito and Thomas thought he should have some deference but not immunity.

In the Congressional decision. The court said you can't go on fishing expeditions or go after a sitting president for political reasons...while I don't think Congress has done this and they will eventually get what they requested, I do think this protects future Democratic presidents from attacks...so I am good with both rulings. I believe Trump lost 'bigly'.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 10:13 AM

19. I'm pissed that it took 15 months to get to a decision...

...that just throws things back to the lower courts for even more delay.

I don't know exactly how it can be fixed, because some legal cases are truly complicated and take time to work out, but be it done by law or by constitutional amendment, something has to be done to make sure congressional oversight can never again be effectively denied by running out the clock.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:13 AM

23. What happened to the 1924 law that states the Treasury "shall" turn over such tax records on the

written request of one of the three committees’ chairs? Roberts never even mentioned the law in his decision. The decision sounded good but in reality it allows Trump escape public scrutiny until after the election, if ever. In 1974 Nixon was ordered to turn over the Watergate tapes immediately. He resigned a few days after being ordered to do so.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #23)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:43 AM

29. Possible that they view that as an assault on separation of powers....which is what

the ruling is based on. Also, Democrats asked for more than tax returns...things that would not fall under that law.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:28 AM

25. Narrow could just mean they need to be more specific.

For instance. Instead of saying Trump family. They identify each person.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:32 AM

27. Right.

It's open to interpretation by the Court. How will the Congress know if it is too narrow or not?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 11:38 AM

28. Or, narrow could mean ...

... “We don’t want to be involved in politics. We’re going to allow such cases to languish in Court, for years, if necessary, until the person Congress is investigating is no longer in office and the issue is moot.”

That’s what is actually happening, regardless of what they say.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #28)

Fri Jul 10, 2020, 12:00 PM

32. +1

We've got another Bob Mueller process IMHO. Make a public showing of propriety but the reality will be something different.

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