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Tue Jan 14, 2020, 09:36 PM

Supreme Court weighs 'Bridgegate' -- with Christie in the front row

Source: Politico

WASHINGTON — Most of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court expressed skepticism Tuesday about the federal government’s case in the infamous “Bridgegate” scandal, several of them peppering a Justice Department lawyer with questions as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie watched from the front row.

A number of the justices, weighing some dense legal issues that surround the convictions of two former Christie allies, seemed to find merit in the defendants‘ arguments that they did not defraud the government of its “property” by closing off two local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

“I don’t see how this case works,” Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the court’s liberal wing, said at one point during the hourlong hearing. Breyer said that what happened was bad — and maybe even a crime — but doubted the statutes involved in the case were properly applied.

Other liberal and conservative justices also seemed to struggle with the arguments made by the Justice Department, whose defense of the case rested on the idea that no one involved in the political retribution scheme had the “authority” to realign the lanes at the bridge. Because they didn’t have the authority, the government said, the defendants lied — they claimed to be doing a “traffic study” — in order to take control of the costly resources needed to execute their political punishment scheme.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2020/01/14/supreme-court-weighs-bridgegate-with-christie-in-the-front-row-1251234

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Reply Supreme Court weighs 'Bridgegate' -- with Christie in the front row (Original post)
brooklynite Jan 14 OP
Midnightwalk Jan 14 #1
rsdsharp Jan 15 #3
Midnightwalk Jan 15 #4
diva77 Jan 15 #2

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 10:06 PM

1. Why does this remind me of the astros?

Didn’t they just get penalized for cheating by capturing pitching signs electronically? Fines, loss of draft picks, stuff. Events happened a couple of years ago.

This was punishing a democratic mayor by blocking traffic on the extremely travelled george washington bridge between new jersey and Manhattan. Crazily brazen political stunt. Happened while christie was still governor.

Case is now at the supreme court. I understand the need for appeals and would want my opportunity however unlikely I’d be getting the same high powered representation.

But it is galling.

Baseball must be simpler than real life.

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Response to Midnightwalk (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 15, 2020, 11:12 AM

3. In baseball, the Commissioner has plenary power to act "in the best interests of baseball."

That's not how the criminal justice system works.

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Response to rsdsharp (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 15, 2020, 06:03 PM

4. I agree the two really aren't related

Like I said, I wouldn’t want to give up the right to appeal, even to the Supreme Court to speed things up. Real life is more complex and slower for legitimate reasons.

I can rationalize why the two are different but my mind keeps tripping over the baseball case which I don’t really care about getting to conclusion while bridge gate still not at conclusion and there being a chance the convictions will be overturned. The comment that there may not have been a crime ( phrased oppositely) stand out.

I cared about this case since it was exposed but more now since it has similarities to Ukraine in that government resources were used to punish political rivals.

I do a lot of problem solving so this type of thinking is an occupational hazard. I try to remember my speculations are just that. This one is clearly unrelated but I can’t shake that feeling of cognitive dissonance that usually tells me to keep looking.

Treat it as partly me whining about the uncertainty of punishment but also some comments on the weird connections our brains produce. I wonder if the sense of injustice makes it hard to let go of this hunch. Intellectually I know I should

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed Jan 15, 2020, 12:16 AM

2. seems like a form of intimidation sitting in the front row like that

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