•   
  •   

World The Supreme Court hands two final defeats to Trump

20:02  22 february  2021
20:02  22 february  2021 Source:   vox.com

A Trump criminal probe in Georgia expands to include Sen. Lindsey Graham

  A Trump criminal probe in Georgia expands to include Sen. Lindsey Graham A Georgia district attorney is investigating whether Graham violated state law in a call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.The investigation, which was opened by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis earlier this month, will probe whether Trump — and now Graham — violated state law in the course of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results in Georgia following the 2020 presidential election.

Former President Donald Trump has been a private citizen for a little more than a month, but the Supreme Court just officially denied his final effort to overturn the 2020 election — although it did so over the protests of three justices.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump stands, in a navy suit and red tie, hands spread wide, speaking into a microphone at a podium with his name on it and American flags behind him. © Alex Wong/Getty Images President Donald Trump stands, in a navy suit and red tie, hands spread wide, speaking into a microphone at a podium with his name on it and American flags behind him.

Additionally, the Court announced that it will not prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. from obtaining Trump’s tax records, as part of a longstanding criminal investigation into Trump’s businesses.

What the 7 Republicans Who Voted to Convict Donald Trump Have Said About Their Decision

  What the 7 Republicans Who Voted to Convict Donald Trump Have Said About Their Decision Susan Collins of Maine said Trump created a "dangerous situation" and put his "selfish interest" over the interests of the country. "That attack was not a spontaneous outbreak of violence. Rather, it was the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump that was aimed at overturning the results of the presidential election," said Collins.Collins added that Trump worked to undermine the election results and rile up his followers to "fight" against the reality of President Joe Biden's victory.

The Court’s decision not to intervene in this case about Trump’s financial records, Trump v. Vance, is not surprising. In that case, Trump’s lawyers argued that the former president was entitled to absolutely sweeping immunity from criminal investigation while in office — at one point claiming that a sitting president cannot be the subject of a criminal probe if he shoots someone on a public street. But the Supreme Court already rejected this sweeping immunity argument once, in a decision handed down last July. And Trump is no longer the sitting president, so his already weak arguments are now even weaker.

The Court also announced that it will not hear two consolidated election cases on Monday, and its decision not to hear Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Degraffenreid and Corman v. Pennsylvania Democratic Party is also not surprising. The cases ask whether a small number of Pennsylvania absentee ballots that arrived after election day should be counted. But, because these ballots will not change the result of any federal election even if they are tossed out, the two Pennsylvania cases are moot.

Republicans Back Trump Because of the Insurrection, Not Despite It

  Republicans Back Trump Because of the Insurrection, Not Despite It The former president’s ruthlessness remains central to his appeal.How can it be that Democrats and Republicans see the former president in such divergent ways? One common answer is that, thanks to information bubbles, they’re looking at different sets of facts; conservative outlets buried the impeachment hearings compared with other outlets’ coverage. Democrats and independents are still outraged, while Republicans have forgiven and forgotten.

What is surprising is that three justices — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — all voted to hear these two Pennsylvania cases. As explained below, these three justices’ votes show that the Court’s right flank is champing at the bit to dismantle one of the foundational premises of American election law.

The immediate impact of the Court’s decision not to hear the two Pennsylvania cases is that Trump and the Republican Party’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election will not receive a hearing in the Supreme Court — and they appear to be dead. But the three dissenting votes in these Pennsylvania cases suggest that a larger battle over who gets to set the rules for American elections is very much alive.

The “independent state legislature” doctrine, briefly explained

The Pennsylvania cases both involve something known as the “independent state legislature” doctrine, a doctrine that the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected at multiple points throughout its history, but that is now embraced by at least four members of the Court’s Republican majority.

The Five Trump Amendments to the Constitution

  The Five Trump Amendments to the Constitution The 45th president profoundly altered our system of government.The surprising aspect of this conclusion is not that the Constitution can be informally amended. That has been the usual way of making revisions. In 1803, the Supreme Court granted itself the power to review laws and overturn them. In 1824, the states tied the electoral vote to the popular vote. Neither of those changes was inscribed on parchment or envisioned by the Founders, but today we can’t imagine our constitutional system without them.

The Constitution provides that “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” A separate constitutional provision provides that “each State shall appoint” members of the Electoral College “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”

Proponents of the independent state legislature doctrine claim that the word “legislature,” when used in this context, must refer to the legislative branch of government within a state — and thus the state’s judiciary and the state’s executive branch are both forbidden to shape the rules governing federal elections within a state. As Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in an opinion last fall, “the Constitution provides that state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”

There are many problems with this interpretation of the Constitution, however. One of them is that the Court has repeatedly rejected the independent state legislature doctrine. For more than a century, the Supreme Court understood the word “legislature,” as it is used in the relevant constitutional provisions, to refer to whatever the valid lawmaking process is within that state. As the Court held most recently in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (2015), the word “legislature” should be read “in accordance with the State’s prescriptions for lawmaking, which may include the referendum and the Governor’s veto.”

Eric Trump Offers Bill de Blasio an Olive Branch, but NYC Mayor Says No More Business

  Eric Trump Offers Bill de Blasio an Olive Branch, but NYC Mayor Says No More Business Eric Trump has praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for keeping two Trump Organization-operated ice rinks open, as the mayor remains committed to cutting the city's ties with Donald Trump's businesses.But the city is refusing to relent on its push to sever ties with Donald Trump's businesses in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot the former president is accused of inciting, an allegation he denies.

Should the new doctrine advanced by the Court’s right flank take hold, the implications are potentially breathtaking. It could mean, for example, that Democratic governors in states like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania are forbidden from vetoing congressional redistricting bills, thus giving the Republican state legislature control over gerrymandering. It could mean that states are forbidden from drawing congressional districts using a nonpartisan commission, on the theory that a commission is not part of the “legislature.” And it could forbid state courts from enforcing the state’s constitutional safeguards against gerrymandering and outright disenfranchisement, because courts are not part of the “legislature.”

At least four justices support the independent state legislature doctrine

Indeed, the Pennsylvania cases involved just such a dispute between a Republican legislature and a state court. In the lead up to Pennsylvania’s 2020 election, the state supreme court held that mailed-in ballots that arrive up to three days after the election will be counted. Republicans sued, claiming that the state courts do not have the power to set the state’s election rules — only the legislature can.

As it turns out, the results of Pennsylvania’s federal elections would not change if these late-arriving ballots are tossed out, so the case is moot. And, while the majority did not explain why it decided not to hear these cases, it is likely that this mootness problem was at the front of their minds.

Trump may soon have to answer rape allegations under oath

  Trump may soon have to answer rape allegations under oath Trump faces two cases involving sexual misconduct that may move forward faster now that he is no longer US president.The author and journalist hopes that day will come this year. Her lawyers are seeking to depose Trump in a defamation lawsuit that Carroll filed against the former president in November 2019 after he denied her accusation that he raped her at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Trump said he never knew Carroll and accused her of lying to sell her new book, adding: “She’s not my type.

Yet three justices — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito — all voted to hear the two Pennsylvania cases despite the fact that there is no longer a live controversy among the parties in those cases.

Thomas’s dissenting opinion argues that the Court needs to “provide clear rules for future elections,” but the Court’s decision in the Arizona State Legislature case already set a clear rule rejecting the independent state legislature doctrine. The real dispute in these cases was whether to change the longstanding rule that was applied in that Arizona case.

A fourth justice, Brett Kavanaugh, endorsed the independent state legislature doctrine in an opinion last October, although he did not vote to hear the Pennsylvania cases now that the election is over, most likely because those cases are moot. The Court’s three liberal justices, plus Chief Justice John Roberts, have all signaled that they will not vote to impose the independent state legislature doctrine.

So that leaves Justice Barrett, a Trump appointee, as the one uncertain vote on the Supreme Court in the likely event that the independent state legislature doctrine comes back to the Court in the future. The bottom line, in other words, is that, while the Supreme Court just handed Trump a final round of defeats, a radical argument that could potentially have seismic consequences for US democracy may still be in play.

Who won the Republican civil war? .
Donald Trump's re-emergence this weekend made one thing clear: the Republican party is still his.No grappling with the party's future in the face of Donald Trump's defeat. No pondering the loss of control of the US Senate.

usr: 0
This is interesting!