• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-11-2024, 07:20 AM
    The Court's rationale applies to all aspects of an impeachment trial. Are you seriously suggesting that an accused could appeal to SCOTUS regarding some alleged impropriety in the House proceedings? SCOTUS wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. Read Nixon again -- the Framers deliberately didn't involve the Court in the impeachment process, although there were proposals to do so:
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-10-2024, 04:09 PM
    I agree.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-10-2024, 01:26 PM
    Yeah, Willie Nelson has committed high crimes for years.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-10-2024, 09:21 AM
    Your insurmountable problem is that SCOTUS will not review the actions of the Senate; the Nixon case makes that quite clear, and your attempt to distinguish it by the fact that the case dealt with a procedural issue is unavailing. From the Nixon decision: This is one of the safeguards the Court pointed out:
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-08-2024, 06:22 AM
    But it's not a crime.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-07-2024, 05:05 PM
    The Court wouldn't have original jurisdiction in such a case. And you don't know the constitutional meaning of "High Crime or Misdemeanor." But we have had other impeachments that didn't involve criminal acts, and there's nothing in the Constitution differentiating between a Presidential impeachment and other types, aside from the Chief Justice's presiding in a Presidential impeachment trial.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-07-2024, 03:42 PM
    But who gets to decide whether an "impeachable charge" exists? If you read the Court's rationale in the Nixon case, you'll find that it rested on the Constitution's giving the Senate the "sole Power to try all Impeachments." Nixon argued that the word "try" meant that the Senate itself, and not a select committee, must hear the evidence. But the Court rejected this view of the word "try". Of course, under either Nixon's or the Court's definition of "try", the Senate would have the authority to determine whether the accused's conduct constituted an impeachable offense. One of the duties of a judge is to determine the law applicable to the facts, and the Senate has this obligation -- to determine whether the conduct constitutes "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." The Senate has the sole power to try an impeachment, and this applies to all aspects of an impeachment trial, including the determination of whether the accused's conduct consituted an impeachable offense. The Nixon Court noted:
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-07-2024, 10:32 AM
    I'll repeat: immunity from criminal prosecution has no effect upon impeachment.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-07-2024, 08:13 AM
    Again, you are inserting the word "legitimate" in connection with core powers, something SCOTUS didn't do. Moreover, an impeachable/removal act is whatever the House and Senate say it is. Drunkenness isn't a crime, yet a federal judge was impeached and removed for it. In addition, SCOTUS will not review the House and Senate's actions in an impeachment proceeding; it is a nonjusticiable political question. See Nixon v. United States , 506 U. S. 224 (1993), in which the Court said:
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-05-2024, 01:16 PM
    My comments have been limited to Oklahoma and the requirement that the Commandments be posted in every classroom. I believe Prescott controls the (state) constitutionality of this requirement. Indeed, I think the case for the invalidity of the requirement is stronger than the fact pattern in Prescott. Unlike the state capitol grounds involved in Prescott a public school classroom involves a captive audience of impressionable children who would be forced to see a clearly religious message every school day, thereby benefiting and supporting the Judeo-Christian system of religion. Now if you want to distinguish Prescott from the new regulation, have at it. Interesting bit of history: following the Prescott decision and the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the capitol grounds, legislators put a measure on the 2016 ballot that would have removed Article 2, Section 5 from the Oklahoma Constitution (which was the basis for the decision in Prescott). The measure failed by almost 14 percentage points. EDIT: The Oklahoma superintendent mandated that the Bible be included the school curriculum, that there be a Bible in every classroom, and that teachers " teach from it." He did not specifically require that the Commandments be posted; that was done in Louisiana. I apologize for my error. Further regulations regarding this mandate are to be issued, and the State department of Education may supply teaching materials to be used in all classes. It remains to be seen just how secular and even-handed the use of the Bible will be. Will students learn about Jefferson's bible, a severely redacted version of the New Testament that omitted any miracles, the Resurrection, and passages portraying Jesus as divine? Will they learn how the Bible was used to justify slavery? Will other foundational documents such as the Constitution be contrasted with the Ten Commandments (e.g., the First Amendment conflicts with the first three commandments)?
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-05-2024, 12:20 PM
    I'm ignoring it because it conflicts with the Oklahoma Constitution. It has no bearing because Prescott was based on the Oklahoma Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause. You haven't bothered to read Prescott, have you? Yet you have the audacity to pontificate on something you know nothing about. Here, read this and learn something:
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-05-2024, 11:41 AM
    The Prescott case was in 2015. In case you never had a basic civics class, a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on a matter of the Oklahoma Constitution takes precedence over a conflicting statute. And I'm not talking about the Bible being used in a class on religion. I'm talking about a mandate that the 10 Commandments be posted in every Oklahoma classroom.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-05-2024, 07:38 AM
    The Court didn't refer to "legitimate actions". It said, "The President therefore may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers." These powers include the pardon power, so even if a President accepts a bribe in exchange for a pardon, the language of the decision suggests he can't be prosecuted. But nowhere does the decision say he can't be impeached and removed from office for something for which he has prosecutorial immunity. Impeachment is a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and the actions forming the basis for an impeachment needn't be criminal. For example, Judge John Pickering was impeached and removed for drunkenness.
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-04-2024, 03:44 PM
    Good grief, the Missouri AG is almost as big an idiot as Ken Paxton, who sued Pennsylvania in 2020 claiming that its alleged voting irregularities harmed Texas voters. SCOTUS declined to hear the case due to a lack of standing, and it won't hear this one. Missouri has no standing to complain about criminal proceedings in another State.
    1 replies | 140 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-04-2024, 03:26 PM
    Immune? As far as Oklahoma is concerned, the Prescott case (which was based on the Oklahoma Constitution) dooms the attempt to put the Ten Commandments in classrooms. I suspect the Oklahoma official knew this, but like many politicians he promulgated an unconstitutional regulation to placate certain segments of the population. When the regulation is struck down later on he can then blame the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-04-2024, 07:53 AM
    I doubt you've ever read the case, which involved a government-composed prayer that was required to be recited at the beginning of class each day, although individual students weren't required to recite it if they or their parents objected. It's best to keep this in mind:
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-04-2024, 07:20 AM
    True enough, but the immunity addressed in the Trump case was immunity from criminal prosecution, not impeachment immunity..
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 03:30 PM
    I'm not denying that slaveowners cherry picked biblical verses to justify slavery. They did, and my point was that I doubt very much that this misuse would be taught as part of the "historical" approach to teaching the Bible that the Oklahoma official would have people believe would be the norm.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 12:32 PM
    The original intent of the Constitution was altered by the 14th Amendment, which limits what states can do.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 12:23 PM
    It was (mis)used by some to do so. See: https://time.com/5171819/christianity-slavery-book-excerpt/ https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/is-abolition-biblical#google_vignette
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 09:40 AM
    I doubt very much that the Oklahoma official who started this mess intends for the instruction to include how the Bible was used to justify slavery or that Massachusetts made blasphemy a capital offense (emulating Leviticus 24:16).
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 09:28 AM
    It's precisely the point. Christian church attendance is down, so the religious right-wing pearl clutchers want the government's help. The rest of your screed has nothig to do with the issue. Who said anything about eliminating street preachers? Good grief, if the law tolerates the cretins at the Westboro Baptist Church (which it does) you have nothing to fear about being silenced. Just do it without governmental assistance and taxpayers' money.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 07:55 AM
    You're delusional. The Free Exercise Clause protects beliefs. It does not protect all actions taken in conjunction with beliefs. Murder will still be outlawed even if some idiot claims his religion requires him to murder. Is Christianity's message so unappealing that it needs the government to promote it?
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 07:48 AM
    The problem with this is that the majority either assumed a President would never exercise these powers corruptly or if even he did he should get away with it. The classic example is granting pardons in exchange for bribes. Why in the world should a President who engages in this kind of conduct skate?
    151 replies | 4701 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-03-2024, 07:03 AM
    The plain language of the Oklahoma Constitution too difficult for you? It's hard to see why the Prescott case won't be determinative in getting rid of the display of the Commandments in the schools. And naturally you want government bureaucrats to determine just which religions are righteous and which are evil. And just where do they get the theological expertise to do this? There are places where religious vacuums can be filled. They are called churches, synagogues, mosques, and similar places. No one is forced to attend them, and aside from tax-exempt status and the ability to receive tax-deductible contributions from their supporters they receive no governmental assistance (or at least they're not supposed to).
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-02-2024, 03:45 PM
    The Oklahoma Supreme Court relied on this provision when it ruled that it was violated when a Ten Commandments monument was placed on the state capitol grounds. Although the monument had been donated by a private citizen, it was placed on the grounds pursuant to a legislative act. The Court denied a petition for rehearing. Two Justice joined in the following concurring opinion that addressed the "historic purpose" justification: Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, 2015 OK 54 (Okla. 2015) (citations omitted)
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-01-2024, 03:29 PM
    I'm not in favor of government bureaucrats determining which organizations are sufficiently "religious" to enjoy governmental benefits or government recognition. But I'm not naive enough to think that tax-exempt status for religious organizations is going away anytime soon, so you'll still have bureaucrats making those calls. If Scientology can be treated as a religious organization it shouldn't be surprising that something called The Satanic Temple is treated as one.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-01-2024, 01:44 PM
    I may seem absurd to you, but it didn't to the Court. The majority opinion rejected the argument that Trump had to be impeached first.
    112 replies | 10303 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    07-01-2024, 01:24 PM
    If someone wanted to do that, he wouldn't need a statute. He could come up with a common law crime after the fact.
    407 replies | 10650 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
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