• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-30-2024, 07:34 AM
    That may be what you're talking about, but it's not what the Constitution addresses. Impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate have one purpose: to remove the accused from office. It is a civil proceeding that has the collateral result of disqualifying a person found guilty by the Senate from ever holding a federal office. Impeachment is not a criminal proceeding, which should be patently obvious when you realize that it's not necessary that the behavior forming the basis of an impeachment constitutes criminal activity. For example, the first conviction by the Senate was of John Pickering, a federal judge who was removed for chronic intoxication. If impeachment were really a criminal proceeding, one who is is acquitted in a criminal trial couldn't be later impeached and removed because of double jeopardy. Yet that's exactly what happened to Alcee Hastings, a federal judge acquitted of bribery and perjury but later impeached and removed for the same acts. He argued, among other things, that his acquittal barred his later impeachment, but the court rejected his double jeopardy claim: Note that Hastings was tried in a U.S. District Court while he was still a federal judge, and it doesn't appear that anyone argued that "proper venue" was the impeachment process.
    110 replies | 8247 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-29-2024, 10:39 AM
    SCOTUS will decide this issue, but the Justices during oral arguments in Trump's case were dubious about his claim of absolute immunity and eventually got his attorney to admit that Trump could be prosecuted for private, non-officlal acts committed during his presidency. For example, Justice Barrett (a Trump appointee) pointed to one of the allegations in Trump's indictment that he spoke to “a private attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims of election fraud to spearhead his challenges to the election results". Trump's attorney conceded that such conduct was a private act that would not be subject to immunity. Btw, you didn't answer my hypothetical. Give it a try.
    110 replies | 8247 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-29-2024, 07:04 AM
    Impeachment is a civil proceeding, so the constitutional provision vesting the Senate with the sole power to try impeachments does not apply to a criminal proceeding and doesn't divest the District Court of the authority to try a criminal case. The fact that the same conduct (high crimes and misdemeanors) might be involved in both proceedings doesn't change this distinction. Apples and oranges. While there might be policy arguments for not permitting a President to be tried in a criminal matter without first being impeached, the language of the Constitution doesn't support your theory. Hypothetical: A President commits what any reasonable person would view as a high crime and then commits another by bribing 34 Senators to vote for acquittal in an impeachment proceeding. He skates, right?
    110 replies | 8247 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-26-2024, 03:05 PM
    Not really. For example, under current law original issue discount (the increase in value of a bond issued for less than its value at maturity) is treated as income and is subject to tax even though the increase (which is really imputed interest) hasn't been received. In addition, accrued interest on a certificate of deposit with a maturity of more than one year is taxable annually even though it's not paid until maturity. There is a case currently pending before the Supreme Court (Moore v. United States) involving the issue of whether unrealized gain can constitutionally be treated as income subject to tax. The case involves a one-time tax on certain shareholders of certain foreign corporations that's measured by a portion of the corporation's accumulated and undistributed profits. The plaintiffs argue that realization is required because a tax on the mere increase in value of property is a tax on the property itself and thus a direct tax that the Constitution requires be apportioned among the states by population. The counterargument is that the income has been realized -- by the corporation -- and that it is, and has in the past, been permissible to impute that income to its shareholders. In addition, it's argued that historically some unrealized gains were recognized as income subject to tax. It's doubtful that the Court will issue a broad holding that realization is never required and that accrued gain is income, as such a ruling would make accrued gain taxable under current law, which requires all income to be included in gross income unless specifically excluded. I'm guessing that it will be limited to the foreign corporation context because I can't envision a ruling under which everyone owning corporate stock would have to include in income the annual gain in the value of the shares. If that's the case, then Biden's proposed tax on unrealized gain would still be subject to attack as an unconstitutional direct tax. The real danger of a holding that realization isn't constitutionally required is that it opens the door to a wealth tax, something that most experts in the area have viewed as a direct tax.
    28 replies | 1484 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-20-2024, 01:14 PM
    I see...D'Souza thinks lying under oath is perfectly acceptable so long as it benefits Trump. What a douchebag.
    223 replies | 16684 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-20-2024, 08:22 AM
    Billy Strings, the new wunderkind of flatpicking and Chris Thile, the MacArthur genius grant winning mandolin virtuoso. This is how it's done.
    6602 replies | 638830 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    04-19-2024, 08:01 AM
    The best thing about Hee Haw was that occasionally it would feature Bobby Thompson, one of the legends of 5-string banjo. Although the audio in the clip is prerecorded, Bobby's licks are spot on.
    131 replies | 3727 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."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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