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Impeachment, McConnell, and Separation of Powers

What we witnessed on February 13, 2021 with Mitch McConnell’s reason for voting not guilty in the impeachment trial of ex-president Donald Trump, is the Senate playing the Judicial Branch.

The question on whether the Senate had jurisdiction to hold impeachment trial was raised, and voted on.  The Senate’s vote was that it had jurisdiction.

In a regular court of law, once a judge has ruled, the issue can no longer be argued, and jurors are instructed not to consider the issue during deliberations.  However, the Senate is not a court of law.  Mitch McConnell disregarded the majority Senate vote and used the issue of constitutional jurisdiction to acquit ex-President Donald J. Trump.

 

The argument over whether the Senate has jurisdiction to hold an impeachment trial for a government official no longer in office, is over a hundred years old.   In 1862, it was federal judge West Hughes Humphries.  In 1876, it was Secretary of War William Belknap.  So, why hasn’t a federal court settled the question? Read the rest of this entry

No Donald Trump. The Cure Is Not Worse Than The Problem.

Regarding the coronavirus sweeping across the United States, on March 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet;

“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAS WE WANT TO GO!”

 

During his briefing on March 23, 2020, Trump made it clear that his perception of a highly contagious virus with potential to kill is a “problem” rather than a public health issue. Rather than avoid the spread of the virus, he wants people to return to work.  He wants the stock market to go up.

According to Politico, the prospect of resuming typical business has horrified public health leaders.

“At a White House briefing Monday night, Trump seemed adamant that the economy would come back to life “very soon,” insisting that the government can fight the viral spread while also going to work — ‘we can do them both at the same time’.”

Let’s be clear about something.  The White House recommended “social distancing” but Trump, neither anyone in his administration, gave stay-at-home orders. He can’t rescind nor change orders that he didn’t issue.

As of March 24, 2020, Governors of 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders. The mayor of Atlanta issued a stay-at-home order for that city.

Donald Trump lacks jurisdiction to order Governors and Mayors to cancel their orders. Read the rest of this entry

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