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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#17161 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 12:02

This is a worrisome development - made more so by the doubt of a credible SCOTUS.



Quote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The state of Texas, aiming to help President Donald Trump upend the results of the U.S. election, said on Tuesday it has sued Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin at the Supreme Court, calling changes those states made to election procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic unlawful.

The long-shot lawsuit, announced by the Republican attorney general of Texas Ken Paxton, was being filed directly with the Supreme Court rather than with a lower court, as is permitted for certain litigation between states. The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority including three justices appointed by Trump.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17162 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 12:19

Senate stimulus negotiations at risk of collapsing over whether companies can be sued for outbreaks

Quote

McConnell called the liability shield a red line in negotiations in May, predicting a flood of lawsuits could amount to a “second pandemic,” and saying the measure was necessary to protect companies from costly litigation.

Democrats have characterized the liability shield as a non-starter, alleging that the Trump administration’s lax stance on worker protections has already tilted the scale toward companies on safety issues. Durbin, who had been involved in the bipartisan group’s work, pulled out of discussions last week and criticized the inclusion of a liability shield in the legislation.

Lawmakers have more information now than they did in the spring about the potential for coronavirus-related lawsuits. And data shows that the “flood” of litigation warned about by Republicans and business groups has not materialized thus far.

An online complaint tracker from the law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth shows that out of an overall pool of about 6,500 lawsuits filed across the country so far, only 116 have been filed by employees over issues like lack of personal protective equipment, exposure or infections at work, and death from the virus. Consumers have filed another 29 personal injury or wrongful death claims for coronavirus exposure.

“That’s like two to four lawsuits per state,” said Hugh Baran, an expert on legal recourse for employees at the worker-focused National Employment Law Project. “That’s a trickle. It’s not a flood. ... This whole immunity bill that’s been proposed by McConnell and Cornyn is really a solution in search of a problem.”

The legal database Lex Machina counts 234 personal injury and wrongful death cases filed against companies for coronavirus-related issues as of the end of November, predominantly negligence suits from clientele of cruise lines and assisted-living facilities. Another 527 lawsuits have been filed by employees over coronavirus issues, mostly workers claiming they were retaliated against or terminated for getting sick. Both of those figures represent just a fraction of the non-coronavirus-related court cases those practice areas this year: 16,461 personal injury and wrongful death suits and 17,822 employment cases.

“Cases caused by covid-19 have not hit the federal courts in particularly a large wave at this time,” said Rachel Bailey, a legal analyst at Lex Machina.

By contrast, the businesses themselves appear to be a much larger source of litigation than employees: Some 1,300 lawsuits have been filed by companies against insurers over business interruption claims due to the coronavirus, for example. Lawsuits that track with conservative-leaning complaints, like nearly 1,000 lawsuits counted by Ballotpedia against local and state coronavirus restrictions, have also made for a significantly larger bulk of the legal cases during the pandemic.

Legal advocates and worker representatives say that allowing workers to challenge employers through private lawsuits is a crucial check on corporate power at a time when the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken a largely pro-employer approach to safety issues.

The fact that Congress can't come to a reasonable compromise on the liability issue tells you why blanket preemption is such a bad idea.

Clearly, for Republicans, the prime directive is helping corporations and themselves rig the system at every opportunity.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#17163 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 15:01

At what point did the Republican party become an enemy to democracy? This is no longer politics as usual. This is put them in prison for sedition type activity.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17164 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 16:40

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-08, 15:01, said:

At what point did the Republican party become an enemy to democracy? This is no longer politics as usual. This is put them in prison for sedition type activity.


Probably the Tea Bag Party movement was the tipping point, IMHO.
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#17165 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 21:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-08, 12:02, said:

This is a worrisome development - made more so by the doubt of a credible SCOTUS.



[/size]

The SCOTUS are not going to touch anything like this. Trump appointees may be there but they have a lifetime to push their agenda and are not going to want to delegitimise themselves over a pointless show.

@y66, coup is the right term I think, although I suspect it is in reality more about raking in cash than any actual belief in holding power. I have used the #StopTheCoup hashtag on twitter for a while now - fits much better than #StopTheSteal.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#17166 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 21:04

View Postjohnu, on 2020-December-08, 16:40, said:

Probably the Tea Bag Party movement was the tipping point, IMHO.

Ironically the person that might go down in history as the last Republican with a spine, John McCain, was probably the instigator of the change. One can only hope, not only for America but for the entire world, that they somehow find their way back to a more traditional conservatism in the coming years.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#17167 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 00:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-December-08, 21:04, said:

One can only hope, not only for America but for the entire world, that they somehow find their way back to a more traditional conservatism in the coming years.


One of my pet theories - who knows if it really makes any sense, but I think it might:

Traditional conservatism rests on two principles:

1) A slow pace of change in society
2) Limited government intervention (or, rather, slow change in how government intervenes, because established modes of government intervention aren't seen as intervention).

When those two principles are incompatible because society is rapidly changing due to non-governmental forces (like new technology driving a revolution in the economy), then traditional conservatism becomes unviable.
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#17168 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 06:49

View Postakwoo, on 2020-December-09, 00:17, said:

One of my pet theories - who knows if it really makes any sense, but I think it might:

Traditional conservatism rests on two principles:

1) A slow pace of change in society
2) Limited government intervention (or, rather, slow change in how government intervenes, because established modes of government intervention aren't seen as intervention).

When those two principles are incompatible because society is rapidly changing due to non-governmental forces (like new technology driving a revolution in the economy), then traditional conservatism becomes unviable.


As a two point summary, I would call this pretty accurate. The full story would be more complicated, I imagine you agree, but it's a good quick summary.

However, the problem we have right now is different. Trump likes to speak of Reagan. I very much doubt Reagan would be willing to sit at the same table with him. Trump has absolutely nothing in common with GWH Bush. Or with Mitt Romney. Certainly nothing in common with Barry Goldwater or Dwight Eisenhower, The problem is not conservatism, I often agree with conservatives on a variety of points, the problem is that we have a cult movement that is tolerated by Republicans who, through cowardice, laziness or self-interest, won't acknowledge what is happening.



Ken
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#17169 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 07:15

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-December-08, 21:00, said:

The SCOTUS are not going to touch anything like this. Trump appointees may be there but they have a lifetime to push their agenda and are not going to want to delegitimise themselves over a pointless show.

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-08, 12:02, said:

This is a worrisome development - made more so by the doubt of a credible SCOTUS

I would have wholeheartedly agreed with Zel on this. In principle, it is too risky for SCOTUS to make stupid calls on a short-term matter when they are in it for the long run.

That is, until I read a note on the Scotusblog website (link here) re. this lawsuit which I found concerning.

Quote

Update (Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6:20 p.m.): On Tuesday evening, the court called for a response to Texas’ suit by Thursday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m.

If the SC thought the entire lawsuit was frivolous and that Texas's attempt to intervene is an overreach of "Original Jurisdiction" (used by SC to adjudicate inter-State disputes), they would have thrown it out or sat on it till it was too late. They instead chose to ask for responses from the sued States.
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#17170 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 09:51

This is what happens when the conch shell is controlled by children:



Quote

Lifelong Republican Ron Filipkowski, who resigned on Tuesday from his position as vice chairman of the 12th Circuit Judicial Nomination Committee (JNC) in Florida, appeared on Cuomo Prime Time Tuesday night and explained he decision.

A day earlier, agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) raided the home of Rebekah Jones, a data scientist who was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May following a dispute with superiors over properly reporting COVID-19 data.

Filipkowski agreed with the assertion Jones made on Monday night that the raid was an attempt by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to intimidate her and other scientists, and he claimed that the raid wasn’t warranted.

“I watched the video when she tweeted it out right after the incident happened, and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Filipkowski said, later adding, “I saw what was happening and I couldn’t believe it. Then I read the search warrant, and I’m a criminal lawyer, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the search warrant about how broad it was, about what they were alleging as a supposed crime.”





Lord of the Lies?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17171 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 09:55

View Postshyams, on 2020-December-09, 07:15, said:

I would have wholeheartedly agreed with Zel on this. In principle, it is too risky for SCOTUS to make stupid calls on a short-term matter when they are in it for the long run.

That is, until I read a note on the Scotusblog website (link here) re. this lawsuit which I found concerning.

If the SC thought the entire lawsuit was frivolous and that Texas's attempt to intervene is an overreach of "Original Jurisdiction" (used by SC to adjudicate inter-State disputes), they would have thrown it out or sat on it till it was too late. They instead chose to ask for responses from the sued States.


The latest news:



Quote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to intervene in a long-shot lawsuit by the state of Texas filed at the U.S. Supreme Court trying to throw out the voting results in four states he lost to President-elect Joe Biden as he seeks to undo the outcome of the election.


The Republican president, writing on Twitter, said: "We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!"





How the hell the WH can intervene in the SCOTUS is unexplained.

Steve Vladeck, law professor at the University of Texas, explains what this lawsuit means:

Quote

“The central argument here is that we should let the election be decided by unelected judges and partisan state legislators, rather than the 150 million Americans who cast legitimate ballots,” Vladeck told me. “That would be the end of democracy as we know it."



Fortunately, although original jurisdiction allows the SCOTUS to hear this without a lower court acting, the choice to hear the case still resides with the SCOTUS - we all hope they act sanely and refuse.

This post has been edited by Winstonm: 2020-December-09, 10:36

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17172 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 13:26

If you are an originalist who believes that the US government should adhere closely to the vision of the Founding Fathers, then almost by definition you do not think the US should be a democracy. The Founding Fathers did not want democracy; they wanted a republic (which just means a government without a king) that, like the British government of the time, combined elements of personal authority, an oligarchy of the wealthiest, and broader participation by all landowners.
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#17173 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 14:37

View Postakwoo, on 2020-December-09, 13:26, said:

If you are an originalist who believes that the US government should adhere closely to the vision of the Founding Fathers, then almost by definition you do not think the US should be a democracy. The Founding Fathers did not want democracy; they wanted a republic (which just means a government without a king) that, like the British government of the time, combined elements of personal authority, an oligarchy of the wealthiest, and broader participation by all landowners.


A democratic republic, to be sure. Representative government.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17174 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 16:48

The Republican party has gone full-blown autocratic anti-America:


Quote

Texas has been joined by 17 other red states in its longshot Supreme Court lawsuit to try and overturn Donald Trump's election defeat.

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton launched legal action against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which were all won by Joe Biden as he claimed the White House.

The 17 states, all of which supported the outgoing president, have now filed an amicus brief in support of the case to throw out Mr Biden's wins in those four states.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17175 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 17:07

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-09, 16:48, said:

The Republican party has gone full-blown autocratic anti-America:




It is not surprising that the Texas AG would be the one to file this lawsuit. Only in the US would a criminal be attorney general of a major state. OK, maybe not so unusual because we have a criminal who is president

AP Sources: FBI is investigating Texas attorney general

Quote

The FBI is investigating allegations that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton broke the law in using his office to benefit a wealthy donor, according to two people with knowledge of the probe.

Federal agents are looking into claims by former members of Paxton’s staff that the high-profile Republican committed bribery, abuse of office and other crimes to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul, the people told The Associated Press. They insisted on anonymity to discuss the investigation because it is ongoing.


Top aides accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of bribery, abusing office

Quote

In a one-page letter to the state agency’s director of human resources, obtained Saturday by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, seven executives in the upper tiers of the office said that they are seeking the investigation into Paxton “in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas.”


Paxton is undoubted angling for a presidential pardon, but federal pardons do not apply to state crimes. But Texas has a highly partisan right fringe Republican governor so a state pardon is also certainly possible.
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#17176 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 17:27

View Postjohnu, on 2020-December-09, 17:07, said:

It is not surprising that the Texas AG would be the one to file this lawsuit. Only in the US would a criminal be attorney general of a major state. OK, maybe not so unusual because we have a criminal who is president

AP Sources: FBI is investigating Texas attorney general



Top aides accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of bribery, abusing office



Paxton is undoubted angling for a presidential pardon, but federal pardons do not apply to state crimes. But Texas has a highly partisan right fringe Republican governor so a state pardon is also certainly possible.


That Paxton acted is not a huge surprise - that 17 other state AGs joined his suit is a direct attack on American voters.

Quote

The attorneys general of the following states just asked the Supreme Court to nullify millions of legal votes:
Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
North Dakota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
West Virginia

This post has been edited by Winstonm: 2020-December-09, 17:35

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#17177 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 18:16

View Postjohnu, on 2020-December-09, 17:07, said:

It is not surprising that the Texas AG would be the one to file this lawsuit. Only in the US would a criminal be attorney general of a major state. OK, maybe not so unusual because we have a criminal who is president


I'm not sure if the USA has a clearly demarcated role for a Solicitor General (or Barrister General or such) who is usually different from an AG. I ask because typically the authority to represent the State or the Government in matters of law lies primarily with the Solicitor General. She/he is the person who (either in their own capacity or under instruction of the Head of State/Govt) will file a case in a Superior Court.

I am quite sure that is how it works in the UK. I also believe the SG is (usually) a non-political person whereas the AG is (almost always) a member of the ruling party.
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#17178 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 18:28

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-09, 17:27, said:

That Paxton acted is not a huge surprise - that 17 other state AGs joined his suit is a direct attack on American voters.

Quote

The attorneys general of the following states just asked the Supreme Court to nullify millions of legal votes:
Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
North Dakota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
West Virginia



That's a good start for a list of New Confederacy states to secede from the USA. For the most part, they won't be missed.
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#17179 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 19:03

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-December-07, 16:06, said:

I'm tired of hearing the media report that "there is no evidence of election fraud". To the crazoid, that just means evidence is there but has yet to be found. Just say no, there wasn't any fraud. Period.

This is the old "hard to prove a negative" problem. Or "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

If you pull off a "perfect crime", it means you leave no evidence implicating you. That doesn't mean the crime didn't occur or you didn't commit it. But it does mean they won't be able to find and prosecute you.

And in the case of election fraud, if they do it well you may not even be able to tell that the crime occurred. The paper trail is supposed to be the solution to this, but if the conspiracy includes all the people involved in the counts and recounts, the fraud is still perpetrated.

So the best you can truthfully say is that you tried to find evidence and failed. And it should be pretty obvious that if there were enough fraud to flip the results, it would be difficult to hide the evidence. But it's also nearly impossible to satisfy conspiracy theorists, since they can always assume that anyone denying the conspiracy is actually part of it. Trump hit it big with his "fake news" line, that fits in perfectly with their thinking.

#17180 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 19:08

View Postshyams, on 2020-December-09, 18:16, said:

I'm not sure if the USA has a clearly demarcated role for a Solicitor General

There is a Texas SG (Kyle Hawkins) but he did not sign onto the filings. The suit has literally zero chance of success and is purely a political/PR move rather than a genuine legal challenge.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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