ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Constitution" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Mr. Trump's Wild Ride

[ Posted Friday, December 7th, 2018 – 17:44 PST ]

As is now normal, the past week in politics was a pretty wild ride. The stock market went up, then way down, then a bit back up, then way down again -- and that was in a week with only four trading days (Wednesday was a national day of mourning for George H. W. Bush, so the markets were closed). Trump drove much of this confusion, after meeting with the leader of China last weekend to discuss trade. Adding to the confusion was the arrest of the leader of a giant Chinese corporation on Canadian soil at the request of the American Justice Department, and a weaker-than-expected jobs report today.

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We Need A Voters' Bill Of Rights

[ Posted Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 – 17:16 PST ]

As time goes on, America seems to be taking a big step backwards on the long road toward voting equality for all. This election cycle saw a gubernatorial candidate refuse to recuse himself from overseeing the elections process in his current job; what appears to be a blatant effort to throw an election in North Carolina by a shady Republican operative; and the usual GOP bag of tricks when it comes to voter roll purges, long polling lines, and challenging in various ways the outcomes they didn't like. In short, if we're not already there, we're certainly approaching a crisis in confidence over the way Americans vote and the way those votes are counted.

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Discovery (A Musical Interlude)

[ Posted Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 – 19:21 PST ]

Maybe it's the holiday season, but for whatever reason, today while reading the news I had one of those moments of synchronicity, where a song just pops into your head unbidden, grabs ahold of your psyche and refuses to let go. So I thought I'd share it with everyone.

The story I read which caused this to happen was an update on one of the many federal court cases proceeding against President Donald Trump. It was filed by the attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia, and it charges Trump and Trump's D.C. hotel (which he has not divested himself of financially) with violating the "emoluments clause" of the Constitution. The update reported that the judge in the case has ruled that the discovery phase will now begin, which will give the attorneys general the power to issue subpoenas to everyone involved, up to and including departments of the federal government.

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Friday Talking Points -- Walking And Chewing Gum

[ Posted Friday, November 30th, 2018 – 17:42 PST ]

Welcome back to Friday Talking Points, after our one-week Thanksgiving break! Hope everyone had a great holiday and didn't eat too much turkey.

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...Nor Excessive Fines Imposed...

[ Posted Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 – 17:27 PST ]

The Supreme Court may be about to seriously rein in the practice of state and local governments essentially committing highway robbery. This practice is known as "asset forfeiture," and I've written extensively about it in the past. But a new court challenge could if not end then at least severely curtail the practice at the state and local level.

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What's Good For GM Is Not Good For Trump

[ Posted Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 – 18:06 PST ]

General Motors just announced several plant closures and over ten thousand layoffs, in a bid to restructure their operations for the future. Americans aren't buying so many sedans any more, so GM is shuttering some plants that make these cars. This includes a plant in Ohio, after President Trump personally promised workers that no factories would be shutting down there. Trump even went further, by personally advising Ohio workers not to sell their houses and move since manufacturing jobs would be such solid future prospects. So the GM announcement came as a rather personal blow to the president.

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Not Voting For Pelosi Versus Voting Against Pelosi

[ Posted Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 – 16:52 PST ]

That headline represents a distinction with a difference, as it could determine the next speaker of the House of Representatives. Is not voting for Nancy Pelosi for the speaker's chair the political equivalent of voting against Nancy Pelosi? Because, politics aside, there is an enormous difference between the two in terms of the rules of the House.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump's Temper Tantrum

[ Posted Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 18:43 PST ]

Most Americans, not being political wonks, have largely moved on from the midterm election results. The mainstream media has also largely been ignoring the still-developing story, for two reasons: (1) they really kind of blew it on Election Night, uniformly coming to the wrong conclusion very early in the evening ("the blue wave is not appearing") and so they're now avoiding having to correct their misinterpretation; and (2) there's a recount in Florida again! Woo hoo! Break out the video clips of that poor myopic cross-eyed guy with the magnifying glass -- that's always fun to run, right?

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Ranked-Choice Voting Put To The Test In Maine

[ Posted Thursday, November 15th, 2018 – 18:00 PST ]

You'll have to forgive me for writing yet another column on the midterm elections, but Maine has just made a bit of electoral history, and judging from conversations I've had recently with friends, their new voting system is not yet fully understood by all. Which is a shame, because it certainly is an innovation in the way people cast their votes. The jury's still really out on whether it is a good innovation or not, but it certainly is a different way of doing the business of counting votes.

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Democrats Chart Ambitious Path With H.R. 1

[ Posted Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 – 17:55 PST ]

While most of the Washington political press continues an obsession that had little (or nothing) to do with the Democrats' midterm election successes -- merely by changing their stock question: "So, if elected, will you immediately move to impeach Trump?" to: "So, now that you've been elected, will your first act be to impeach Trump?" -- the actual journalists over at NPR took the more obvious step of just asking the incoming House Democratic leadership what they were going to do first (without any preconceived and/or obsessive assumptions). The answer they got back was ambitious, if not downright breathtaking. Their scoop has so far been mostly ignored by the rest of the inside-the-Beltway crowd, but will likely grow in importance over time.

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