ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Constitution" Category

Biden Addresses Campus Protests

[ Posted Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 – 15:55 UTC ]

Today President Joe Biden gave a short address on the spreading campus protests and violence over the war in Gaza. In doing so, he had an awfully fine line to walk, since both the Palestinians and the Israelis have valid views and political positions that are worth respecting. So he tried to thread this needle very carefully in his prepared statement.

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Friday Talking Points -- Starting The Nerd Prom Jokes Early

[ Posted Friday, April 26th, 2024 – 17:15 UTC ]

This week was supposed to begin (for us, since we measure weeks from Friday to Friday) with a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina last Saturday. After being cooped up in a courtroom all week listening to the lawyers haggle over jury selection, Trump was going to hit the campaign trail again to bask in the glow of adulation from his MAGA faithful (even the Proud Boys showed up!). That was the plan, at any rate.

But then the rally had to be cancelled at the last minute...

[...wait for it...]

...due to stormy weather.

[pause for rimshot]

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The Trump Legal Marathon

[ Posted Thursday, April 25th, 2024 – 16:15 UTC ]

There was activity in three separate court cases against Donald Trump today: two major courtroom events, as well as a ruling in an older case. The big ones were the continuation of Trump's current criminal trial in New York for another day of testimony (which ended with the start of the first cross-examination of a witness by the defense), and the Supreme Court finally (after a pointless two-month delay) hearing Trump's sweeping claims to presidential immunity. The ruling was from a judge in New York who just rejected Trump's move to hold a new trial or at least reduce the damages in the $83 million civil judgment against him for defaming E. Jean Carroll. The judge shot down both notions, so Trump's still on the hook for the full amount. But it was the two other courtrooms which were splashed across the headlines.

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Arizona Republicans Relent On Draconian Abortion Law

[ Posted Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 – 15:25 UTC ]

Arizona Republicans (a few of them, at any rate) just pushed back against the extremist forced-birth movement within their party, in a big way. The lower house in the Arizona legislature just passed a measure that will repeal the state's Draconian abortion law. This is the law that was written during the Civil War and only had one exception in it: abortions were permitted to save the life of the mother. Rape and incest victims weren't included. Abortions were prohibited -- complete with a jail sentence for the doctor -- from Week Zero. This is precisely the type of law the most extreme forced-birthers want to see nationwide, it bears mentioning. If your position is that abortion equals murder, then there is no justification for any abortion that isn't done to save the mother's life, period. So to have Republicans cast the deciding votes to repeal such a measure is a very big deal, because it is the first time since the Dobbs decision was handed down that a Republican-run legislature has voted to relax forced-birth laws.

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Friday Talking Points -- Week One Of The 'Don Snoreleone' Trial

[ Posted Friday, April 19th, 2024 – 17:12 UTC ]

So far the biggest news (other than today's horrific events) has been that Trump can't seem to stop falling asleep in the courtroom. He drifts off, closes his eyes, his head slumps down on his chest, his mouth goes slack... and then eventually he snaps back awake. It hasn't happened every day, but one does wonder if he's going to be this lethargic when the actual case gets rolling. Jury selection is a repetitive process than can get monotonous at times, but hearing the case presented by both the prosecution and the defense might be a little more interesting to Trump, so we'll just have to see.

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Three-Dot Thursday

[ Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2024 – 15:40 UTC ]

We haven't done one of these for a while, but the disparate nature of the political news today seemed to suggest it was time for another "three-dot Thursday," where we follow in the footsteps of journalists of days of yore and heavily lean on our ellipses.

Today we have one serious story which could have very large political ramifications this November, as well as two monumentally silly stories to report from the Republican side of the aisle... but first...

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Impeachment? What Impeachment?

[ Posted Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 – 15:31 UTC ]

It has already been both a pioneering and superlative week at the crossover between the political and legal worlds (and it's only Wednesday!). Pioneering because this week saw both the opening of the first criminal trial of an American ex-president as well as the first Senate trial of a sitting cabinet member (after impeachment by the House of Representatives). The superlative part just happened today as well, as the "trial" of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was undoubtedly the fastest impeachment proceedings ever to occur in the Senate. The senators were sworn in as jurors, and then (after a few hours of Republicans blathering in a failed attempt to delay the inevitable) the whole body voted on motions to dismiss the two charges contained in the impeachment. Both were strict party-line votes, so the Mayorkas impeachment trial is now over before it even began.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Abortion Election

[ Posted Friday, April 12th, 2024 – 17:31 UTC ]

If Democrats have their way, the 2024 election will be a one-issue election for many voters (enough to win, hopefully). And conservative Republicans just keep making it easier and easier for that to actually happen.

In the half-century that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, Republicans made a lot of political hay out of being what they called "pro-life," but what is now more accurately referred to as "forced-birth." They want to force every woman who ever gets pregnant -- no matter the circumstances, no matter the consequences -- to give birth, no matter what. American women (and men, it should be noted) do not support these radical restrictions of their rights. And they're now going to get to vote on it, in the clearest way since Roe was overturned. The 2024 election may well go down in history as being "the abortion election," to put this another way.

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Arizona Supreme Court's Abortion Decision Could Hand Entire State To Democrats

[ Posted Wednesday, April 10th, 2024 – 16:04 UTC ]

We are still over half a year away from the 2024 election, so it would be premature to say: "This is the issue is that the election will all be about" (since anything could happen in the meantime which could eclipse all the biggest current issues). But it is looking like abortion rights are going to be a major part of it, at the very least. The fallout from the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision continues -- in statehouses, in ballot measures, and in court decisions. Republicans continue to learn that the most Draconian abortion laws are incredibly unpopular, and they scramble to figure out some way to deal with it all. Democrats are out there championing "freedom" and "protecting your rights" and "get the government out of your private business," which are all very potent arguments in general and which all seem to be resonating with the voters on abortion.

Yesterday, the Arizona supreme court dropped a bombshell into the political fray. It ruled that an abortion law first written in 1864 was still valid and constitutional and would soon go back into effect. This law, written during the Civil War era, completely bans abortion with only one exception. Here is the relevant text of the original, from the section criminalizing poisoning (and "just after the section banning duels"):

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Friday Talking Points -- Shake, Rattle, And Roll

[ Posted Friday, April 5th, 2024 – 17:56 UTC ]

Living in California means not being generally surprised by earthquakes, but we realize that this is simply not so in New York City and the Northeast in general. So when a 4.8 temblor hit New Jersey, we certainly could sympathize. However, it seems East Coast tectonic zones have a certain personality trait that goes (we can't resist) right down to the bedrock? Here was the tweet that the "USGS Earthquakes" account put out this morning:

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