ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Bill of Rights" Category

A Proper Use Of Sedition Law

[ Posted Thursday, January 13th, 2022 – 17:06 UTC ]

For the first time, the Justice Department has brought charges of sedition against those who allegedly plotted to stop the constitutional process of Congress counting the Electoral College votes to officially determine who will be the next president. Eleven members of the Oath Keepers were charged with seditious conspiracy today, which seems entirely fitting for what took place at the United States Capitol on January 6th last year. In fact, many have been wondering what took the Department of Justice so long to bring such charges.

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Merrick Garland's Progress Report

[ Posted Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 16:56 UTC ]

Attorney General Merrick Garland gave a speech today to his fellow employees at the Department of Justice. The occasion was to mark tomorrow's anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and on American democracy. In essence, it was a progress report from the attorney general, and a defense of his own department's actions since. The speech broke no real news, but then it wasn't really designed to. Whether it will change any minds is doubtful, although it might at least give Garland the benefit of the doubt for another few months.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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Justice Delayed

[ Posted Monday, October 18th, 2021 – 16:12 UTC ]

Donald Trump made two types of legal news today. He filed suit against the House January 6th Select Committee in an attempt to block disclosure of White House records surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which will hinge on a very dubious "executive privilege" claim. But Trump is also sat down today for a video deposition in a case over Trump Tower guards' behavior towards a protest which happened when Trump first declared his bid for the presidency, back in 2015. These two separate cases bookend a real problem in America -- justice being delayed for so long it effectively becomes justice denied, just by running out the clock.

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Manchin Lays Out His Voting Rights Priorities

[ Posted Thursday, June 17th, 2021 – 16:32 UTC ]

This has been an extraordinary week. I say that because things seem to actually be happening in Washington, which is (to put it politely) not the normal state of affairs at all. Congress even proved that, on occasion, they could move with blinding speed, as they passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in a matter of days, instead of the usual "months, if not years." President Joe Biden has already signed the law, long before most Americans were even aware of its existence. The federal workforce will get to take tomorrow off, which just wasn't true at the beginning of the week, or even yesterday. It's long been a closely-held secret, but Congress can act this quickly, when they really want to.

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Florida's Affront To The First Amendment (Part 2)

[ Posted Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 – 16:57 UTC ]

We now have to jump forward to what the state of Florida is attempting to do, with their new law. Florida is run by Republicans and its governor is widely reported to be considering an eventual presidential run. He's always been a big supporter of Donald Trump and so the state Republicans have taken up the insistence on the right that somehow social media platforms banning conservatives is some sort of tyrannical outrage that must be stopped by governmental intervention. In this one area -- social media and Big Tech in general -- Republicans are for all the regulations they can impose, which obviously runs counter to their longstanding drive to remove as many regulations on as many corporations as possible. So far, though, Republicans don't seem to have any ideological opposition to more and more regulations in this one area, and it's doubtful they ever will.

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Florida's Affront To The First Amendment (Part 1)

[ Posted Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 – 16:58 UTC ]

State-level Republicans are up to a whole new set of antics these days, in their continuing refusal to ever learn the true meaning of the First Amendment. The governor of Florida just signed a law whose purpose is to somehow protect the "free speech" rights of state-level politicians and conservative commenters -- by which they mean the non-existent "right" of government and politicians to dictate to social media companies how their own platforms must be used. As usual with such Republican flimflammery, the law is the exact opposite of what it purports to be -- it is a governmental attempt to "abridge the freedom of speech." Which is exactly what the First Amendment was written to prevent in the first place.

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Friday Talking Points -- Welcome To Cloud Cuckoo Land

[ Posted Friday, May 14th, 2021 – 18:03 UTC ]

The Republican Party has officially divorced itself from reality. They have, quite simply, moved their headquarters to Cloud Cuckoo Land. Any among their ranks who do not swear fealty to the fantastic lies they now believe must be either shunned or expelled. That is the state of one of the two major American political parties, in the twenty-first century.

Normally, such a development would be a reason for glee among the other political party, but this is not merely a matter of Republicans believing that the world is flat, the moon is made of green cheese, or tax cuts always pay for themselves -- no, this is no mere pedestrian fantasyland they have now taken up residence within. This is far more dangerous.

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Friday Talking Points -- GOP White Supremacist Caucus Forms

[ Posted Friday, April 16th, 2021 – 18:13 UTC ]

Some Republicans have apparently decided that political dog whistles are just no longer even necessary. After the bombast of Donald Trump, they're now quite comfortable just openly saying exactly what they mean -- no matter how racist it might be.

We refer to the formation of a new congressional caucus: the "America First Caucus." Normally, this wouldn't be all that big a deal -- just some group of extra-Trumpy GOP members getting together to figure out what their Dear Leader would want them to do in Congress. But their founding document was leaked, and it goes a wee bit further in laying out the founding principles of the new caucus. Here are their first few paragraphs on immigration, for instance:

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Flying High (And Fast!)

[ Posted Friday, April 9th, 2021 – 18:05 UTC ]

Nothing illuminates the difference between the current United States president and the former one as much as how they respond to a misstatement. President Joe Biden, speaking recently about his dreams for American infrastructure improvements, said the following:

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