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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Should we explain bicameralism to President Trump?

And a question asked in all seriousness: When, if ever, has a President held a Rose Garden ceremony, surrounded by his party's house caucus, to celebrate one house approving a piece of legislation?

Update: A different question: What is the procedural equivalent of what Trump and the caucus did here in celebrating something that has no legal effect, but is a necessary step towards a conclusion that will have legal effect? Celebrating the denial of summary judgment or a motion to dismiss? Celebrating an indictment (this one is common in high-profile cases, but an indictment arguably has more legal meaning than passage in one house)? Celebrating (depending on which side you are on) the grant or denial of a motion to suppress evidence?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 4, 2017 at 06:20 PM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


I'd never thought I would see the day when a president would need this:


Posted by: Anon | May 4, 2017 9:12:54 PM

Somebody on his crack staff told him "bicameral" is the Saharan equivalent of a two car garage.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | May 5, 2017 8:13:43 AM

Well, it depends, right? Suppose the Senate were a given and the House were the hard nut to crack; then you might compare it to celebrating class certification, or the denial of summary judgment in a case where the defendant is sure not to go to trial. In this instance, the House seems to have been the lesser of the two roadblocks, but a substantial one all the same, so perhaps an indictment or a denial of a motion to dismiss, in some circumstances, is a fair comparison.

Posted by: Asher Steinberg | May 5, 2017 1:59:18 PM

You folks all realize that the legislature and the president are elected politicians, and the passing of legislation is a political process, whereas the judicial process is (supposedly) apolitical, a fact that shouldn't need any more explaining than bicameralism. So, *of course* there is no equivalent in judicial process to a Rose Garden, well, anything.

Posted by: M. Rad. | May 6, 2017 12:50:15 PM

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