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Saturday, December 19, 2020

Plenty of perjury and authoritarianism

Two unrelated items, united by the news of the day.

Based on the quality of lawyering we have seen the past 46 days, does anyone believe Nick Sandmann recovered anything more than nuisance value in settling his $ 250 million lawsuit against CNN?

In spring 2016, I had a conversation with two conservative academics about the ongoing Republican primary. One said GOP folks were worried about Trump winning. I responded, "why, because he's a crazy Fascist?", to which he responded with a smirk that they were worried about down-ballot drag. I said "which really means they know he's a crazy Fascist." The other asked, indignantly, why I thought Trump was a fascist and why I believed wanting to keep our country safe made him a fascist. I hope we agree that talking with people in the Oval Office about calling in the military to seize voting machines and order a redo of an election makes someone a fascist.* As someone wrote earlier today, Trump is a dictator; that the adjective "failed" goes in front of that does not change the fact that he is a dictator.

    [*] Or let's say a dictator or an authoritarian or a person not committed to democracy. I admittedly used fascism as a synonym for those. I think the point stands.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 19, 2020 at 06:21 PM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Memo to thegreatdisappointment: the abuse of the military to overturn the lawful allocation of power is also considered verboten in republics, as the example of one J.C. circa 49 B.C.E. will perhaps suggest.

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Dec 22, 2020 6:30:10 PM

The US isn't a democracy.

It's a republic.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Dec 20, 2020 11:14:06 AM

One may read hereby, closer to the real one (speaking of judiciary and judges and courts). I quote from Wikipedia:

"Detention of Maria Lourdes Afiuni

Judge María Lourdes Afiuni Mora is a Venezuelan who was 46 years old as of April 2010[1] and had served as a judge for eight years; she was head of the 31st Control Court of Caracas. In 2009 she was arrested on charges of corruption after ordering the conditional release on bail of businessman Eligio Cedeño, who then fled the country.[2] She was moved to house arrest in Caracas in February 2011, and granted parole in June 2013,[3][4] but she is still barred from practicing law, leaving the country, or using her bank account or social networks.[5]

Human rights groups accused the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez of creating a climate of fear that threatens the independence of the judiciary. Reuters said Afiuni is "considered by opponents and jurists as one of the most emblematic political prisoners" in Venezuela, because Chávez called for her to be imprisoned.[6]

In March 2019, she was sentenced to five years in prison.[6] She was sentenced for corruption, although no alleged amounts involved were specified;[6] the actual sentence was for "spiritual corruption".[7]

In July 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that Venezuelan government released Afiuni alongside journalist Braulio Jatar and 20 detained students.[8] Afiuni's brother and Jatar denounced that they had not received an official statement from Venezuelan judiciary.[8]"



Posted by: El roam | Dec 20, 2020 4:35:36 AM

Paul Sonnenfeld,

You can read here, on really negligible one relatively. Titled:

"Gambia's President Jammeh refuses to leave office as deadline passes"



How only threatening him with military intervention (of Western African armies) could cause him to leave office. The new ruler legally elected , had to be sworn in, in neighboring country Senegal. Not mentioning, that Jammeh himself, took power, by military putsch at the time.

Hereby you can read, in Venezuela, how political opponents are arrested. There were threats against judges by the way, to issue arrest warrants. This is getting closer to the real one.

Trump, and his attitude to judiciary and courts, is as hell far from such conduct. Very far. Here:




Posted by: El roam | Dec 20, 2020 4:24:59 AM

Paul Sonnenfeld,

Here I quote from NBC news:

"The Trump administration has argued in court that it must expel children who have recently crossed the border — whether they had authorization or not — to prevent the infection of border agents and others in immigration custody. The emergency declaration was made by Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Justice Department on Oct. 2 cited the judgment of “the nation’s top public health official” in urging Sullivan not to stop the expulsion of children."

End of quotation:

So, details count here. It was in that case, due to the pandemic. Anyway, they were arguing and appealing decisions in court. This is not blatantly disobeying courts.



What is disobeying courts ? Blatantly so? Well, just wait. Later I shall illustrate it.


Posted by: El roam | Dec 20, 2020 3:52:45 AM

Paul Sonnenfeld,

With all due respect, what it means, is blatantly disobeying it. Declaring it so. Trump himself, never ever declared that court orders should not be obeyed. It can happen indeed, under any administration, that court orders are not implemented properly.

But, can you suggest, that Trump himself, was defying courts in the US ? I don't think you can prove it. So, such ruler, can't really be considered as dictator. For many other reasons also. But, this one, is very good one.

Anyway, even so, you claim it, without bringing any source, any proof, and link whatever. Any well established findings with all due respect. Just to write it, is not sufficient.


Posted by: El roam | Dec 20, 2020 3:38:23 AM

It certainly appeared back in August of this year that the Trump administration was defying court orders with regards to DACA.
The Trump administration certainly did not comply with court orders regarding reuniting children that were separated from their parents by ICE agents.
Back in February 2019, the Trump administration defied federal court orders regarding asylum seekers.
Whether or not President Trump is a dictator may be open to discussion. His behavior clearly indicates that he does not take his oath of office seriously.

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | Dec 20, 2020 2:27:07 AM

And here titled:

" Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities "



Posted by: El roam | Dec 19, 2020 6:55:04 PM

Here, titled:

" Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship"



Posted by: El roam | Dec 19, 2020 6:52:44 PM

One may think or argue indeed, that Trump is not fit to serve as president of the US. This is normal, this is reasonable ( subjectively I mean). Yet, to claim that he is, or, was dictator, this is more than bit exaggerated.

Without reaching now lengthy discussion, there is an ultimate test for it:

Obeying courts. Obeying courts orders. Trump never ever disobeyed any court order so far. All that, while courts and judiciary are independent in the US, and rule of law, reigns all over. Otherwise, they would have served him. And this wouldn't no longer be a valid and reasonable test of course.

Also, he has fought for enhancement of free speech. Fought for or against section 230 (immunity to Internet platforms). Issued Executive order for enhancing free speech in universities and so forth....

Promoting and fighting for free speech, can't be reconciled with dictatorship. Simple and pure.

He is a real American. And a real American, can't become a dictator typically.

I could take reader, to a global ride, showing what is real dictator. Well, could become hell. Not Trump with all due respect.


Posted by: El roam | Dec 19, 2020 6:49:07 PM

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