21 Comments
Feb 7·edited Feb 7Liked by Asha Rangappa

I'm personally delighted the court was thoughtful enough to confirm on page 44 something we discussed here after Judge Chutkin's initial ruling, about the logical fallacy in Trump's argument about the impeachment clause. Namely that what Chutkin calls "denying the antecedent" - the notion that "if the President is impeached and convicted he can still be prosecuted" means "if the President is not impeached and convicted he can't be prosecuted" - is in fact another name for the the "fallacy of the inverse" ("the incorrect assumption that if P implies Q, then not-P implies not-Q"). Logic 101 nerds rejoice!

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I’ve downloaded the actual document but thanks to you I may skip straight to page 40! Thank you for taking your precious time to sort this all out for us.

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Feb 7Liked by Asha Rangappa

I truly admire your clarity of thought and the expression of that clarity. You’re a marvel.

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Do you believe that Trump thought this legal tactic had any hope of success or is it just another delaying tactic that will push any trial to a date after the election? Can a President pardon himself for his crimes? This seems to be Trump’s only hope at avoiding conviction.

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Here's a thought experiment. If POTUS ordered SEAL Team 6 to kill political opponents, they could be tried under the UCMJ for killing unarmed civilians. They could also refuse to follow the order as it would be an illegal order. Or would it? If POTUS had immunity, would that make the order legal?

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With the Super Bowl being played this Sunday, i can’t help thinking how a well played game could be undermined by a bad call from a referee(s).

The nuance of the law, that you so expertly detail, has been well played by the dominant team (democracy) thus far. Yet the efforts of a clearly superior team could be undermined by a bad call from the Supreme Court (referees). With the most recent SC appointments, has the game been fixed?

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There was a lot of commentary about how long it took for the judges to complete this ruling... everything from a few days to a week or two. Now that the ruling is out it seems like the consensus is that the finished product was very well thought out and well written. But a month still feels like a long time for something as momentous as this. After reading the end product do you feel that the 4 weeks duration seems reasonable now? Or could there be other factors as well?

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I'm still afraid that the Appeals Court judge gave the Bloated Yam his first new idea since a flunky said to him, "How about we do a reality show....."

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The funny thing is that Trump has delayed this one just enough for it to hit right before the election, where it will do maximum damage.

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Dear Asha:

The court's opinion is well thought out and does, indeed, cover multiple aspects of the rationale as to why Donald J. Trump cannot claim complete and total criminal immunity from prosecution simply because he headed the executive branch of government. Like you say, legislators and judges (as well as government employees) are, indeed, liable for their behaviors when they step too far out of bounds.

But the decision and the commentary on network news leave out a very important factor to the political ramifications of Trump's argument to begin with: the right wing has, for such a long time, been attempting to limit the privileges of government and has been attempting to hold officials accountable, including by way of putting officials in courts, even criminal courts. The argument versus what the GOP calls the "leftist" policies of President Biden is that once the governmental left has taken a nation over completely, this governmental oligarchy then rules out that any of its elite are accountable by the court standard. This is the way Stalin ran Russia. And it is the way other left wing dictators have run their countries. And it has always been, in modern history, that left wing dictatorships are the arch nemesis of the free world, including America.

Why, then, should Donald J. Trump, a right winger and the founder of the MAGA movement, be claiming immunity from consequences based on such a left wing standard, claiming that because he was the President of the United States he can do no wrong for which he would be accountable?!

It appears Trump's legal team has truly thrown the baby out with the bathwater in arguing such a big government immunity standard when the defendant using this argument hails out of the small government party, a party so vocally opposed to big government that it paints its political opponents from the Democratic Party to be socialists and communists.

If you ever have the chance, and you get an opportunity to share these thoughts with someone who might take a step back when confronted by such an oxymoron, please do! I'd be happy even to think there might be a possibility that my very own political breakdown of this conundrum might have just some degree of profundity, my dudette!

Yours Truly,

Matthew Mullaney Doherty

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Asha, please write about next steps. There are at least two paths - if the SC denies cert and if they don't. We all want to see a conviction in time for voters to cast their ballots. What's the worst case scenario?

Also, I don't understand why Trump wasn't given time to appeal to the full circuit court. If the SC denies cert, can he go back to the en banc circuit court? Someone mentioned this to me.

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Love it, thank.you

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Boom...indeed 🙄 🤭

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