Criminal Procedure

Reason And Treason

Reason And Treason

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I wish people, especially Bill Maher, with whom I completely agree on virtually all other issues, would stop playing fast and loose with the word “treason” when referring to Donald Trump. (Or course, Trump has been at least equally reckless. But I expect more of Maher.) Now, I have immensely greater respect and regard for the excrement I flush down my toilet every morning than I have for Donald Trump. (At least the former has served a useful and healthy purpose, which is considerably more than I can say of the latter.) So my purpose is not to defend Trump. My concern, rather, is to defend the Constitution, which I esteem as the civil / secular equivalent of Holy Writ. We should be meticulously careful about construing the words of the Constitution for the same reason that the Catholic

Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

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The US Constitution explicitly outlines the causes and procedures for impeachment of the President and other ministers of the US government, e.g., Supreme Court Justices.  These are the so-called “impeachment clauses”. (Other parts of the Constitution deal with impeachment, but this is the most relevant for present purposes). Prof. Alan Dershowitz, despite being unfairly perceived as being contaminated through association with Fox News, has performed a valuable service, especially in books like Trumped Up:  How the Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, by urgently advising against the weaponization of political differences, and even free speech, as tools to further purely political ends. As anyone knows who has followed my “Skeptic’s Collection” columns over th
Am I Really Gonna Have To Write About This Yet Again … ?

Am I Really Gonna Have To Write About This Yet Again … ?

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… but I suppose the answer is “Yes, I will have to write on this subject again, just as I have before.” This time around, I am writing in response to what Patheos rather breathlessly describes as a "constitutional horror":  Justice Thomas' assertion that, the "establishment" clause notwithstanding, States still have the right to designate certain religious / denominations as "official". As usual, and as is customary with all matters religious when people are given a breadth of audience that far exceeds their depth of knowledge, the hysteria is altogether overblown and unnecessary, due to an absence of working knowledge about the history of the subject – in this case, the interpretation of the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment. The whole point of what follows is a matter