law

Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

abolition, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, betrayal, Change, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, constitution, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, Discernment, Executive Branch, faithfulness, First Amendment, history, Ideology, Impeachment, Justice Samuel Chase, law, Marbury v. Madison, Politics, Presidency, race, racism, Secularity, Separation of Powers, slavery, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
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
Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

Tiptoeing Across Quicksand

13th Amendment, abolition, awareness, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, emancipation, Emancipation Proclamation, Executive Order, God, history, injustice, justice, law, self-serving, slavery, social justice, solidarity, Uncategorized
In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines.  A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction. The article compri
Meditating “Marbury”

Meditating “Marbury”

"appointments" clause, activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, Executive Branch, Freedom, General Interest, Ideology, Judicial Review, Judiciary Act of 1789, justice, law, Marbury v. Madison, news, political rhetoric, Presidency, republic, Secularity, Separation of Powers, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Uncategorized
I invite my fellow progressives / leftists to please feel free to vote me off the Island for saying the following, but ... in the interest of fairness, it should be said that acting AG Matthew Whitaker is right in a certain sense about Marbury v. Madison. To be sure, Matthew Whitaker is indeed a crackpot, and his own utterances, both written and spoken, amply justify that description. But let's be fair to broken clocks: even they are right twice a day. (The full text of Marbury can be found here; a very literate, enlightening, and even-handed summary, here.) The Constitution’s Article III is rather ambiguous, not about the scope of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction, but about how “hard-coded” that original jurisdiction is in the Constitution. There are two questions at issue.