Blog Archives

CT – In Huawei Is That a Bill of Attainder?




“No Bill of Attainder… shall be passed…” – Article 1 Section 9


In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency, the only person to ever do so. The primary evidence against him was a set of tapes that he had made in the Oval Office, which purported to contain direct evidence of the Watergate Conspiracy, or at least a lot of buzzing that replaced sections that might have proved the Watergate Conspiracy if they hadn’t been so obviously erased.

After he resigned President Ford pardoned Mr. Nixon on September 8, 1974.

Prior to that day, Presidential papers were not considered “public documents.” They were private papers which belonged to the President. In fact, until Franklin Roosevelt donated his papers to the National Archives through his Presidential Library and Museum in 1939, they had never been available to the public except in the form of books and articles written by researchers who had been granted access.

Until December 19, 1974. On that day, President Ford signed a bill passed by Congress, The Presidential Recordings and Materials Act.” This law, which by definition applied ONLY to the records and Materials of Richard Nixon, made it clear that these were now the property of the United States, to be overseen by the National Archivist, who was charged with determining which records and documents the United States would keep – for potential use in judicial proceedings – and which would be returned as the property of Richard Nixon.

Naturally, the former President sued, claiming that this law was clearly unconstitutional as it violated the ban on Bills of Attainder. 

It would take until 1998 to fully resolves Nixon’s role in this. Today, the Federal Courts are preparing to take up two cases that both Defenses are arguing are Bills of Attainder. Will history repeat or will the Courts find that no bills of attainder shall be passed?


Advertisements

Where Millions and Millions Agree



In Boston last week, a Liberty Pole was raised.

Once upon a time that was a VERY common occurrence. It had deep symbolism to the Revolutionary Generation. Along with other symbols, it pointed to their ideas for what exactly they were willing to pledge their lives, their treasures, and their sacred honor.

Through the years the symbols have been forgotten even as they remain in our midst and our everyday lives. The words they represented have been slurred until we no longer recognize their true meaning.

The raising of a Liberty pole last week in Boston reminds us that those ideas are not dead. They can be restored…


I Have Questions




Most of us have long ago said that we believe that Facebook and Twitter (and other Social Media platforms) have the “right” to ban whomever they please, because, “it’s not a First Amendment issue.” In fact, even Trump’s legal team seems to agree with this position.

But solely for the purpose of careful consideration of the ENTIRE issue, let us consider a few things that haven’t gotten much discussion, at least as far as I can find.

Now, again, let us be clear, the Platforms themselves are not the government. I believe that we all agree that given that circumstance, they are free to allow or disallow participation as they see fit. So, banning Alex Jones or Louis Farrakhan or shadow banning Devin’s Cow might be a bad business plan and result in customer blowback, but it is allowable. Whether or not they should do it is another matter.

But… let us consider some things here:

USC §47 section 230 is a law, passed by Congress which exempts Social Media and Web Sites from being held liable for the end user comments (speech).

Two leading Congress Members* (and One Cow**) have recently publically declared that if the platforms will not eliminate speech which they find objectionable they will push for the Congress to pass a law which will repeal section 230 of USC §47, thus removing the exemption for Facebook, Twitter, and other web platforms which allow users to participate in the form of comments and/or posts, and making them responsible for the potential fallout from such comments and/or posts.

Did you hear what I said? Congress shall pass a law which causes the free speech of commenter’s to be “chilled” by punishing the platforms which allow it for whatever the commenters may say or presumably do.

How is that NOT a 1st Amendment issue?


%d bloggers like this: