Briefs

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D.

 

October 25, 2018: 

I got started in the “peace movement” as part of the anti-nuclear movement in the early 1980s.  At that time, the Soviets and the United States had both long range and intermediate range nuclear missiles. The Soviets said they would attack Europe with their missiles if those countries allowed US missiles to be deployed in Europe.  Then the two countries signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Missile Treaty in 1987 and I thought that such talk was over.  Now we are again hearing the same threats from Russia because of the proposed withdrawal of the US from the treaty.  The perpetual war mindset.  It never ends.  https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-putin-says-respond-kind-u-withdraws-inf-170104842--business.html

October 25, 2018:

Amid all the other reporting, A federal judge in Georgia has blocked the enforcement of the “matching signature” rules unless there is a right to object and prove identity after notice.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judge-orders-ga-officials-to-stop-tossing-absentee-ballots-over-signatures/2018/10/24/9c5a5b06-d7bd-11e8-a10f-b51546b10756_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7ea9a1ed6e84

October 27, 2018:

In the accompanying article about the ACA lawsuit, given the political implications no matter what decision the court reaches, perhaps the court will not hand down its decision until after the mid-term elections.  Some could see this as the politicization of the judicial branch of government, which is supposed to be above those matters.

October 30, 2018:

The Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear an appeal of a decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that upheld lower court’s ruling that the 2011 re-drawing of the voting districts (“gerrymandering”) by the Republicans violated the state’s constitution.   This means that the districts that will be applicable for the mid-terms are those re-drawn by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Good news for democracy. https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/413616-supreme-court-turns-away-gop-challenge-to-new-pennsylvania-electoral

November 2, 2018: 

The District Court judge in the emoluments clause lawsuit brought by the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland (read “The Emoluments Clauses”) denied the stay of the case that the President requested.  This means that discovery about the President’s business interests in the Trump International Hotel in D.C. can proceed.

November 7, 2018:

Now that the Democrats will be in control of the House, we can at least have the checks and balances that the Constitution envisioned.  But expect a significant amount of lame duck legislation in the next few weeks from the Republicans who are still in control of both houses. 

New Congress won’t be inaugurated until January 3, 2019 (20th Amendment, Clause 1) but they can appoint a different day (Clause 2).   That’s at least 57 days away!  We're only on day 1!

Also, remember that even if the Congress does not repeal Obamacare (“the ACA”), there is still pending the Texas vs. US case seeking to declare it unconstitutional.  The effect would be the same as a repeal and during, the pendency of any appeals, there would be great confusion and uncertainty.  Read “The ACA Lawsuit and Its Implications” at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/ACA.html

November 21, 2018

Oil prices fell yesterday (a good thing for prices at the pump?) on the news that Saudi ties (and thus supplies) will not be interrupted by any sort of sanctions.  Perverse don’t you think?

December 4, 2018

Discovery has been scheduled in the emoluments case where the plaintiffs are the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.  This can enable the plaintiffs to obtain financial information about the President’s income from the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC.  Read “The Emoluments Clauses.”  http://www.ivanhoffman.com/emoluments.html

December 7, 2018

It’s not enough to say “the Republicans engaged [FILL IN THE CONDUCT].”   A party is an “entity.”  It only acts through individuals.  What does the individual get out of engaging in such conduct?  What kind of benefits flow to the individual?  What does it take for an individual to give up his or her ethics in the name of an abstraction called a “political party?”  Until you can answer those questions, you can’t solve the underlying problem.  Read “The Enabling Act” and “Respect for the Law” and “The Law Is Us.”

December 10, 2018

The United States has now acknowledged that the President may have committed a crime in that it was stated in the government’s sentencing memorandum as to Michael Cohen that the election law crimes involving the paying of hush money to the 2 models was done “in coordination with and at the direction of” the President.  This is not a formal accusation of a crime against the President however, and furthermore, whether or not a sitting President can be indicted remains an open legal question.  However, irrespective of that issue, it seems clear that any such activity may be the basis for impeachment. Read “Impeachment.”

Violating election laws goes to the very heart of the American democracy.  Concealing evidence that may have influenced the choices voters may have made are not “small” matters.  Ignoring these “small” offenses is how the slope gets slippery.

December 14, 2018

Now that the unraveling has started (and clearly we are just at the tip of the proverbial iceberg), it seems to appear that President Trump has been duped by the government of Russia.  Russia saw an opportunity created by the President’s greed to compromise the President and turn him into a useful tool for Russian purposes.  

And now that the President no longer has any credibility with regard to Russia since nothing he says can be taken as unbiased or in the best interests of the American people, expect Russia to abandon the President not only because he is no longer useful to them but in order to distance themselves from him, as all the President’s men (and the other G20 nations) are now doing.

December 14, 2018

We all owe an incredibly deep appreciation to journalists throughout the world and to the federal and state attorneys who are all working on pulling on the threads.  This is yet another golden age for those groups.  I am very proud to be an American!  Now if only the legislative branch will come around…

December 15, 2018

What reason would anyone have to tell anyone else they are a Republican?  Between the activities of Republicans in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina etc. and now the ACA lawsuit (read “The ACA Lawsuit and Its Implications”), when will the manipulated minority (the “base”) realize that their party has taken away their healthcare???

January 2, 2019

July 20, 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of the landing of the first human on the moon.  The vision that President Kennedy gave us was a vision of unlimitedness, of our potential as human beings, of possibilities.  Now we are arguing about whether we should build a wall to keep others out.  Keeping others out also keeps us in (that was the purpose of the Berlin Wall).  And in keeping others out and us in, we narrow our potential, our possibilities and we become limited.  

That is not to say that we should have “open borders,” although in the ideal world we would not need lines on a map.   But even if we have check points and surveillance and border security because the world is not ideal, the notion of a wall is folly and symbolic of narrowness of vision.

January 7, 2019

Declaring an emergency and using the military to build the wall may violate the Posse Comitatus Act.  Read the article at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/PCA.html 

Furthermore under the National Emergencies Act/International Emergency Economic Powers Act the President MUST declare an emergency and specifically refer to statutory authority.   What would be the emergency in building a wall? 

But the key issue is the usurpation of power by the president/abdication of power by the Congress and the courts. Read “The Enabling Act” http://www.ivanhoffman.com/enablingact.html

 

Read "The National Emergencies Act"

 

January 21, 2019

A president is or should be like a fiduciary…all actions must be solely for the benefit of the client (the nation).  In a fiduciary relationship, if the client loses faith and trust, the bond is irrevocably broken even if there is no basis for the lost faith and trust. 

January 30, 2019

Someday a candidate will be able to run solely on the Internet without party affiliation and thus be able to speak her/his truth across ideological barriers.  Read "The Electoral College." 

Copyright © 2018, 2019 Ivan Hoffman.  All Rights Reserved. 

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Ivan Hoffman has been practicing intellectual property law for over 45 years and has written extensively about that topic. (www.ivanhoffman.com). 

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These Briefs are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice.  These Briefs are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information.  These Briefs are not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed.  You should not rely on these Briefs in any manner whatsoever and you should not draw any conclusions of any sort from these Briefs.  The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you.  These Briefs are based on United States laws but the laws of other countries may be different.  You should consult with an attorney familiar with the issues and the laws of your country.  These Briefs do not create any attorney client relationship and are not a solicitation.

      


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