Hot seat volunteer


LaVonne Griffin-Valade, the former Portland city auditor and a favorite local politician of mine, sure has her hands full as interim Oregon Secretary of State, a post she assumed over the summer and will hold until the end of 2024. Now she'd being hauled into court for her ruling that Donald Trump is not barred as an insurrectionist from running in the May Republican primary under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

An organization calling itself Free Speech for People is asking the state Supreme Court to force LGV to reverse that decision and block Orange Caligula from the primary ballot in Oregon, just as her Colorado counterpart has done with the blessing of a slim majority of that state's Supreme Court. LGV and her Oregon state attorneys say that they have to let Trump run in the primary, but that they still may ban him from the general election in November.

The last thing in the world I want to see is Donnie returned to the White House. But trying to keep him off the ballot is not the best way to do that. It makes him a martyr in the eyes of many, and it's a bad look for American democracy. I'd much rather see him run and lose. God forgive me, I'd even be fine if he keeled over and was physically incapable of running.

The easy way out for the Oregon court is to side with Griffin-Valade for now, and hope that the U.S. Supreme Court has the question of Trump's eligibility settled long before the results of the May primary are known. The relief that the lawyers for the petitioners are seeking is an extraordinary type of order called mandamus, and it's easy for the justices to say that the situation isn't so dire that such drastic measures are called for here.

Sadly, one thing the Oregon justices are probably thinking about is the personal safety of themselves and those around them. They constantly worry about security, but if they rule against our tin pot dictator wannabe, they'll probably be worrying a lot more. And who's going patrol around their houses, the Portland police? Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, that same court's now heard the oral arguments in another of LGV's cases, concerning when the disqualification from office takes effect for several state senators who staged a walkout from the most recent session of the legislature. The state's voters, in Ballot Measure 113, said that these rebels should be barred from running for re-electon as punishment for not showing up. The literature supporting that ballot measure, and the language that appeared on the ballot, indicated that the disqualification affects the 2024 elections. But the language that was actually added to the state constitution doesn't disqualify them until the next election after that.

LGV ruled that they can't run in 2024, effectively saying that all the side documents from the election override the language that was actually added to the constitution. To uphold what she did, the Oregon Supremes would have to rule that you can't trust the plain language of the constitution, and that you have to look at all the history of a ballot measure in order to know if the constitution doesn't mean what it plainly says. As a judge, I could never support such a decision, but of course, it's not up to me.

On this one, the best thing for the court to do would be to overrule LGV and stand behind the plain language. For one thing, it would show the judges' independence from the political party that appointed every single one of them to their current seat on the bench. And besides, such a ruling might force a rethinking of how the election system presents ballot measures to the voters. That this question even arises shows that the process has some serious flaws.

So there are Justice Bojack's votes: Leave Trump on the primary ballot pending further clarification from the feds, and rule in favor of the Republican state senators. One vote for LGV, one vote against her. The new year will reveal what the actual justices think.

Comments

  1. Promising to clear the swamp has consequences

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    1. Swamps won't be drained, Potomac or Willamette.

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    2. Hope you’re wrong

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    3. Would be very happy to be proven wrong.

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  2. I don’t get the argument, like yours here, that somehow using a Constitutional provision to keep Agent Orange off the ballot is somehow undemocratic. Granted it appears with Oregon and California leaving him on the ballot that the number of states keeping him off the ballot will be limited to the number of fingers on one hand, but it is an available mechanism to keep him off the ballot. We’ve never had a President attempt to prevent the transition of power, so why can’t we use the power granted in the Constitution to keep him off the ballot?

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    1. It’s easy to see why the country is so divided

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    2. “so why can’t we use the power granted in Constitution to keep him off the ballot?” Not advocating for either side, but suggest you read Section 5 of the 14th amendment which clearly states that Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the 14th amendment. Does the Free Speech for People group represents “we”, more than the U.S. Congress? Is the Free Speech for People appeal of the LGV decision based on appropriate legislation passed by the U.S. Congress. My answer to the first question is no. My answer to the second question is I don’t know.

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    3. Can Trump be kept off of the ballot even if he has not been "convicted" of being an insurrectionist?

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    4. Section 5 is misapplied in the above reply.

      Section Five enables Congress, in case a state shall enact laws in conflict with the principles of the amendment, to correct that legislation by a formal congressional enactment.

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    5. Trump's ballot access is a state by state process. There is no uniform method of determining his status and "insurrecting" is in the eye of the beholder. A jury trial in Mississippi might find Kamala gave aid and comfort to other types of "insurrectionists" during the Floyd riots.

      Blocking Trump from a handful of blue state ballots (that he wouldn't win anyway) won't have any effect on the electoral college results. If they blocked him from California and NY he could still win the EC even though Biden might have twice the popular votes. We live in a federalist system where the states elect the president - it's a feature not a bug.

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  3. The uncomfortable truth is that so much money is being spent to keep Trump off ballots due to the increasing likelihood that he may win in November if voters have the option to vote for him over Biden. If Kotek’s win had been more convincing and she had simply cleaned up the damn trash as promised, they wouldn’t have to bother with the usually reliable Blue Oregon.

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  4. There is no good outcome other than Trump having a massive heart attack while speaking at a rally. All other roads lead straight to hell.

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    1. Oh and have a Happy New Year!

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    2. When emotions replace truth, we’re all in trouble

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  5. The Trump derangement syndrome continues. In my book he is just another actor like all the rest of them. The 14th amendment was created to prevent Confederate politicians from running for office. The complete farce of Jan. 6th 2020 was instigated by Washington insiders to further the chaos. It's all a freaking script folks. Trump plays the part of the bad guy pro wrestler seeking to regain the title. They are all bought and paid for.

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  6. There was no insurrection. Adults have known this for a long time

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    Replies
    1. If we could get some adults into the main stream media

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  7. I saw those headlines on keeping trump off the ballot in (mostly) blue(ish) states and just kind of groaned.

    Leave it to the dems to eat their own/this poor lady in the hot seat to have to say or touch this one.
    In my heart of hearts I kinda know that even if Bernie has won the nomination (and not been assassinated or neutralized), either the dems throw the election & are content to lose &/or they use their media apparatus and make him take up really unpopular issues like gun control or lawyerly technocratic anti-democratic nerd technical procedural stuff like keeping people off the ballot or more like New Labor smearing Corbyn.
    Part of knowing Bernie is knowing he’s kind of an team player cuck / endorsed drooling Joe Biden (even Zuganov who’s basically controlled opposition/kind of a joke never endorsed Yeltsin!) & Bernie probably wouldn’t have been able to tell A bunch of people in his own party to get fucked or snub them effectively if he’d won.

    Fatefully, we don’t have to worry about it, worry about getting blamed for it if it goes wrong as he got crushed early by all those rotten suburbanite centrist liberal boomer home-owning scum that are dem primary voter base brainwashed by MSNBC/cNn and worse dooming every generation from here on out with zero effective opposition to the worst of what’s coming (not that I’m so confident a sanders presidency would do much, but even getting the corporate jackboot off of labor domestically even slightly & making israel aid dimly conditional / accountable even briefly would be something…i don’t even know on the environmental/ecocide question?…)

    Trump losing more decisively & dying of covid in the 2020 lame duck session would be peak self-own hilarity & great for the country.
    I gotta wonder what these lame-os running against trump are thinking?
    Especially Pence?
    To the Trumper-thumper crowd, he’s still the legitimate sitting US president/the election was stolen in their minds… like a sort of parallel mar-a-lago presidency/Avignon papacy in their universe & Pence votes to certify the Biden win & thinks he can run in the primary? Hilarious!

    Unless you’re getting a book deal, free publicity for a future thing or are feeling lucky/confident that he’s either going to:
    -finally choke on his last Big Mac
    -go to jail (LOL)
    I’d think any R with half a brain running in 2024, if there’s one lesson it’s
    ‘don’t run against trump, idiot!’

    Or maybe they’re just getting a ton of $ to test the waters by big donors & take some spotlight off Trump for the future?

    As, the longer Trump is out there making the whole R brand a cult of personality around him, probably the worse it is for them/their agenda & donors in future elections?

    Electorally…, if that’s even ‘a thing’ the way the judiciary is and how unpopular Obama/Obummer/Obungler caving to bailing out the banks & fomenting so much resentment leading to dems losing 1000+ state house/down ticket seats 2010-2018/the Rs now only being what, 3 or 4?state houses & governors away from just totally rewriting the constitution (bad as it is now) to something outright cartoonish 1 party rule?

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