Civil Discourse Now

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   Tomorrow we will learn if Bailey, et al v U.S., et al, SCOTUS dkt number 16-1464—the only action to seek: (1) independent investigation of the 2016 election and, (2) if Russia illegally affected the results, the election be declared void—advances out of conference. Disclosure: I am counsel of record for Petitioners in Bailey.
We are right and the factual allegations in the Petition have been validated.
   Parts of The Petition for Writ of Mandamus and for Appointment of Special Master address matters of law.  Of 77 numbered paragraphs, 1-3  are the Statement of Jurisdiction (a matter I addressed on Friday), paragraphs 4-15 and 17identify the parties; paragraphs 39-44 address the Petitioners’ standing to bring their action). The argument is in paragraphs 46-77. Factual allegations raised in other paragraphs:
   16, 31: Trump has extensive business dealings in Russia & the oligarchs who rule it;
   18-19: Russia used illicit means to interfere in elections in other countries to place in office people favorable to Russia, and Russia is a menace and, in the words of former FBI Director Comey, the “greatest threat to any nation on the Earth”;
   20, 29, 38: U.S. policies could be, and have been, changed if Russia obtained a favorable outcome in the 2016 elections: Exxon-Mobil oil deal, weaker NATO, increased dependence on Russian oil, suppression of U.S. efforts to advance renewable energy, obtain U.S. classified intelligence, and diminution of democratic processes;
   21: Report of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections: ADOPTED AS AN ACT OF CONGRESS in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act in August, 2017;
   22-26, 33-36: means by which Russia could flip a relatively few votes in swing States to hand an Electoral College majority to Trump—and since late May we have learned how Russia weaponized the internet, placed ads in FaceBook, and placed disinformation in our media to favor Trump and hurt former Secretary Clinton;
   27: Paul Manafort had close business ties to Russia—and, since the Petition was filed, had his house search and appears to be headed toward indictment in regard to the 2016 campaign;
   28, 30: talks between Trump, members of his campaign, and Russian officials as to how a symbiotic relationship could be fostered between them—in July, 2017, the June, 2016, meeting between Trump, Jr., and others revealed;
   32. CIA information on Russia’s efforts to affect our elections; about Trump.
   37.  Trump lost the popular vote by three million (3,000,000)—a fact that remains;
   45.  Petitioners: Trump obtained office through acts of treason.
Previous arguments against the notion such a Petition may be brought.
   Last February bloggers ripped into the notion a Mandamus action as means to remove Trump from office because a sitting President can be removed from office in only two ways—impeachment (Art. II, sec. 4), and inability to discharge the duties of office (Amend. XXV).
   Those arguments have not been raised this time, since it is clear, from a 1976 Federal case, our Federal courts have authority, under their equitable jurisdiction to vacate the results of an illegal election. Instead, the arguments shifted.
   First year at DePauw, my debate partner for three tournaments would argue “shift!” if a team ducked an argument by making a different argument in response. That applies here, since no one has argued the ability of the Federal courts to exercise this power we cite. Instead, they argue subject matter jurisdiction (covered in the petition).
   She would say “shift!”
   Also in debate, when a team fails to address an argument, that team is said to have “dropped” the argument. The issue of the ability of the Federal courts to void the results of an illegal election has been dropped by the critics of months ago.
What is left? “You know you can’t win!”
   Whether the Supreme Court will consider the Petition is a matter separate from whether the arguments advanced in the Petition are colorable—i.e., have merit. With the advance of the latter, opponents obscure proper analysis of the former—CAN the Supreme Court order the 2016 elections void?
   SCOTUS can order the results void.
No one else has sought a remedy of removal—or suggested a remedy.
   Trump is in the Oval Office. People in Puerto Rico probably would say he has botched that job. A majority of the folks in the Carrier plant in Indianapolis, whose jobs Trump claimed to have saved, probably say that,
   Perhaps because we are so driven by social media today (and yes, I am on social media to send out this message) people tend to believe pseudonymous posts, especially if repeated by other pseudonymous posts.
Millions of Russian “bots” patrol the internet.
   Another aspect of news since late May is the extent to which Russia sought to weaponize and gain control of the conversations, such as they occur, on the internet. One estimate was that half of the millions of Trump’s “followers” on Twitter are “bots”—computers that pose as people.
   Several people, in what now is called the “Resistance,” have been “hit” by bots. A few social media people have followed threads on FB and Twitter and found red flags indicative of false accounts a/k/a “bots.”
What if this case never had been filed?
   A lot of people never would have had some hope in what has been a dismal world since 11/08/12. Whoever picks up this argument and moves ahead would lack a basis for their argument.
Keep fingers—and any other available appendages—crossed.
   Monday we should learn what the Court will do with 16-1464.
   We all should hope the Court issues an order other than denial.
   One person—or maybe a “bot”; can’t tell when there’s a pseudonym—said that person would laugh its/her/his ass off when the case is tossed on Monday.
   Trump still will be in the Oval Office, but the Resistance will continue.
   Shifts and drops add up. We oppose evil in 16-1464. Eventually the debate ballot will be ours.

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Comment by Neal Smith on October 1, 2017 at 8:07am

Let's hope so.


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