Skip to content
Archive of entries posted on March 2009

Will the Minnesota Courts “Report” to the Senate on the Coleman/Franken Election?

        Eric Black at MinnPost (hat tip, Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog) suggests that the three-judge panel hearing the Coleman/Franken election contest might, after resolving the question of which candidate received the greater number of lawful votes, file a separate report with the Senate on Coleman’s contention regarding the use of different standards for counting [...]

Unintentionally Revealing Quote of the Day

The first line in an article from The Hill on the Citizens United case: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case that could further erode the government’s control over electioneering communications in the days leading up to elections.”  First they came for the government’s right to ban advertisements critical of Members of [...]

AIG Executives, Dodd Donations and the Connecticut Legislative Hearing

          What do Joseph Rooney, Chris Phole, Steven Pike, Greg Ruffa, Leonid Shekhtman, Christian Todd, Joseph Cassano, Steven Wagar, Doug Poling, and Jonathan Liebergall have in common?  Well, first, they are all AIG executives who received bonuses that are now the subject of more or less universal outrage.  Second, they have all been subpoenaed to [...]

Whats Blumenthal Got To Do With It?

         According to a press release yesterday entitled “Bank Committee Chairs, Attorney General Issue Subpoenas for A.I.G. Employees”:  “State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and Representative Ryan Barry (D-Manchester), co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Banks Committee, with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today issued subpoenas commanding several A.I.G. employees, including CEO Edward M. Liddy, to appear at [...]

The Constitutionality of the ELECT Act

             As an alternative to the constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Feingold (which would eliminate temporary appointment of Senators to fill vacancies), Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois has proposed H.R. 899, the Ethical and Legal Elections for Congressional Transitions (or ELECT Act), which would require that special elections to fill senatorial vacancies be held within [...]

Obama’s First Signing Statement and the Grassley Rider

President Obama has issued his first signing statement with regard to the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2009.  Professor Eric Posner, at the Volokh Conspiracy, observes that Obama’s signing statement contains many of the “same old Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush theories” about executive power and prerogatives.  Professor Peter Strauss, on the other hand, responds that Obama’s signing statement was [...]

Federal Prosecutors Push Boundaries of Illegal Gratuities Statute

 Justice Scalia’s opinion for a unanimous Court in U.S. v. Sun-Diamond Growers, 526 U.S. 398 (1999), begins dryly with the observation: “Talmudic sages believed that judges who accepted bribes would be punished by eventually losing all knowledge of the divine law.  The Federal Government, dealing with many public officials who are not judges, and with [...]

Minnesota Supreme Court Rebuffs Franken

            The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected Al Franken’s petition to direct the Governor and Secretary of State to issue an election certificate prior to resolution of the election contest for U.S. Senate.  First, the court found that “[t]he plain language of [the Minnesota statute] provides that no election certificate can be issued in this [...]

Renzi Making Progress on Speech or Debate?

              The Renzi case involves, broadly speaking, three distinct types of Speech or Debate issues.  The first involves the question of whether the government violated the Speech or Debate Clause when it wiretapped Renzi’s cell phone.  The Magistrate appears to have largely rejected that theory in an order issued several weeks ago.              The [...]

Burris’s Options if a Special Election is Called

                       Senator Burris, through his attorney, has indicated that he believes it would be illegal for the Illinois legislature to change the date of the special election to fill the remainder of the Senate term.  It is also apparent that he is willing to mount a vigorous legal challenge.               If Illinois enacts a [...]