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Archive of entries posted on September 2009

All About Reconciliation

           My friend Chris Rice has a blog called “Reconcilers,” which is about bringing God’s peace to a broken world (he could explain it better than I can).  Here in DC, though, where we are more in the world-breaking business, “reconciliation” is definitely not about bringing people closer to God or to each other.  As [...]

Was Senator-Designate Kirk Lawfully Appointed to Fill the Massachusetts Vacancy?

           The Massachusetts legislature has now passed a law empowering the Governor to appoint a temporary replacement for the vacancy created by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.   As I indicated in a prior post, the Constitution permits it to do this, notwithstanding the controversy over the fact that it had previously stripped the (then-Republican) [...]

Congress Versus Bank of America’s Attorney-Client Privilege

           The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been conducting an investigation of Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch, including the question of whether BOA learned information prior to the closing of that transaction which fell within the “material adverse change” provision of the merger agreement and whether BOA was required to [...]

New Treasury Guidelines Prohibit Congressional Lobbying on TARP

           The Treasury Department has released new guidelines on TARP “lobbying.”  The term “lobbying” is in quotes because the guidelines, like those promulgated with regard to the award of stimulus funds, limit communications from outside parties, regardless of whether they happen to be registered lobbyists.  In brief, the guidelines (1) allow unrestricted oral communications at [...]

More on the Wilson Matter

             A few more observations on the Joe Wilson matter.  A Fox News reporter this morning commented that Wilson’s conduct violated section 370 of the House Rules and Manual.  This is true, sort of.  Section 370 is actually the provision of Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice which states “[i]n Parliament, to speak irreverently or [...]

Scolding Joe Wilson

The Hill newspaper reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi “has agreed the House should vote . . . on scolding Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for his outburst during President Barack Obama’s speech unless he apologies on the floor of the House.”  The “scolding” will apparently take the form of a “resolution of disapproval” that would be [...]

D.C. Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Lobbying Disclosure

           The D.C. Circuit ruled this week in National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor, rejecting NAM’s challenge to the constitutionality of section 207 of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA), which enhanced a previous disclosure requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) (hat tip: Election Law Blog).  Under this provision, disclosure is required [...]

Is Vicki Kennedy Unconstitutional?

           As has been widely discussed in the last few weeks, in 2004 Massachusetts changed its law providing for the filling of a senatorial vacancy.  In order to prevent Republican Governor Mitt Romney from filling John Kerry’s Senate seat (in the event that the latter won the 2004 presidential election), the Democratic legislature repealed the [...]