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Archive of entries posted on August 2010

Senate Panel Holds the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination Does Not Apply to an Impeachment Trial

Yesterday the Senate panel charged with conducting the impeachment trial of federal district judge G. Thomas Porteous issued an order disposing of certain pretrial motions.   Of particular note was the panel’s decision to reject Porteous’ motion to suppress his immunized testimony given before a special Fifth Circuit committee which investigates misconduct by federal judges. The [...]

An Analogy that Won’t Hold Water

Before leaving the subject of the ethics case against Representative Waters, a final comment with regard to her attempt to have the charges dismissed.  Her defense team based its motion to dismiss almost entirely on the claim that Waters’ conduct was “nearly identical to” that of Representative Sam Graves.  I have blogged about the ethics [...]

Further Analysis of the Waters Case

As discussed in my prior posts (see here and here), the ethics investigative subcommittee does not allege that Representative Waters violated any rules simply by arranging the initial meeting with Treasury officials to discuss the a bailout of OneUnited and other minority-owned banks.  Instead, the subcommittee alleges that Waters violated the rules by her actions—or, [...]

Waters and Casework Considerations

To evaluate the charges against Representative Waters, discussed in my last post, we should begin with the meeting that she arranged in her September 2008 telephone call to then-Treasury Secretary Paulson.  Although the ethics investigative subcommittee did not find that this meeting itself violated any House rules, the Statement of Alleged Violation devotes its first [...]

The Waters Case

An investigative subcommittee of the House Ethics Committee has charged Representative Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) with three counts of ethics violations stemming from efforts that she and her staff made to assist OneUnited Bank, a Boston-based, minority-owned financial institution which sought and obtained a TARP bailout in the fall of 2008.  These efforts were improper, according [...]

Lobbyist Fundraising and the Second Circuit

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Second Circuit’s decision in Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield, discussed in my last post, involves Connecticut’s ban on soliciting of campaign contributions by contractors and lobbyists.  In contrast to the ban on direct contributions, which the court found to be a peripheral First Amendment activity subject to [...]

The Second Circuit, Lobbying Regulation, and the “Appearance of Corruption”

In Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield, decided last month, the Second Circuit considered a First Amendment challenge to Connecticut’s Campaign Finance Reform Act, a law that prohibited campaign contributions and fundraising solicitations by (1) state contractors and prospective contractors and (2) lobbyists.  The law also covered certain individuals, such as family members, associated with [...]