Monday, November 04, 2019

News & Notes

1. Lots and lots of DUI convictions have been exposed as faulty under this NY Times report regarding the inaccurate breathalyzer tests.

2. Transitions is having its Fall Festival this Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6pm at the Historic Lyric Theatre, 819 NW 2nd Avenue.

3. Are Trump's tax returns headed to the Supreme Court? From Lyle Denniston:
President Donald Trump’s lawyers plan, within the next 10 days, to go to the Supreme Court with a plea to rule – before the Justices’ current term ends this summer – that no court has power to order that his personal and business tax returns be handed over to a state criminal investigation. That appeal follows a unanimous ruling Monday by a federal appeals court in New York City, rejecting the President’s sweeping claim of total immunity to any state probe of his financial affairs.

In its 34-page decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the accounting firm that has the Trump personal and business tax records must obey a New York state grand jury subpoena demanding the turnover of eight years of that data, going back to January 2011. The panel stressed that its ruling was narrow and did not settle wide-ranging questions on what kind of legal immunity Trump might have, if the subpoena were aimed at him directly rather than at his accounting firm. (The firm is Mazars USA; it takes no position in the legal fight over Trump’s records.)

Under an agreement reached last month, between the state prosecutor and Trump’s attorneys, a defeat for the President in the appeals court would start the running of a 10-day period for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Vowing to pursue that appeal, one member of the Trump legal team, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Sekulow, said in a statement that “the issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic. The constitutional issues are significant.”

Under the terms of the two sides’ agreement, the state prosecutor will make no attempt to enforce the disclosure of the tax records during the ten days that an appeal is being prepared – that is, apparently, by November 14 – and for another 10 days after that while legal papers are being submitted to the Justices by both sides. Trump’s team is also required to ask the Justices to grant review, hear and reach a final decision during the Court’s current term, which is expected to run until late June. If the Justices do grant review, the subpoena will not be enforced while the Justices work on a decision.

The Justices have complete discretion to grant or deny review; Trump has no guarantee of review. The Justices also have no duty to proceed on the schedule Trump’s team will be suggesting. However, because of the importance of the constitutional dispute, review and a speedy process very likely will be allowed.

The main constitutional question the appeal is expected to raise is this: Does the President, while serving in office, have complete immunity to any investigation by a state or local government prosecutor, even if the probe seeks information of a personal or private nature and does not demand access to any documents or data directly involving the performance of official duties?

4. Speaking of the Supreme Court, there was an interesting case there today on the 4th Amendment. From Orin Kerr:

[T]he Supreme Court will hold argument in an interesting Fourth Amendment case, Kansas v. GloverGlover raises a simple question: When an officer spots a car driving on a public road, and a license check reveals that the registered owner of the car has a suspended license, does the fact that the registered owner of the car has a suspended license create reasonable suspicion that the driver of the car has a suspended license that then justifies a Terry stop of the car?   Put another way, for Fourth Amendment purposes, can the police presume that the registered owner of a car is driving it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is happening in the Roger Stone case? Inquiring minds want to know.