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Open Government
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"Americans are confronted each day with corruption," writes Austin Evers.

Corruption and voter suppression leave a paper trail

Evers is executive director American Oversight, an ethics watchdog focused on the Trump administration.

Americans are confronted each day with corruption. It blares from the Trump administration and many state governments. Public evidence alone helps explain why Americans feel that the system is rigged and that corporate and shadowy interests write policy to entrench their power at the expense of regular people. It is seen as politics as usual, a contest mediated through inane and exasperating punditry.

But in reality, the corruption is often starker, spelled out in black and white, in ways that are hard to write off. And when exposed it can be truly shocking — and can break Americans from viewing it as routine.

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Open Government
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A new law that requires candidates in California to provide their tax returns before being allowed on the ballot appears likely to be rejected by the state Supreme Court.

Trump likely to win tax returns fight in California, but battles continue elsewhere

The legal battle to pry loose President Trump's tax returns appears to be headed to defeat in the California Supreme Court, while numerous other efforts continue to move forward.

According to reporting by the Sacramento Bee, a majority of the justices on Wednesday appeared to side with Republicans challenging the new state law that would force Trump to release the last five years of his tax returns in order to get on the 2020 primary ballot.

During oral arguments, several of the justices aggressively questioned an attorney representing Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

"Where does it end? Do we get all high school report cards?" asked Justice Ming Chin, according to the Bee.

If the court strikes down the law (it has 90 days to reach a decision), the state could still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Government Ethics
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"So even if President Trump were impeached and convicted, there is the possibility that he could be reelected to the same office from which he had been removed," writes Austin Sarat.

Could President Trump be impeached and convicted – but also reelected?

The ConversationSarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College.

The launching of an "official impeachment inquiry" into President Donald Trump's conduct has sailed America into largely uncharted waters.

While there have been demands for the impeachment of many presidents, just three previous ones – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton – have faced formal impeachment inquiries, and the Senate convicted none of them. None of those three sought reelection.

After Johnson's acquittal, he was denied his party's presidential nomination. Nixon and Clinton were in their second terms already and could not run for reelection.

Trump, however, is already doing so.

As a scholar of American legal and political history, I have studied the precedents for dealing with this strange conundrum. A little-known wrinkle in the Constitution might allow Trump to be reelected president in 2020 even if he is removed from office through the impeachment process.

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Big Picture
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"The Constitution makes clear that impeachment is not a criminal prosecution," writes Clark D. Cunningham.

Founders: Removal from office is not the only purpose of impeachment

Cunningham is the director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism at Georgia State University.

As Congress moves toward a possible formal impeachment of President Donald Trump, they should consider words spoken at the Constitutional Convention, when the Founders explained that impeachment was intended to have many important purposes, not just removing a president from office.

A critical debate took place on July 20, 1787, which resulted in adding the impeachment clause to the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, the oldest and probably wisest delegate at the Convention, said that when the president falls under suspicion, a "regular and peaceable inquiry" is needed.

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