Our problems remain epistemological.

Friday, January 13, 2017

This is what balanced news reporting looks like ....

Winand Von Petersdorff, “A student would thus fail the exam,” Frankfurter Allgemeine (Jan. 13, 2017), http://tinyurl.com/jq5aeq3 

Translated in part:

The renowned Harvard professor Laurence Tribe called the Trump-selected legal construction fraudulently and a "Potemkin village" via Twitter. A lawyer who presented such a construction would go through the constitutional examination. None of the ethical and legal problems is solved with the proposal. But lawyers are by no means in agreement as to whether Trump actually violates the law. The also in Harvard educated constitutional expert and professor in Ireland Seth [Barrett] Tillman argued that it is inconsistent with the American legal tradition to ask the President-elect to sell illiquid assets such as real estate. America's first president, George Washington, had extensive land ownership and continued to conduct ground [i.e., land] speculation as president. Democratic President Jimmy Carter had put his peanut farm in Georgia in a trust led by his brother.
Tillman also pointed out that many of the public service regulations were not valid for the purpose of preventing possible conflicts of interest for elected deputies [i.e., officials], judges and not least the presidents and vice-presidents. Tillman called [i.e., made reference to] the desired independence of the persons who hold such offices. If presidents had to submit their decisions to an ethics officer, in order to rule out possible conflicts of interest, the latter would gain a very powerful position, although he [i.e., the latter] was not legitimized by any choice [of the people]. Judges and elected representatives enjoy a trust advance.

No jurisprudence yet

Currently the question is discussed whether Trump specifically violates the so-called Emolument clause in the American Constitution. It forbids government officials to accept gifts, nobility titles or other donations from foreign governments. Specifically, the problem might arise when foreign diplomats stay in Trump's Hotel in Washington. Trump's lawyer Dillon argues that business transactions such as booking a hotel room are not gifts and therefore not subject to the Emolument clause. Nevertheless, Trump wants to donate profits from the overnight stays of foreign diplomats to the American Treasury.
Tillman believes that the entire clause is not applicable to presidents. It also confirms uncertainty on this issue. For there is no jurisprudence to date. So far, no President has been sued for breaching the clause. He also considers that an action for annulment [i.e., judicial review] is almost impossible because a plaintiff is bound to make a legal claim [i.e., one supported by statute]. Thus, according to Tillman's assessment of the violation of conflicts of interest, only Parliament's resignation [i.e., impeachment] proceedings remain.
An honest and balanced press is possible. It really is. 
My prior post: Seth Barrett Tillman, Tillman on Trump on RTE (Irish national television), The New Reform Club (Jan. 13, 2017, 4:27 AM). [here


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