Political Lomcevak (Tumbling the Liberal Mindset)

The Definition of a political lomcevak? What you get when you mix an aerobatic pilot, a gun nut, a Burkean Conservative and an avid Fisherman, and then attempt to imprint a Liberal Law Education into him.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2003
 
Today I had a root canal, and so do not feel like doing anything else.

What a shit way to blow $900 I could not afford. I would rather have bought a gun.

Tomorrow, I will have more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
 
Update on Recall issue

A federal judge has ruled that voters may vote for the candidates on the recall, regardless of their vote, or non-vote on the recall itself. [SOURCE]

You know the logic of the decision leads to weird analytical processes such as these.

"Well, I don't want to vote for the recall, but I would like this cute girl as my governor"

Or

"I don't want governor Davis recalled, but just in case, I will vote for XXXX"

It is going to be utter pandemonium.

 
As much as this may kill me to say, I have to say that Susan Estrich has a point.

Here is the operative language

"CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL


SEC. 15. (a) An election to determine whether to recall an officer
and, if appropriate, to elect a successor shall be called by the
Governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from
the date of certification of sufficient signatures.



Her reading of the phrase "if appropriate" is fairly plain, and seems to me valid up to a point. However I am not sure that having a successor is the sole metric for determining the appropriateness of a successor, and Estrich never provides a reason why it should be.

This, of course, gets to the nub of the matter. What does that "if appropriate" mean? Who gets to decide? The Section is silent on that matter, and I cannot find language that helps, apart from this:

"CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL


SEC. 17. If recall of the Governor or Secretary of State is
initiated, the recall duties of that office shall be performed by the
Lieutenant Governor or Controller, respectively."


Herein we have the problem with feel good legislation written to instill the voters with more power. Fairly obvious problems in the legislation are not thought through. It would seem obvious to me that the Lieutenant Governor should recuse himself from making this decision. The conflict of interest is immense, and no person would be able to make the decision objectively. And even if they could, they could never be able to argue that they ruled objectively. The motivation towards self-interest is too apparent.

Furthermore, this leaves Bustamante in a bad spot. His future relations with the Governor are on the line, as well his political career if he punts. Imagine if he punts, and a Republican is elected.

So who should decide what is appropriate? The Courts? I am not sure that they should inject themselves into this political fray, although the California Supreme Court would seem to be a natural objective reader of the language. Courts are also good forums for resolving obvious problems with statutory language when there is no ability to change the language prior to an event occuring, like this recall.

Some have argued, such as Rick Hasen that the law should be read so that the meaning of "if appropriate" means whether the recalled candidate is an elected official or not. An interesting point as well.

There is also the Here is another interesting take. (Full Disclosure. Brownstein was my torts professor)

In any event, this should be fascinating to watch.

Monday, July 28, 2003
 
Rand Simberg has an awesome post

"President Truman, just a few months into his young presidency, is coming under increasing fire from some Congressional Republicans for what appears to be a deteriorating security situation in occupied Germany, with some calling for his removal from office."

Go read it all.