In Massachusetts, the Rule of Law Dies

Freedom4all

Veteran
Apr 18, 2009
767
0
From CI - Lawmakers in the Bay State are rushing to change state law to make sure the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat is filled as soon as possible with a reliable Democratic successor.

Never mind that as recently as 2004 the same state legislature had changed state law to mandate that a vacant Senate seat could only be filled by a special election to be held within five months of the vacancy.

Before then, as in most other states, vacancies were filled by an appointment of the governor, with the seat coming up for a vote at the next federal election. But in 2004, the Democratic legislature changed the law to prevent then-governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from naming a Republican to replace Democratic Sen. John Kerry if he were to be elected president. Kerry lost to George W. Bush, but the law remained on the books.

That was then; now is now. With Democrats in Washington wanting to maintain their 60-vote caucus in the Senate, a five-month delay to let the people of Massachusetts actually vote on who will replace Kennedy has become an intolerable roadblock to progress. According to a report from Bloomberg News this morning, the Democratically-dominated legislature in Massachusetts is about to change the law back to allow the now-Democratic governor to appoint a successor within a month.

This is a textbook example of how politicians routinely ignore The Rule of Law in pursuit of political aims.

The Bloomberg story contained a less scholarly but equally sound critique of what is going on in Massachusetts: “It shows Democrats don’t care about principle,â€￾ said Massachusetts House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, a North Reading Republican. “They don’t care about debate. They don’t care about the rules. It really is disgusting.â€￾
 
OP
F

Freedom4all

Veteran
Apr 18, 2009
767
0
How is the rule of law being violated?

The legislature is going to vote on a change in an existing law, which is what legislatures do!

The late Senator requested that the law be changed prior to his death. So one can look at this as honoring one of his last wishes.

Are the motives here less then 100% honorable? Of course! It's American polotics at its finest.

It is NOT however the death of the rule of law
Law changed only to benefit the political party? Law enacted by the same person, then in a panic 5 years later change back, for the same political purpose? Looks like roadkill to me.
 

Hello3B

Advanced
Dec 4, 2005
192
59
This attempt to change the law exemplifies the fact that the Dems are only out for themselves. Is there no shame?
 

rjh

Veteran
Aug 22, 2005
1,061
1
This attempt to change the law exemplifies the fact that the Dems are only out for themselves. Is there no shame?
Are you implying that the republican's AREN'T only out for themselves? Very naive of you.
 

tech2101

Veteran
Aug 14, 2006
3,655
1,197
Reality
Visit site
This is a textbook example of how politicians routinely ignore The Rule of Law in pursuit of political aims.

Like this:

Each state is responsible for drawing its own district lines. To ensure that citizens are equally represented — to guarantee “one person, one voteâ€￾ — each state must adjust district boundaries to keep pace with official population counts. If a disproportionate number of people have moved into a district, the district must be resized so that each vote carries the same weight. Thus, after each decennial census, each state is legally bound, to reevaluate its district lines.

In Texas, however, Tom DeLay drove the process beyond this constitutional mandate. Although a court had already brought district lines up to date using the one-person, one-vote standard, the Texas Legislature decided to redraw the lines in the middle of the decade.

Its ends were partisan: to ensure congressional dominance of the majority party in the state Legislature. And its means were notorious: when legislators fled the state to protest the re-redistricting and deny the Legislature a quorum, Department of Homeland Security resources were used to impose DeLay’s will.
source

Which resulted in this:

The criminal charges are based on a Texas election law, akin to rules in 17 other states, that strictly bars political contributions from corporations for election purposes. But according to evidence submitted in a related civil trial, the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), raised and spent at least $523,000 in corporate funds -- most of which were not reported to state election officials.

The funds paid for surveys, mailings, receptions, candidate investigations and probes of Democratic candidates that helped Republicans gain control of the Texas House for the first time in 130 years, and enabled them to redraw the state's congressional districts in 2003 in such a way that Texas voters elected five more Republicans to Congress in 2004.
Washington Post

Time for a new thread... :rolleyes:
 

tech2101

Veteran
Aug 14, 2006
3,655
1,197
Reality
Visit site
So what your are saying is when a republican does something foul, it leads to an indictment.
I did not mean to say that, although it appeared that way. My apologies.

If you bothered to read the links, you would know that his legal troubles were from collecting money from people through his PAC to accomplish his gerrymandering goals. He did not follow the rule of law with his PAC, he stepped over the line. He could have done it without his illegal money collecting, but that is how Tom Delay operates/operated.

However, the gerrymandering was ruled mostly legal by the Supreme Court. The decision/opinion is here.

The point is that a Republican Legislature, along with a Republican Governor, did this (gerrymandering) solely to gain more seats in the United States House of Representatives...and it worked. (Like wanting to keep that Mass. Senate seat occupied with a Democrat...)

They did it under the rule of law. Did the Democrats like it? No.

A majority of the Court determined that nothing in the Constitution prevented Texas (and, thus, every other state) from disrupting the stability of decennial redistricting and redrawing the map whenever it felt like, and rejected plaintiffs' contention that a mid-decade redistricting was sufficiently suspect on its own to determine that a redistricting was unconstitutional. The Court further declined to determine whether there was a general test to apply in the future.

However, partisanship was not the sole issue. The Court determined that new District 23, designed to protect weak Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla by making his district more Anglo-friendly, violated the Voting Rights Act by unlawfully diluting the voting rights of Latinos who remain in the district. Basically (and this is a complicated area of law), Latinos in the old District 23 were large and compact enough to constitute a majority of a district, but weren't any longer.
source

That is why there are elections. And, yes, they do have consequences. If Massachusetts wants to change the way there legislature rules, they can vote out the ones they do not like.
 

tech2101

Veteran
Aug 14, 2006
3,655
1,197
Reality
Visit site
Is that like being partially pregnant?
The gerrymandering was ruled ok in most areas. There was one area that was deemed to have violated the voting rights act provisions. Dude, in law there is almost never a complete black and white, especially election law.

The ruling is linked in my above post. It is interesting reading if you are constipated.