The importance of the word "otherwise."

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Lee Atwater, Apr 14, 2024.

  1. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Supreme Court to weigh if Jan. 6 rioters can be charged with obstruction

    Much of the discussion on Tuesday is expected to center on how to properly interpret the text of a statute Congress amended in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which followed the Enron scandal. As the justices mull how narrowly or broadly prosecutors can apply the statute, the meaning of the word “otherwise” will play a central role.

    The law includes a penalty of up to 20 years in prison for anyone who “corruptly — (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/13/supreme-court-jan-6-obstruction/

    I had not heard this was coming. It's a case with enormous potential implications. Both for some Jan. 6 riot defendants and for the election.

    Defense counsel for the rioters claim charges applying to the obstruction of an official proceeding have been applied too broadly. That the statute used by prosecutors doesn't apply to them.

    The high court’s ruling, likely to land in late June, has the potential to undo the convictions and sentences of those who have already gone to trial or pleaded guilty, and upend the charges still pending for many more. Three Jan. 6 defendants have already had their sentences reduced ahead of a decision by the Supreme Court.

    The court’s decision could have political implications for this year’s election, since Donald Trump — the likely Republican nominee — has made accusations of prosecutorial overreach a core part of his appeal to voters.


    Any case involving the SC having a potential positive affect on His Orangeness's candidacy makes me nervous given its recent track record of ignoring established law in order to facilitate an ideologically driven outcome.
     
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  2. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It is the democrats who have made prosecutorial overreach a core part of his appeal to voters.
     
  3. FAW

    FAW Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Ridiculous prosecutorial overreach that when correctly and predictably shot down, will undoubtedly result in you and other leftists bogusly pretending like that determination was illegitimate.
     
  4. Hey Now

    Hey Now Well-Known Member

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    No real point in being nervous IMO, we have to wait and see what they do. And, whatever they do, get out in droves and vote for freedom, democracy and rights.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
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  5. CornPop

    CornPop Well-Known Member

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    It's always fun watching extreme contextualists skip over originalism and go to the other extreme, textualism, only when it comes to prosecuting people they disagree with politically. The only thing that remains consistent is wanting to facilitate an ideologically drive outcome.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
  6. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What ever you say.

    The court’s conservative majority, including all three of Trump’s nominees to the high court — Amy Coney Barrett, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch — are proponents of textualism, the method of legal interpretation that considers only the words of the law under review, not legislators’ intent or the consequences of the decision.
     
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  7. Shutcie

    Shutcie Newly Registered Donor

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    I note that if the court rules in such a way as to upset the liberals, they blame it on "trumps court".
    When the court rules in such a way as to upset the conservatives, they blame it on the deep state.

    How about the court is doing it's job, and pissing off half of American with some of these rulings is just a bonus?
     
  8. CornPop

    CornPop Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, interesting that you found a sudden love for textualism and now support Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch's views on interpretating the law. It only took charges against people you hate to come to this realization. Will these opinions change with cases that don't target people with whom there is no political disagreement? Just trying to figure out if these are sincere beliefs or if it's just more hypocritical nonsense to justify targeting political adversaries with novel interpretations of that law that the legislature never intended. Based on changes on views to support an insurrection I think I know the answer to this question. This is what happens when starting with a hyper-partisan political conclusion and then drafting excuses to justify it. The result is a lack of consistency in moral and ethical positions. There are some political ideologies where it is common for moral and ethical positions to change based on an intrinsic desire to take away the freedoms of those they disagree with politically. None of them are a good look, but expressing them has become more popular when discussing anything to do with "MAGA, "Orange Fraud," "Orange Buffoon," "Orange God," "Orange Messiah," "Orangeness," etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
  9. Darthcervantes

    Darthcervantes Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The OBVIOUS answer is NO!
    You could have had 3x the amount of people. It could have even been more violent than it was and there would still be ZERO change in election results. Nobody buys that fake narrative (just lefties pretending its worse than 9-11 so they can try to use it as a talking point).
     
  10. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I note that.............All but one of the 15 judges overseeing Jan. 6-related cases in the D.C. federal courthouse have sided with the government on this question, ruling that the rioters who sought to keep Congress from certifying Biden’s victory were “otherwise” obstructing that proceeding. The outlier was U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, a Trump nominee, who said the word “otherwise” refers only to other efforts to tamper with or destroy records or documents.
     
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  11. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    'Prosecutorial overreach has become a way for the government to expand the definition of what's illegal without congressional approval. Whether enough of these conservative justices want to rein in the government's power will be the decisive factor for both Trump and the J6 rioters.'

    'Government is using an obscure financial crimes statute about delaying Congressional proceeding to destroy the lives of J6 protesters. Gorsuch just asked whether pulling a fire alarm before a Congressional vote could qualify (e..g, what Democrat Jamaal Bowman did recently) and government atty says no. LOL'

    This vile and politicized misuse of power to rig an election and punish the supporters of the opposition candidate who is leading the polls reveals the evil of these crooked prosecutors, corrupt judges and kangaroo courts

    https://twitter.com/MZHemingway/sta...ary-6th-protesters-and-jamaal-bowman-n2172858
     
  12. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Justice Gorsuch Throws Shade at Jamaal Bowman During J6 Hearing, and It’s Glorious

    [​IMG]
    Everyone knows that this about some Dems trying to Election Fix.

    'On Tuesday, oral arguments commenced in the case of Fischer vs. United States, scrutinizing the legitimacy of felony charges of obstructing an official proceeding against individuals involved in the January 6 United States Capitol riot. The court's ruling will carry significant weight, as it could potentially influence the fate of hundreds of defendants from the January 6 riot and potentially undermine certain federal charges against Donald Trump.'

    'Justice Neil Gorsuch posed a question that was epic, to put it mildly.'

    'Specifically, he inquired whether Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), who infamously pulled a fire alarm to delay a House vote, could face charges under the same statute.'

    "What does that mean for the breadth of this statute?" Gorsuch asked. "Would a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal courthouse qualify? Would a heckler at today's audience qualify, or a heckler at the State of the Union address? Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote qualify for 20 years in federal prison?"

    Only if you are a Trump supporter, and of course such unequal enforcement is obviously unconstitutional.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024
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  13. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    "So my outburst requires the court to reconvene after the proceeding has been brought back into line, or the pulling of the fire alarm, the vote has to be rescheduled, or the protest outside of the courthouse makes it inaccessible for a period of time," Gorsuch interjected. "Are those all federal felonies subject to 20 years in prison?"

    The answer is "yes" if you are a Trump supporter, "no" if you are someone that most of the Left sees as on their team.

    'Of course, you can see where this is going. It's not surprising that the Biden administration's position was that pulling a fire alarm to delay a House vote wouldn't be prosecuted under the same statute because it chose not to prosecute Bowman.'

    Biden's idiot clown tried to argue that the obstruction must be quite severe and then Alito promptly teed off on him:

    'Picking up with Gorsuch left off, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out that 1512 (c)(2) "doesn't refer just to obstruct, it says 'obstructs, influences, or impedes.' Impedes is something less than obstructs."'

    'No matter what example justices offered, including pro-Palestinian protesters blocking traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday, or the hypothetical of protesters blocking traffic from Virginia to Washington, D.C., the Biden administration's position that none of these would meet the same requirement.'

    'Curious, isn't it?'

    'I wonder what it was like for Prelogar to stand there as Gorsuch and Alito destroyed her case right before her eyes.'

    The jig is up.
     
  14. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Right-Wing Justices Haggle Over Law Used To Nab January 6 Rioters

    The conservative Supreme Court justices shifted between a series of positions during Tuesday’s oral arguments, seemingly probing for a way to at least narrow an obstruction charge that the government has used against over 300 Jan. 6 rioters.

    The statute, which forbids obstructing an official proceeding, grew out of the Enron scandal and specifically addresses destruction of evidence. A second, broader clause of the statute, the government argued, applies to the insurrectionists’ attempts to scuttle Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote in 2021.

    Government prosecutors argued that the insurrectionists fall under the catchall provision — anyone who “otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding.” Joseph Fischer, the alleged insurrectionist whose case Tuesday’s argument grew out of, countered that it’s an overbroad read of a statute fundamentally about evidence impairment.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/supreme-court-january-6-obstruction

    If there's a way to rule in favor of the insurrectionist mob the conservative justices will find it.
     
  15. Hey Now

    Hey Now Well-Known Member

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    Vote and vote in droves all the way down ballot in Roevember.
     
  16. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Those of us who are not blind understand exactly what is going on here. Trump is also charged with obstruction of an official proceeding. If the Court's conservatives can find a way to reduce Don's criminal exposure in the Jan. 6 case they will obediently do so.

    The overwhelming majority of judges have read the obstruction statute broadly enough to encompass the January 6 defendants. As the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit noted in its opinion saying that Fischer could be charged under this statute, several federal appellate courts “have applied the statute to reach a wide range of obstructive acts.”

    Similarly, of the 15 federal trial judges who’d heard January 6 cases, “no fewer than fourteen district judges in this jurisdiction have adopted the broad reading of the statute urged by the government to uphold the prosecution of defendants who allegedly participated in the Capitol riot.” Of these 15 judges, only Judge Carl Nichols, the judge who heard Fischer’s case, disagreed with this consensus view.

    [​IMG]
    The Supreme Court will weigh in on the January 6 insurrection. What could possibly go wrong?
    The Court’s decision could potentially undermine over 300 January 6 prosecutions, including Trump’s.
    [​IMG] www.vox.com
     
  17. Oldyoungin

    Oldyoungin Well-Known Member

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    Thank god we have the supreme court to regulate insane run away liberal officials.
     
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  18. CornPop

    CornPop Well-Known Member

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    This statute was written for witness/evidence tampering and it has only ever been used throughout its history for that explicit purpose. There are other crimes they can use to charge these individuals, ranging from assault, battery, trespass, etc. They don't need to create a new interpretation of this law in order to hold the rioters accountable for their actions.

    This thread claims the definition of "otherwise" is key for the interpretation of this statute. The federal courts have defined "otherwise" as it is used in criminal statutes the same as they have defined "shall" and other similar terms. Otherwise means to do similar conduct in a different way than was enumerated. It doesn't mean "anything else regardless of it not being relevant to the statute," as you are claiming. If c2 was a blanket catchall for any conduct you want, there would be no reason for c1 to exist.

    In order to use this against J6 defendants, you need to first take a witness/evidence-based statute and make it so it has nothing to do with witnesses or evidence. You then redefine words to mean something differently for this statute than how they have been interpreted for use in every other criminal statute. And finally, you have to justify the selective prosecution for this event while ignoring it for every other interruption that has ever existed or has occurred post-J6.

    It's a tall order, but I'm sure that, in time, Vox or Talking Points Memo will have an article out telling their readers how to think since they exist solely to target the demographic of fringe leftist media consumers who do not wish to review all of the information for themselves and use their own reason to draw their own conclusions. The potential outcome of this doesn't mean that the rioters get off completely free of the crimes they committed that day. It just impacts a single charge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2024
  19. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Putting side the epic irony of someone like you making that comment, I have read this. https://casetext.com/case/united-states-v-fischer-64
    It makes legal sense to me. Just as it made legal sense to......... Similarly, of the 15 federal trial judges who’d heard January 6 cases, “no fewer than fourteen district judges in this jurisdiction have adopted the broad reading of the statute urged by the government to uphold the prosecution of defendants who allegedly participated in the Capitol riot.” The dissenter, unsurprisingly, being a Trump appointee.
     
  20. CornPop

    CornPop Well-Known Member

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    District courts rely on other court rulings and precedent in their rulings. That's why appeals exist. The DC district courts are filled with rabid activist judges. Historically, when nominating judicial nominees they take into account the local populace and their politics. This is why DC, SDNY, etc are filled with fringe judges who make rulings you don't see anywhere else.

    You're making an ad populum fallacy which means you're appealing to a number of people who you want to agree with rather than making an actual logical argument. I understand you have no desire to talk about the history of the statute and would instead promote fallacious arguments about liberal judges agreeing with your fringe liberal bloggers. But it's an unconvincing and amateurish debate strategy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2024
  21. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I forgot that in Trumpworld all rulings against him reflect bias and all rulings in his favor are just fair minded judges following the rule of law. ;)
     
  22. CornPop

    CornPop Well-Known Member

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    How many threads and posts have you made complainimg about Supreme Court rulings and conservative justices (including this one)? How many threads and posts hBe you made complaining about Aileen Cannon?

    I forgot that in Big Guy World all rulings against liberals reflect bias and all rulings in his favor are just fair minded judges following the rule of law. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2024
  23. Junkieturtle

    Junkieturtle Well-Known Member Donor

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    That's only because his voters don't think he's ever done anything wrong despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Trump may be a moron in general, but even morons can be good at some things, and Trump is good at appealing to his base. Don't matter that he's done the things that earned him the legal attention, just the fact that someone is holding him responsible for anything is a bridge too far for MAGA voters. These law & order folks are anti-elitism and always complain how the rich and the politicians get away with stuff and then they turn around and demand that their rich politician get away with stuff. It would be hard to write more hilarious fiction than this asshattery that's going on in real life. This response by Trump to his many self-imposed legal troubles is to be expected and it would be more surprising if it wasn't happening.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2024
  24. Lee Atwater

    Lee Atwater Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Aileen Cannon has been reversed twice in her short career on the federal bench by a conservative leaning appeals court while admonishing her for ruling in contradiction to black letter law. Both times ruling in Trump's favor. More of the MAGA god's judicial picks have received “not qualified” ratings from the ABA than those nominated by his four predecessors in the first two years of their presidencies combined. In part because they were names given to him by the extremist legal organization, the Federalist Society.

    We Don’t Talk About Leonard: The Man Behind the Right’s Supreme Court Supermajority
    https://www.propublica.org/article/we-dont-talk-about-leonard-leo-supreme-court-supermajority

    Trump has been treated with extraordinary deference by a legal system he attacks day after day with accusations of bias against him. All designed to sow doubt in the public's confidence in the system. Maybe you are unaware, maybe not.
     
  25. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    You're lost, wrong case.

    The statute that these crooked judges and corrupt prosecutors are using for it's hammer of a potential 20 year sentence was drafted to cover spoliation of evidence. 'Congress’s purpose, in Sarbanes-Oxley, was to repair a flaw in federal criminal law due to which people who shredded evidentiary documents could not be prosecuted. Lying Jack has been bitch-slapped by the Court before 9-0 for statute stretching, specifically in the McDonnell case.'

    'separation of powers: Congress writes the laws, and prosecutors enforce them; prosecutors are not permitted to create crimes: They are stuck with what Congress has prescribed.'

    'arbitrary enforcement: When prosecutors are given carte blanche to create crimes, what invariably happens is that unpopular people are punished while popular and/or politically connected people are immune.'

    https://archive.ph/Zp6Bo#selection-1185.13-1197.1
     

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