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August 25, 2008

Huckabee: Romney Could Have Just Ignored SJC Ruling

This is wrong. And I've heard this a lot from people I respect online.

It's wrong. It's bullshit.

If the executive doesn't follow the diktats of a court, the court dashes off writs of mandamus compelling lesser officials (like, justices of the peace, clerks at city halls) to act according to what they claim the law is. I believe these writs are issued upon pain of contempt.

This entire idea -- which I've seen bubbling up a lot, but only with regard to this one issue -- proves too much, as they say. If Romney could have just ignored the SJC's ruling, what stops any executive from doing this when it comes to any disagreement with the court?

There is no difference. Yes, hypothetically, any executive can provoke a constitutional crisis like this, with the courts ordering their bailiffs to arrest officials for contempt for not complying with writs of mandamus, and the executive ordering cops to arrest bailiffs trying to execute these arrests, and etc. Yes, it could be done.

But why the fuck have people only thought of this with regard to Romney and this one decision? Why do they insist in this -- and only this -- situation Romney could have, and should have, faced down the (armed) agents of the court with his own armed agents?

Note that Huckabee's excuse for soliciting additional taxes -- any additional tax schemes; they were all "all right by me," as he said -- was that he was compelled by a state court decision to do so. (Actually, he wasn't quite, but let's pretend he was.)

How come you didn't just defy the courts yourself, Huck?

Why is it that Mitt Romney and only Mitt Romney has this special executive power to defy the courts?


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posted by Ace at 08:07 PM

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