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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Re: Do Words and their Definitions Matter? We're About to See

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@BigLib wrote:

There is a reason why we've not seen any Trump tax return. There is a reason why we've not seen the books from the Trump Foundation. VP Pence released 10 years of his tax returns. There is a reason why we'll never see that same kind of transparency from Trump. With any luck, we're about to see if our suspicions were correct.

 

It would be interesting if C-SPAN broadcast this case. But regardless, Cons will just shrug and claim, "who cares?"


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
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Centristsin2010:  Among the seekers was John Mikhail, a law professor with a PhD in philosophy and associate dean at the Georgetown University Law School. But while reporters, for example, tended to look it up in Merriam-Webster, Mikhail went to dictionaries available to the framers of the Constitution in 1787, which is what litigants do when trying to figure out what the Founding Fathers meant.

 

 

 

This should no problem for conservatives since they're big believers in originalism. Smiley Happy

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There is a reason why we've not seen any Trump tax return. There is a reason why we've not seen the books from the Trump Foundation. VP Pence released 10 years of his tax returns. There is a reason why we'll never see that same kind of transparency from Trump. With any luck, we're about to see if our suspicions were correct.

 

 

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/byruling/false/ (11 pages of lies and growing)
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Do Words and their Definitions Matter? We're About to See

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Trump’s ‘emoluments’ battle: How a scholar’s search of 200 years of dictionaries helped win a historic ruling

 

Just 10 days before his inauguration, Donald Trump called a news conference in New York to deal, among other things, with mounting questions about how he would separate his presidency from his vast business interests, including the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, and avoid violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

 

It was a rambling affair. It covered Hillary Clinton and “fake news,” the Russia “witch hunt” and the “nonsense that was released” by intelligence agencies — before finally getting to the point. He introduced a lawyer, who hauled out stacks of folders, which Trump described as “some of the many documents that I’ve signed turning over complete and total control” of his businesses to his sons.

 

The lawyer, Sheri Dillon, then explained how, even though Trump would be receiving income from his business empire, the Constitution’s emoluments clause would not be a problem. The provision, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8, bars federal officeholders from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

 

But by Dillon’s standards, it did not apply to emoluments “that have absolutely nothing to do” with the office of president: that is, to transactions connected with a president’s private business.

 

The president’s lawyers would later elaborate with a similarly narrow definition of the clause. It applies only to foreign benefits “conferred that arise from services rendered to a foreign state” by the president “in his or her official capacity,” they argued in a brief. The clause is “office-and-employment-specific.” In other words, it bars only payments or presents or other emoluments given the president in connection with a decision he might make as president.

 

That would take Trump off the hook for, say, foreign payments to his hotels from which he profited because he did not get them in his “official capacity.”

 

It was for some a little too convenient, sending them scurrying to dictionaries for a definition of “emoluments,” since neither the framers of the Constitution nor the justices of the Supreme Court have provided one.

 

Among the seekers was John Mikhail, a law professor with a PhD in philosophy and associate dean at the Georgetown University Law School. But while reporters, for example, tended to look it up in Merriam-Webster, Mikhail went to dictionaries available to the framers of the Constitution in 1787, which is what litigants do when trying to figure out what the Founding Fathers meant.

 

But Mikhail didn’t stop at a few dictionaries. With the aid of a Georgetown law student, Genevieve Bentz, he embarked on a lexicological odyssey into dozens of long-forgotten dictionaries, published over a 200-year period before 1806, 40 regular dictionaries and 10 legal dictionaries, listed here.

 

The research yielded a very different, much broader definition than that put forward by Trump’s lawyers. “Every English dictionary definition of ’emolument’ from 1604 to 1806″ uses a “broad definition,” including “profit,” “advantage,” “gain,” or benefit,” he wrote in his paper describing the research.

 

As to the “office-and-employment-specific” interpretation by Trump’s team, Mikhail wrote that “over 92 percent of these dictionaries define ’emolument’ . . . with no reference to ‘office’ or ’employment.’ ”

In other words, by his research, the emoluments clause would bar any benefit or profit to a president via a foreign state, whether in his capacity as president or in any other role, such as the owner of a hotel. It would, specifically, cover Saudi Arabia or Kuwait renting out space at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

 

“I sort of felt like I had them in the crosshairs,” he told The Washington Post on Thursday.

 

He did.

 

On Wednesday, Mikhail’s labors paid off. In a historic decision, U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte in Greenbelt, Md., ruled that a suit brought by the District of Columbia and Maryland could go forward instead of throwing it out, as the administration desired.

 

more at:  Trump’s ‘emoluments’ battle: How a scholar’s search of 200 years of dictionaries helped win a histor...


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
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