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  #101  
Old 05-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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I don't know how to reconcile this with your previous statement:



What I wrote in post #94 is a tool available in the process realm. I'd be opposed because it's a terrible idea and bad for democracy, but based on what you've written it appears you would not be opposed. Do I have that right?
I think the possibility that these things (including voter suppression, gerrymandering, and much more) are even possible is horribly damaging towards our democracy, but as long as these horrible things are available, I advocate that Democrats consider making use of these tools so as not to bring the proverbial knife to the gunfight.

Just like how campaigns should be publicly funded, but until that goal is reached, I understand the need for campaigns to solicit private donations.

Basically, our system is massively screwed up. It should be fixed. Until it is fixed, Democrats need to fight as hard as they can, with whatever tools are available, just to avoid being overwhelmed.
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  #102  
Old 05-06-2019, 04:51 PM
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This is where liberals get to say, "If he's not guilty, why shouldn't he?"

Don't take away our moment of fun!
  #103  
Old 05-06-2019, 04:57 PM
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Trump's sycophant says he's not turning over the tax returns. In a related story , the Pope is catholic.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/06/polit...own/index.html
  #104  
Old 05-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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We can't complain about Trump's reasons for not turning over his returns, because we don't know what they are. But yes, some of the possible reasons really are big enough to stand out, even among the (literal) myriad other lies he tells. Like, for instance, if he's on Putin's payroll, that's kind of really important.
  #105  
Old 05-06-2019, 06:49 PM
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Would his releasing tax returns give him more or fewer votes net?
  #106  
Old 05-06-2019, 07:33 PM
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Would his releasing tax returns give him more or fewer votes net?
Is that a rhetorical question? Wouldn't it depend on what's on them? If it doesn't matter what's on them because it wouldn't move the needle either way, then it's net zero.

But I think there's at least a non-zero chance that something might be on them that could change at least a few voter's minds. Even if it's all positive, that could still lead people to change their votes. But you'd have to know what's on them first.

I still don't think it's worth monkeying with the voting system, but the question does have some significance.
  #107  
Old 05-06-2019, 08:41 PM
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If his returns are totally innocent, no one who wasn't going to vote for him will now vote for him.

If it's shady, same thing. Either we know he did shady shit and now we still know that. Or people will hand wave it away like they did with the stuff that we do know about like all of the strategic bankruptcies and not paying contractors.

I can't think of anything that would reasonably be on there that would move the needle either way. This is just juvenile trolling.
  #108  
Old 05-06-2019, 09:54 PM
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It’s not trolling. It’s finally writing a law that we didn’t know we needed before because there were norms that we didn’t think would be broken. We are going to have to write a number of laws moving forward to ensure a number of norms that we now know are no longer norms. And none of that is trolling.

If we strengthen emoluments laws it’s not going to be to troll Trump it will be because we didn’t think we had to spell out that the president should have the country’s interests first.
  #109  
Old 05-07-2019, 12:23 AM
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Itís not trolling. Itís finally writing a law that we didnít know we needed before because there were norms that we didnít think would be broken. We are going to have to write a number of laws moving forward to ensure a number of norms that we now know are no longer norms. And none of that is trolling.

If we strengthen emoluments laws itís not going to be to troll Trump it will be because we didnít think we had to spell out that the president should have the countryís interests first.
The norm since Nixonís second run. It wasnít done at all before that. Sixty years of federal taxes before that and they werenít shared. People can make the choice to never vote for anyone who doesnít show their taxes. Parties can refuse to allow anyone who doesnít.
  #110  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker View Post
Itís not trolling. Itís finally writing a law that we didnít know we needed before because there were norms that we didnít think would be broken. We are going to have to write a number of laws moving forward to ensure a number of norms that we now know are no longer norms. And none of that is trolling.

If we strengthen emoluments laws itís not going to be to troll Trump it will be because we didnít think we had to spell out that the president should have the countryís interests first.
A law isn't going to stop Trump and Republicans from undermining democracy. The solution is more democratic participation on the part of progressives and moderates, even in spite of laws that try to restrict voting. If you want to convince the middle that you respect and value democracy, then you do things that promote democratic participation -- removing someone's name from a ballot is the exact opposite of that.

So the conservatives will try to remove people from the voter rolls? Who knows - maybe they'll even bring back poll taxes. This isn't the first time that American authoritarians or oligarchs have tried to suppress democratic participation. If they do that, then march (peacefully and lawfully) in the streets. And if they criminalize that, then as MLK and Rosa Parks did, resist authority when the laws are immoral and understand that loving democracy and freedom sometimes has a cost. Over time, a majority of people will hopefully 'get it' and join the side of the righteous.

But removing someone from a ballot to force them to hand over their tax returns is just reactionary and stupid. It's just another tactic that will lead to a response in kind. This will backfire spectacularly. The way to promote democracy is to do democratic things, not undemocratic things.
  #111  
Old 05-07-2019, 07:38 AM
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If he's got nothing to hide, why stall?
  #112  
Old 05-07-2019, 08:02 AM
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Without judging the merit of the ballot exclusion, I will state a simple, reasonable reason for congress to see his tax returns. Michael Cohen testified in response to questioning by AOC that there was information in Trump's financial records that will speak to illegal real estate practices. That's all the justification they should need, it is that simple. To deny the release should be viewed as obstruction.
I know that's not the central focus of this thread, but Trump's need to disclose has been mentioned here.
  #113  
Old 05-07-2019, 08:51 AM
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One word: Emoluments.
  #114  
Old 05-07-2019, 09:47 AM
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It might be emoluments, but I have another hunch: real estate used to launder money for international oligarchs and criminals.

Let's face it: we already know that Trump uses his DC hotel, Mar-a-Lago, and other properties to host official government events, so we don't really need his tax returns to establish emoluments clause violations. And we know that a number of his cabinet members have been committing corruption in broad daylight. I think his entire cabinet is without shame. I doubt he worries about emoluments, and probably doesn't even know what the hell it is.

I think it's his relationships that he - and also those he does business with - that are of particular concern. If he's doing business with the Russian mafia, or the Italian mafia, or whoever, there are going to be some nasty cockroaches that will be sent scurrying behind the walls once the light of his tax returns is shining on them. I'm guessing some of those people have done far worse than tax evasion or handed off bags of cash to government officials.

Having people in the media talk about hackers and corruption is one thing, but I'm guessing that releasing his tax returns would allow people who actually know a thing or two about forensic accounting start to piece together Donald Trump's relationships over the past several decades.
  #115  
Old 05-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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It might be emoluments, but I have another hunch: real estate used to launder money for international oligarchs and criminals.

Let's face it: we already know that Trump uses his DC hotel, Mar-a-Lago, and other properties to host official government events, so we don't really need his tax returns to establish emoluments clause violations. And we know that a number of his cabinet members have been committing corruption in broad daylight. I think his entire cabinet is without shame. I doubt he worries about emoluments, and probably doesn't even know what the hell it is. ...
Do you know what emoluments are? The prohibition is against accepting (without the consent of Congress) an emolument "from any King, Prince, or foreign State." What does that have to do with "official government events"?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 05-07-2019 at 12:31 PM.
  #116  
Old 05-07-2019, 12:30 PM
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I have little confidence that Trump's tax returns are the smoking gun evidence of a Russian criminal empire that Mueller couldn't find evidence of. I tend to think that his returns would show he's a poor businessman who doesn't pay much in taxes, and maybe he's been caught cheating and had to pay fines because of sleazy deductions he takes. Which is a very good reason for a congressional investigation into the tax practices of billionaires. Excuse me, "billionaires."
  #117  
Old 05-07-2019, 01:10 PM
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Do you know what emoluments are? The prohibition is against accepting (without the consent of Congress) an emolument "from any King, Prince, or foreign State." What does that have to do with "official government events"?
They don't necessarily involve emoluments - some other aspects of his international business and his refusal to separate himself from his business interests might, but that's a different example. Might point is, he and his administration repeatedly engage in naked corruption and conflicts of interest, so I wouldn't expect much to be revealed about emoluments or other types of corruption that we don't already know. That won't move the needle, as we've become inured to it all.

But tax returns might tell us more about his all of his LLCs, and it might be that we could learn more about his connections once people have time to start digging based on what they've had a chance to see in public for the first time. Taxes don't necessarily tell us how wealthy someone is or isn't, but depending on what one does to earn income, and what forms are required as part of the return, they can begin to tell us about some of the people in his orbit. Tax returns could lead us to other documents as well.

Last edited by asahi; 05-07-2019 at 01:10 PM.
  #118  
Old 05-07-2019, 01:23 PM
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The norm since Nixon’s second run. It wasn’t done at all before that. Sixty years of federal taxes before that and they weren’t shared. People can make the choice to never vote for anyone who doesn’t show their taxes. Parties can refuse to allow anyone who doesn’t.
By any reasonable definition, 60 years is a norm. Particularly when that norm began with the president declaring that it was to prove to America that he was "not a crook", and it turned out that he was a crook.

Plus, the voters voted for Trump under the assumption that he would follow the norm because he promised to release his taxes.

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  #119  
Old 05-07-2019, 01:25 PM
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Even after your explanation, this sentence:

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... Let's face it: we already know that Trump uses his DC hotel, Mar-a-Lago, and other properties to host official government events, so we don't really need his tax returns to establish emoluments clause violations. ...
still doesn't make any sense, but whatever, you don't seem to pushing the "emoluments" angle, so I'm happy to drop it before it becomes a hijack.
  #120  
Old 05-07-2019, 02:34 PM
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The part that isn't clear is why, if Trump's crimes are so screamingly obvious from what we know already, why the Dems need to see his tax returns. They claim they already have enough to make their case - but they want to investigate some more to find out what they think they can already prove. Which suggests that maybe they don't have him as dead to rights as they claim.
Quote:
...he and his administration repeatedly engage in naked corruption and conflicts of interest...
Conflicts of interest is going to be a difficult one to prove. For various reasons.

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  #121  
Old 05-07-2019, 02:42 PM
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This here:

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Originally Posted by bobot View Post
... I will state a simple, reasonable reason for congress to see his tax returns. Michael Cohen testified in response to questioning by AOC that there was information in Trump's financial records that will speak to illegal real estate practices. That's all the justification they should need, it is that simple. ....
  #122  
Old 05-07-2019, 03:10 PM
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By any reasonable definition, 60 years is a norm. Particularly when that norm began with the president declaring that it was to prove to America that he was "not a crook", and it turned out that he was a crook.

Plus, the voters voted for Trump under the assumption that he would follow the norm because he promised to release his taxes.
40 years.

The voters who voted for Trump donít give a fuck about his taxes.
  #123  
Old 05-07-2019, 03:35 PM
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The part that isn't clear is why, if Trump's crimes are so screamingly obvious from what we know already, why the Dems need to see his tax returns. They claim they already have enough to make their case - but they want to investigate some more to find out what they think they can already prove. [/URL].



You already know the answer, but “Screamingly obvious” is not sufficient for the new Republican Party and without some people in that party putting country first “screamingly obvious” will not be enough evidence to take action. Their standard will be “so undeniably obvious, to even my constituents, that my personal political future is in jeopardy” and this standard requires more evidence.

This evidence is certainly in existence, hence the obstruction (for whichever there is also screamingly obvious evidence).
  #124  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:20 PM
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Might be a moot point. Some of his tax info leaked. TLDR is that he lost a lot of money. I guess, he can brag that he lost more money than any other individual taxpayer?

Last edited by Fiveyearlurker; 05-07-2019 at 06:23 PM.
  #125  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:22 PM
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Might be a moot point. Some of his tax info leaked. TLDR is that he lost a lot of money. I guess, he can brag that he lost more money than any other individual taxpayer?
Your link is broken.
  #126  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:24 PM
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Your link is broken.
Thanks. Fixed.
  #127  
Old 05-07-2019, 06:31 PM
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Huh, I was about to fix that link, but I can't see anything wrong with it. It looks like it should work.
EDIT: Ah, I guess I was seeing the version that was already fixed.

Last edited by Chronos; 05-07-2019 at 06:32 PM.
  #128  
Old 05-07-2019, 07:48 PM
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Prediction: this won't cost him vote one. Nor would have the content of his tax returns if he had just turned them over. But what would have been a source of stress would have been the notion that he has to do something contrary to his interest without there being any actual law requiring it and any actual authority that can force him to. That would have been perceived as showing weakness.


The whole thing with the release of the tax returns post-Nixon was basically a "have you got something to hide" signal that every candidate "had" to make because otherwise it would look bad. But it was never an actual law because the whole point was premised someone who acted like they had something to hide would not even be in contention. Which even before Trump, was a weak safeguard to count upon.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 05-07-2019 at 07:49 PM.
  #129  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:42 AM
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You want to run an election where some states would forbid people from voting for Trump?

You could not give him a better excuse on a silver platter, to declare such an election null and void, and disregard the results.
  #130  
Old 05-08-2019, 07:45 AM
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You want to run an election where some states would forbid people from voting for Trump?
I certainly don't. I'm fine with forcing him to release his tax returns, but I have no interest in keeping him off the ballot.
  #131  
Old 05-08-2019, 08:43 AM
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I certainly don't. I'm fine with forcing him to release his tax returns, but I have no interest in keeping him off the ballot.
So do it the right way: get a Constitutional amendment ratified. This gimmicky state law business where you threaten to keep him off the ballot is the wrong way to go about this.
  #132  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:16 AM
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So do it the right way: get a Constitutional amendment ratified. This gimmicky state law business where you threaten to keep him off the ballot is the wrong way to go about this.
Or, do it the Republican way: get control of the White House and Senate and cram a bunch of unqualified judges down the Nation's throat who will do what party leaders tell them to do.

Last edited by Ravenman; 05-08-2019 at 09:16 AM.
  #133  
Old 05-08-2019, 10:00 AM
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What kind of unfair hardship is imposed by requiring tax returns from our most important elected position?
  #134  
Old 05-08-2019, 01:47 PM
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This is a bad idea. What we learned from the Birthers is that it's up to the votes to decide whether non-constitutional qualifications are significant. If Trump doesn't want to release his tax returns, people don't have to vote for him. If they want to regardless, they're stupid but it's their right.
Not that they're stupid but may have voted for a candidate not knowing all the facts. How many people voted for him because they were convinced "he's a smart guy because he's a millionaire business man"? What if his tax returns showed he was a business buffoon and was one step ahead of being in the poor house? Would those same people vote for him then?
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  #135  
Old 05-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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Not that they're stupid but may have voted for a candidate not knowing all the facts. How many people voted for him because they were convinced "he's a smart guy because he's a millionaire business man"? What if his tax returns showed he was a business buffoon and was one step ahead of being in the poor house? Would those same people vote for him then?
If people believe Trump is smart after listening to him speak, you think his tax returns are going to make a whit of difference?
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  #136  
Old 05-08-2019, 02:56 PM
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So do it the right way: get a Constitutional amendment ratified. This gimmicky state law business where you threaten to keep him off the ballot is the wrong way to go about this.
I'll agree to this and work tirelessly in regards to tax returns, if you can convince Republicans to do the same with abortion. Deal?

ETA: Roe v Wade is actually an even longer-standing precedent.

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 05-08-2019 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Added a nut
  #137  
Old 05-08-2019, 04:41 PM
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Were there Republicans trying to keep a candidate off the ballot because he or she supports abortion?

Or are you just talking about a litmus test for a candidate? Because both sides have plenty of those.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:53 PM
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I'll agree to this and work tirelessly in regards to tax returns, if you can convince Republicans to do the same with abortion. Deal?

ETA: Roe v Wade is actually an even longer-standing precedent.
No deal. This got brought up in another thread, and here was my response:

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The Constitution does have a section detailing requirements to run for President. It does not have a section detailing requirements for abortions. Do you see the difference now?
  #139  
Old 05-09-2019, 05:26 AM
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Sounds like you are upset that your tin god Hillary didn't get elected
  #140  
Old 05-09-2019, 05:46 AM
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Every candidate other than Trump in the last 40 years has released tax returns, except for Ford who released summaries. This is not a partisan measure, it's an anti-corruption measure. Are you telling us corruption is a Republican thing?
  #141  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:14 AM
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So states don't require a candidate to be an NBC to be on the ballot even though it's a requirement to be President but they'll require them (possibly in violation of Federal Law) to show their tax return. That makes sense.
  #142  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:23 AM
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Sounds like you are upset that your tin god Hillary didn't get elected
Well, that's part of it, but the really nauseating thing is the guy who squeaked by past her.
  #143  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:35 AM
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No deal. This got brought up in another thread, and here was my response:
You also said that you will change your view on what is constitutional as you see fit, so your distinctions don't really add up to anything other than "I'll make whatever argument I find convenient at that moment." (Not your words, my summary.)

Is there any reason to believe that you will not simply switch your interpretation of the Constitution based on what you feel is most beneficial to your pre-formed opinion on any particular subject?
  #144  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:37 AM
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states don't require a candidate to be an NBC to be on the ballot
What makes you think so?
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:48 AM
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You also said that you will change your view on what is constitutional as you see fit, so your distinctions don't really add up to anything other than "I'll make whatever argument I find convenient at that moment." (Not your words, my summary.)
Your summary is false.
Quote:
Is there any reason to believe that you will not simply switch your interpretation of the Constitution based on what you feel is most beneficial to your pre-formed opinion on any particular subject?
Is there a reason to believe that you won't do something you have been falsely accused of doing?

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  #146  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:55 AM
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So do it the right way: get a Constitutional amendment ratified.
Just so we have a template to guide us in drafting the amendment language, please point us to the Constitutional amendments which authorize states to:

1. Refuse to list candidates on the ballot if they fail to present X number of signatures

2. Refuse to list candidates on the ballot if they fail to file paperwork by Y date

3. Refuse to list candidates on the ballot if they had previously tried and failed to win a political party's nomination in that election
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  #147  
Old 05-09-2019, 09:56 AM
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Might be a moot point. Some of his tax info leaked. TLDR is that he lost a lot of money. I guess, he can brag that he lost more money than any other individual taxpayer?
More to the point, he lost a lot of other people's money. He took a real estate empire with nearly a half billion that his father built and bankrupted it by with three times that amount in debt as a result of over-borrowing with interest rates that were higher than the returns on his property's value. He blew not only through his family fortune; he screwed his investors and left banks with so much bad debt owed to them that they had to find a way to cut deals with him to get at least some of that money back. They realized that his brand had just enough value to do that, and Donald Trump then came back with his reality TV show.
  #148  
Old 05-09-2019, 12:19 PM
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What makes you think so?
Because no state requires a candidate to prove they meet the requirements of President to be on the ballot. My google-fu is failing me but I know there are examples of ineligible candidates on states' ballots.
  #149  
Old 05-09-2019, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
No deal. This got brought up in another thread, and here was my response:
A "right" to abortion was found in the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. That gives just as much reasoning against the repeated states' attempts to ban abortion via shitty laws that would even force rape victims to give birth.

But hey, pick and choose which parts of the Constitution you like. Just like a "real American".

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 05-09-2019 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Missed a nut
  #150  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:05 PM
Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
So states don't require a candidate to be an NBC to be on the ballot even though it's a requirement to be President but they'll require them (possibly in violation of Federal Law) to show their tax return. That makes sense.
State law nearly always requires the candidate to swear an oath or affirmation confirming that the candidate meets the requirements for office. Example.
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