Laws we need - Trump version

The long title is: Trump has shown that we need new laws and constitutional amendments regarding …

My laws

  1. Emoluments
  2. Self Dealing
  3. Tax Returns

My amendments
… 4. Pardons
… 5. Subpoenas
… 6. Not above the law

More McConnell than Trump, but …
… 7. Supreme Court Justices - terms
… 8. Supreme Court Justices - selection

---- Details

  1. Congress should define some unacceptable “emoluments”. No safe harbor for things not on the list.
  2. Presidents should be prohibited from compelling the federal gov’t to enrich the president by purchasing services offered by the President’s businesses.
  3. The Treasury Secretary should be directed to release the prior 10 years of tax returns for any individual on the Presidential ballot in 26 states or fewer states that total 270 electoral votes.

  1. Completely eliminate the Presidential pardon power.

  2. The Executive branch must comply with requests for information from the Congress, subject to a narrow “executive privilege” carve out.

  3. Presidents are not above the law. The clock is suspended on any legal action (indictment, lawsuit) that is deferred while the President is in office. Presidents can be indicted, and required to respond to lawsuits, subject to “reasonable” limits.

  4. Staggered 18 year terms, beginning in odd numbered years. Early vacancies replaced only for duration of term.

  5. President and Senate have 6 months to find a new SC justice. If they can’t compromise, they both lose any say. The justice is chosen by lot, from nominees of House members.


I think setting term limits on Congress should be done before considering term limits on the Justices. But this will likely need to be done by the people rather than relying on Congress to act against this particular interests.

Congressional salaries must be voted upon by the public; or some level of oversight outside of the two chambers.

Not sure what that emoji means. I meant … If a person is on the ballot in some number of states that is less than 26, but those states have at least 270 electoral votes, then the Secretary must release the tax returns.

IFYP, probably easier to understand.

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Now I see. Thanks.

And what is the purpose of looking at their tax returns, specifically? Why not release just the relevant info from the returns?

If SC justices had to be re-nominated and re-confirmed every 2 or 6 years, I wouldn’t be recommending term limits. The term limit for SC replaces the re- … process.

I’m not sure what the irrelevant info is on the tax returns.

Irrelevant = everything not relevant.

So . . . what is relevant? And why?

For Presidential pardons, I can see a place for them, but I’d suggest requiring ratification of all Presidential pardons by the Senate with a 2/3rds majority or perhaps all of congress has to vote on it and they need to pass by 50% in both houses.

This doesn’t make sense. Or are you suggesting that there be one or the other?

If we do Supreme Court term limits, I’d also like to see some way to keep former justices from securing lucrative private sector jobs after serving on the court. Not sure how best to do that, but clearly relying on norms post-Trump is not an option.

For Supreme Court Justices, I’d suggest starting with mandatory retirement by age 75. I think there’s value in consistency on the other hand, you also need turnover.

I’m not a huge fan of term limits for politicians. I think the issue would be better handled by eliminating gerrymandering and letting the voters decide when a politician has been in place too long. Gerrymandering allows politicians to game the system and become entrenched in their districts.

Everything. Any part of the return may indicate that the candidate/president has a personal financial interest in a tax law. We don’t know in advance which tax changes are going to be debated, so we don’t know which parts are going to be relevant. I don’t want someone at the Treasury going through the return and determining what is relevant and what isn’t.

What will changing the laws do if you have a right wing media and republican party that refuse to hold someone accountable? Impeachment is the remedy in the current law. That a party chose politics over democracy is the issue. That makes the laws meaningless.

Yep. I can see a place for pardons. But, the process that’s acceptable to me looks like the process used for ordinary laws. Some member gets an idea for a pardon (possibly from the President), introduces a bill, it eventually gets passed by both houses and signed by the President.

I can’t think of anything in the constitution that prevents that from happening if the President does not have sole pardon power.

I don’t see a bigger concern about that than for powerful senators or reps getting lucrative jobs after leaving congress.

It may be possible to write a good law, but I would apply it to all of them, not just to SC justices.

A real concern. Why doesn’t an elected president, who controls both domestic law enforcement and the military, do exactly what he wants while ignoring laws, congress, and courts?

There is no law that can prevent that. Plenty of dictators got power exactly that way. If it comes to that, our only hope is that the people with the big guns say “That is not a lawful order”.

We’d like to restrain presidents before it comes to that. My 6 is one way. Another would be a constitutional amendment that give either House or Senate (or even some large minority of one) “standing” to sue a president over failing to faithfully execute a law or exercising unlawful power.

Don’t we all have a personal financial interest in the tax law? Not sure how any politician would be any different.

Furthermore, Congress is the one with the authority to determine taxation. Why don’t we all look at their financials as wells?

Bottom line: I don’t think it’s difficult to ascertain what interest a candidate may have by their past and current involvements. No need to look at a tax form that’s usually prepared by someone other than the candidate.