WTF Community

Day 1359

1/ House Democrats introduced legislation to create a bipartisan commission to review whether Trump and future presidents are capable of carrying out their duties. The legislation would allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment and remove the president from executive duties. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure “is not about President Trump,” but suggested that Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. Pelosi also noted Trump’s “strange tweet” halting talks on new coronavirus aid and he subsequently effort to reverse course. Trump responded on Twitter, claiming that “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation,” and adding: “They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!” Trump also retweeted Republican allies who said he “wouldn’t put it past Speaker Pelosi to stage a coup.” While 25th amendment does allow Pelosi to create a panel to review Trump or any other president’s health and fitness for office, the House will not be able to remove Trump from office without the consent of the vice president and members of the cabinet. (NBC News / The Guardian / Associated Press)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Nine people who have contracted the coronavirus reported attending a Donald Trump rally in Bemidji, Minn., last month, state health officials said Friday, including two who were hospitalized.

One of them remains in an intensive care unit.

Doug Schultz, a Minnesota Department of Health spokesman, said in an email that the department cannot say definitively that the infections were acquired at the rally, due to widespread community transmission of the disease — “only that they attended the rally during the time when they were likely to have been exposed to the virus that made them ill (i.e. 14 days prior to illness onset).”

At least one person was likely infectious while at the rally, the department said.

Two other people who contracted the virus reported attending a protest in response to the rally.

1 Like

As of tonight, Trump’s results from his Covid test today are unknown. Wow, if they were negative, you’d think they’d shout it to the rooftops.


Schumer has just announced he will force a vote to adjourn until after the election.

Can’t find an article yet.

UPDATED Sunday 8:48 a.m. The Senate is currently in recess until February 22. The recess began on Friday. Whether this opens an opportunity for a recess appointment depends upon how Senate leaders interpret an adjournment resolution approved last Friday. That will determine whether it will meet for brief activity during the recess, which could close that opportunity.


The Constitution not only assigns to the president the task of making nominations to the Supreme Court, setting off Senate review that may or may not result in approval, but it also gives the Chief Executive the opportunity to fill a vacancy on the Court temporarily, bypassing the Senate initially, if a nominee languishes in the Senate without final action.

Within a few hours after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, it became abundantly clear that, first, President Obama will choose a possible successor and try to get the Senate to go along, and, second, the GOP leadership of the Senate say they will try to block any such nominee from final approval.

If that does result in an impasse, President Obama may ponder the possibility of putting on the Court a new Justice of his choosing, to serve temporarily. The problem, though, is that less than two years ago, the Supreme Court severely narrowed the flexibility of such temporary appointment power, and strengthened the Senate’s capacity to frustrate such a presidential maneuver.

It is true that one of the Justices regarded as a giant on the Court’s history, William J. Brennan, Jr., actually began his lengthy career with just such a short-term appointment. The chances of that happening again today seem to have diminished markedly.

The presidential authority at issue in this possible scenario exists, according to Article II, when the Senate has gone into recess and the vacancy a president seeks to fill remains. Such an appointment requires no action at all by the Senate, but the appointee can only serve until the end of the following Senate session. The president (if still in office) can then try again during a new Senate session, by making a new nomination, and that must be reviewed by the Senate.

The Supreme Court had never clarified that power until its decision in June 2014 in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning .

The decision was something of a compromise. The Court expanded the concept of when the Senate would be in recess so that the president could make a temporary appointment, but it also gave the Senate more control over when it does recess and how long the recesses last. The gesture toward the Senate’s choices was probably the more important result.

Here, specifically, is what the Court decided:

First, on the president’s side, the Court ruled that the recess appointment power applies when the Senate leaves town for a break in the middle of an annual sitting, or a break at the end of each annual session.

Second, also on the president’s side, the decision declared that the president during a recess can fill a vacancy even if the opening occurred well before the recess began.

Third, on the Senate’s side, the ruling made clear that it has to last more than three days, without saying how much more time must pass without the Senate out of town and doing nothing.

Fourth, strongly on the Senate’s side, the decision left it largely up to the Senate to decide when it does take a recess, allowing it to avoid the formality of a recess by taking some legislative action, however minor or inconsequential and however few senators actually take part in some action.

Suppose President Obama goes ahead with a nomination to the open seat on the Court, and suppose that the Republican-controlled Senate chooses not to allow that nominee. The GOP has enough seats in the Senate to control that scenario.

Suppose, then, that the Senate goes into recess to allow its members who are running for reelection to spend some more time campaigning back home.

Could President Obama make a nominee during that recess? Only if the Senate is taking a recess lasting longer than three days, and does not come in from time to time during that recess to take some minimal legislative action. Both of those circumstances would be entirely within the Senate’s authority.

In that circumstance, a recess appointment to the Court would not be within the terms of the Constitution, as spelled out in Article II.

The same situation would likely apply when this year’s Senate session comes to an end, and the senators take a recess before the next Congress assembles.

The bottom line is that, if President Obama is to successfully name a new Supreme Court Justice, he will have to run the gauntlet of the Republican-controlled Senate, and prevail there. The only real chance of that: if he picks a nominee so universally admired that it would be too embarrassing for the Senate not to respond.

1 Like

The “mic” option will be used. OK, game on.

1 Like

Unfortunately, Sen Schumer can not do this end run…but I like that he tried.

Republicans on Monday shot down an effort by Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to adjourn the Senate until after the election**, a move that would have effectively punted Judge** Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation until after Nov. 3.

Schumer moved to adjourn the Senate until Nov. 9, with the caveat that if a coronavirus relief deal was reached by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they would return to vote.

This is the most rushed, most partisan, least legitimate Supreme Court nomination process in our nation’s history … and it should not proceed,” Schumer said.

But Republicans in a 48-42 vote pigeonholed Schumer’s request. The Senate is expected to come back into session on Tuesday

1 Like

Yes, Trump does NOT want to talk about COVID…he can not handle it.

1 Like

US election 2020: Trump and Biden feud over debate topics

The Republican president’s campaign accused organisers of Thursday’s showdown of helping the Democrat by leaving out foreign policy as a topic.

The Biden camp shot back that Mr Trump was trying to avoid questions about his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With two weeks to go until the election, Mr Biden has a commanding lead nationally in opinion polls.

However, he has a smaller lead in the handful of key US states that will ultimately decide the outcome.

What did the Trump campaign say?

On Monday, the president’s camp sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates calling for topics to be adjusted for the final primetime duel this Thursday.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in the letter that the campaigns had already agreed foreign policy would be the focus of the third debate.

The topics were announced by moderator and NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker last week: American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership.

During a campaign rally on Monday afternoon in Prescott, Arizona, Mr Trump described Ms Welker as a “radical Democrat” and said she would be “no good”.

Mr Stepien accused Mr Biden of being “desperate to avoid conversations about his own foreign policy record” and the commission of trying to “insulate Biden from his own history”.

“The Commission’s pro-Biden antics have turned the entire debate season into a fiasco and it is little wonder why the public has lost faith in its objectivity,” he wrote.

He also accused Mr Biden of trying to avoid questions over reports about purported emails from his son, Hunter, and alleged conflicts of interest.

How did the Biden campaign respond?

The Democrat’s camp hit back that it was actually Mr Trump who was trying to duck questions.

“The campaigns and the Commission agreed months ago that the debate moderator would choose the topics,” said national press secretary TJ Ducklo.

"The Trump campaign is lying about that now because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous Covid response.

“As usual, the president is more concerned with the rules of a debate than he is getting a nation in crisis the help it needs.”

What are the debate rules?

Following public criticism over the handling of the first debate, the commission has adopted a new rule to mute microphones in the final event.

The 90-minute debate structure will be divided into 15-minute segments. At the start of each new topic, each candidate will have two minutes of uninterrupted time - during which his opponent’s microphone will be off.

The rest of the time will be open discussion - and the microphones will not be muted.

In a statement announcing the decision, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it determined it was “appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed-upon rules”.

The commission noted that “one [campaign] may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough”, but that these actions provided the right balance in the interests of the public.

What happened with the last two debates?

The Trump campaign chief noted on Monday that the moderator of the cancelled second debate on 15 October, Steve Scully, had been suspended after tweeting to a prominent Trump critic, then lying that his account had been hacked.

Mr Stepien also accused the moderator of the first debate, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, of having acted as “a third combatant” against Mr Trump.

The first Trump-Biden duel on 29 September descended into an exchange of insults, with the president interrupting many more times than his challenger, according to post-debate statistics from US media outlets.

The second debate was called off after Mr Trump refused to take part. The commission had ruled it would have to take place with the candidates in different locations because the president had tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Trump dismissed the idea as a waste of time. He contracted coronavirus at the beginning of October but says he has since fully recovered.

How is early voting going?

Nearly 30 million early voters have already cast their ballots, compared with just six million at this point before the last presidential election in 2016.

Experts say the pandemic has spurred many to cast their ballot ahead of time to avoid crowding at polling stations on 3 November, though some early voters have faced long queues.

On Monday, Republicans were dealt a defeat by the US Supreme Court as it declined to take up a case on postal ballots in the critical swing-voting state of Pennsylvania.

Republicans had argued only ballots received by election day should be counted, and were contesting a state Supreme Court decision to allow late ballots to count.

Now that America’s highest court has refused to hear the case, any ballots received within three days of 3 November will be counted, even if they do not have a clear postmark.

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s three liberal justices in the case.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.