Monday, January 13, 2020

A Glitch in the Senate Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump

There is a misunderstanding about the role the Chief Justice plays in the Senate trial of Donald Trump. The US Constitution gives the Senate the right to write rules for the trial, and the rules the majority leader is standing on are specious. They seem fair and impartial, but they un-empower the  presiding official, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court John Roberts, and can potentially enable the Republican majority to obstruct justice.

This is the text of a form email I sent to the US Supreme  Court:

There is a general misconception about the role Chief Justice Roberts will play during the Senate impeachment trial. That he is subject to the rules of the Senate is ludicrous. Federal law cannot supersede constitutional law, or it causes chaos in the system.

The House represents the Will of the people in legislation, and the Senate addresses the Rights of the people, the Executive branch addresses whether laws and practices are executable, and courts decide whether something is legal, and the Supreme Court determines whether what they are doing is constitutional. The Constitution addresses the use of power and the abuse of power, and is evolutionary. It is where we are as a nation, like owning slaves. We evolved out of slavery, but human trafficking is still occurring, but it is now unlawful. Congress can write and rewrite the laws, but even then, is what they are doing constitutional? Are they using or abusing their power?

The  House's role in impeachment addresses whether what the president is doing is where we are as a nation, and what the people will tolerate. The people rise in protest when something is not fair. The Senate must address in the trial whether what President Trump did was to deny the people their rights to a fair election and a fair trial. The Senate rules cannot supersede the Constitution. 

Where we are at any point in time is based on what we believe. Then, we rise and fall in power by the choices we make. If we make our choices based on fear and a sense of lack, we fall in power. Imagine being on a battlefield during a war is based on what that  person believes, and whether he
 can overcome his  fears decides which direction he goes from that point. He moves forward out of courage, cowers in the trenches and passes on the crisis to future generations, or is overewhelmed by fear and deserts, and if he does, he will face his fears when he is (historically) shot for desertion. When we run from fear, its gets bigger.

If the opinion of the Republican senators that Chief Justice Roberts will be the master of ceremonies, subject to the will of the Senate Rules , he is not standing  on the  principles of his role to protect the Constitution. He must stand on the principles of the Constitution, and decide whether the rules of the Senate guarantee to the people the right of a fair trial.

The premise of the presumption of innocence became a part of our legal system because no one can defend himself from prejudice and ulterior motives. Are the Democrats treating Trump unfairly by impeaching him, as some Conservatives believe? Trump has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in court when no one else will defend Trump, it is up to the courts to do that, by ensuring the trial is not a sham.

How can the use of power and abuse of power be measured? By whether it stands on the principles of Universal Law, which stands on seven principles--equality, liberty, freedom, compassion, abundance, capacity and tolerance.  By standing on these principles of Universal Law, our nation evolves--we move forward with courage. There are seven power games that people play, and governments play five of them, and all five are related to revenge. For every power game, a principle counteracts the game. The first requirement for conflict resolution is that both sides must be considered equal, so if a trial can be considered conflict resolution, there must be equality under the law for a fair trial.

In a letter dated November 9, 2017, to the US Supreme Court, I explained how a misunderstanding about the three levels of the US legal system allows our government to constitutionally justify playing power games that are oppressive to the people. Many people see two levels--constitutional law and federal law--but leave out Universal Law, which stands on the seven principles. There are always three levels--the principles, the power and the project. Constitutional law is the power level.

Power comes from assuming responsibility, not from playing power games, because grabs for power demonstrate a lack of power.The games compensate for a fear of lack. Federal law must be a combination of both Universal Law and constitutional law or it causes chaos in our legal system. The Senate rules must address procedural rules, but cannot prevent a fair trial--or fair elections.