OA322: Blackouts, Taxes & House Rules

Today’s episode breaks down the recent news relating to (1) legal efforts to subpoena Donald Trump’s taxes, (2) the latest kerfuffle over the standing House rules and whether the impeachment inquiry is “unconstitutional” and “illegal” (it isn’t), with a bonus (3) rant about PG&E’s blackouts — excuse me, “public safety power shutoff events” in Northern California. Phew!

We begin with a discussion surrounding PG&E’s decision to shut off power for up to five days, affecting potentially two million people. These blackouts will have a tremendous economic and social cost — and may cost lives, as well. Why are they happening? What’s the law? Can we do anything about it? Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time for a deep dive into breaking legal news this week. You may have heard that a court ordered the release of Trump’s tax returns, and then that order was immediately appealed and blocked. What does it all mean and why? We dive deeply into this issue, and on the way you’ll learn about Younger abstention, § 1983 cases, and much, much more!

After that, it’s time for a look at the latest goalpost-moving excuse by the Republicans, this time the honestly-not-very-good argument that the impeachment inquiry is “illegal” unless authorized by the entire House of Representatives. Find out why this just isn’t so.

Then, it’s time for a follow-up #T3BE to last week’s child-on-thin-ice. This time, we want to know: can her parents sue the day care? Listen and find out!

Upcoming Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!
  2. The “de-energization events” are authorized, at least implicitly, by Section 451 of the California Public Utilities Code, as further interpreted by recent rules. PG&E, of course, is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  3. The anti-injunction act is 22 U.S.C. § 2283 , and you can brush up on Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) while you’re at it.
  4. We discussed the OLC memos in Episode 290, and then again in Episode 300.
  5. You should definitely read Judge Marrero’s order, even though it’s been appealed to the Second Circuit.
  6. Here are the standing House Rules (check out pp. 322-323), and the 2015 CRS report referenced during the show.

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