OA270: Happy Tax Day!

Today’s episode brings you a trio of timely stories that all revolve around taxes: the Michael Avenatti indictment (for 29 courts of tax fraud), proposed legislation that some are arguing hamstrings the IRS, and (of course) the status of Congress’s efforts to get Trump’s tax returns. We also learned about very cool free online tax filing (Free File)… albeit too late to help most of you. Sorry about that.

We begin with the lawyer who will never come on our show — Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame on the back of the genius of Stormy Daniels, and whom we first debunked as a grifter just a few months later (way back in Episode 181!) Turns out he’s been arrested for tax fraud. Who could have seen that coming? (Oh yeah, everyone.)

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into HR 1957, the Taxpayer First Act of 2019. Is it really a Democratic-sponsored sellout to Turbotax, as some folks are saying? Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time to revisit the question of Trump’s taxes. Can Trump really stonewall indefinitely on his taxes? (No.) Does the law pave the way for Democrats to get his tax returns? (Yes.)

After all that, it’s time for the answer to TTTBE #122 regarding the nonexistence of official documents.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances
None! Andrew will be at the American Atheist convention in Cincinnati, Ohio this weekend, April 19-21. And 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. For 2020: Click here to access Free File.
  2. You can read Avenatti’s indictment, and/or catch up on all his scumbaggery by re-listening to Episode 181.
  3. This is the text of H.R. 1957, this is the text of the Eighth Memoradum of Understanding between the IRS and Free File, and this is the text of 67 Fed. Red. 67247 which references the MOU.
  4. Here’s an example of an alarmist op-ed in the Washington Post, and this is the initial article from ProPublica.
  5. We first outlined how to get Trump’s tax returns back in Episode 226; that’s still the right plan. We covered Rep. Neal’s request in Episode 267. The applicable statute is 26 U.S.C. § 6013.
  6. You can read Consovoy’s totally crazy crazypants letter here.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com





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OA267: Originalism and the Eighth Amendment (Bucklew v. Precythe)

Today’s breaking news episode takes an in-depth look at Bucklew v. Precythe, a recent Supreme Court decision that lays bare the “originalist” view of the Eighth Amendment.  Is it as bad as you think it is?  (Yes.)

We begin, however, with a look at Texas v. U.S. and the recent news that the Trump administration “changed its mind” and “will no longer defend” the Affordable Care Act.  What does that mean?  Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time for our deep dive into Bucklew v. Precythe, the Supreme Court’s analysis of how the 8th Amendment applies in capital punishment cases.

After that, we go back to Yodel Mountain for some updates on the congressional investigations, including the Congressional request for Trump’s tax returns and an EPIC FOIA request.

And if all that isn’t enough for you, well, we end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #121 involving the constitutionality of Presidential executive orders.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Thomas was just a guest on the Cognitive Dissonance podcast; go check it out!  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. Wikipedia entry on sodium thiopental can be found here.
2. Glossip v. Gross (2015)
3. Supreme Court’s opinion in Bucklew v. Precythe (Apr. 1, 2019)
4. 8th Circuit’s opinion below in Bucklew
5. Congressional letter requesting Trump’s taxes
6. Bonus! Zuckerman amicus brief in the ACA litigation.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA159: What Was So Bad About Watergate? Part 1: The Saturday Night Massacre

Today’s episode takes our time machine back to 1972, as Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (“CREEP”) planned the break-in to the Watergate Hotel Complex that set in motion the criminal conduct that led to the only time in our nation’s history when a President has resigned in disgrace.  Exactly what happened?  In this episode, we talk about the “Saturday Night Massacre,” and what it means today.

First, though, we examine the unintended consequences of the Republican tax bill crammed through the Senate in the waning moments of 2017.  Might the bill actually prevent the major sports franchises, such as Major League Baseball, from trading players??  Listen and find out!

After the main segment, Andrew tackles a listener question regarding the “Guarantee Clause” of the Constitution.  What is it, and why should you care?  Listen and find out!

Finally, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #67 about breach of contract.  Don’t forget to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent Appearances

None!  Have us on your show!

Show Notes & Links

  1. The provision of the tax code discussed in the “A” segment is 26 U.S.C. § 1031, and you can click here to read about the previous IRS opinions regarding major sports franchises and like-kind exchanges.  You can also check out the New York Times article that first revealed this uncertainty.
  2. The primary cases we discussed regarding Watergate were Nixon v. Sirica, 487 F.2d 700 (D.C. Cir. 1973) and United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974).
  3. The two cases analyzed in the “C” segment were Luther v. Borden, 48 U.S. 1 (1849) and dicta from New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992).

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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