Too Darn Polite

We could have been attorneys.  How many times have you trudged through a day at work and stopped, thought for a moment, and realized that it could have been worse.  You could have listened to your parents’ nudging and become an attorney.  And yes, there are those who might point to the fact that I’m an insurance agent, someone contributing to the bottom line of some heartless insurer, but I didn’t contribute to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer or argue before a judge that a US president could order S.E.A.L. Team 6 to murder a political opponent.  We have to keep things in perspective.

But if you had to be an attorney, you might want to be someone like Michael R. Dreeben, the gentleman who represented the United States (us!) at last week’s hearing about presidential immunity.  Mr. Dreeben was working a tough room, with some of the justices no longer even pretending to be apolitical.  Here is the link to Amy Howe and the invaluable ScotusBlog.  And if you really want to immerse yourself in the oral arguments, here is the link to the transcript.  Mr. Dreeben was masterful in his presentation of both the history and logic of the lower court’s decision.  He reminded the Court that it has “never recognized absolute immunity for any public official”.  The Justices were more interested in conjuring up hypothetical scenarios.  Mr. Dreeben was too polite to call “Bull Shit”.

I had a solution to the government’s presentation issue.  Mr. Dreeben needed another co-council.

Chief Justice Roberts:

Mr. Dreeben


Mr. Dreeben:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The Court has shown a great interest today in hypothetical scenarios.  My co-council, Vincent Gambini, will be addressing these serious concerns and issues.  Mr. Gambini.

Mr. Gambini:

Your Honors! May it please all of yous:

We are asked to think about a President having absolute immunity.  That could be very dangerous.  We have also been told that the President could face some punishment IF, and only if, he was first impeached.  Let’s think about October 2024.

President Biden and Former President Trump agree to a nationally televised debate in October 2024.  Both of them have their own motives.  Trump has a plan.  His goal will be to shake hands with Biden as they enter the stage and to force him to cry out in pain.  They walk across the stage towards each other.  Trump is totally focused on the agony he is about to inflict.  BAM!  Biden sucker punches Trump!  Fat.  Flabby.  Glass Jaw.  The autopsy said it was a heart attack.  Regardless.  Trump is dead before he hits the floor.  The audience is in shock, but Biden is totally calm.  He turns to the camera and says, “That was an official act.  I just protected the country from a potential autocrat.”

Your Honors, there was quite an uproar.  One of Biden’s biggest supporters, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), took to the floor of the Senate to express his anger and dismay.  Here is his speech.  The Republican controlled House of Representatives impeached President Joseph Biden the next week.  Ten Democrats joined the majority for the final vote.  By now the election has occurred and Biden wins easily.  The trial in the Senate is contentious, but there aren’t 60 votes to remove the President.  And when it is over, Senator Schumer (D-NY), who had voted in Biden’s favor, addresses the American people.  Here are his full remarks.

Should a President, any president, have absolute immunity?  Should the political act, impeachment, be necessary to address a criminal act?  That is up to you.

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We live in dangerous times, times when the most cynical amongst us have great power.  I don’t believe that Justice Thomas or Justice Alito would want ALL presidents to have unbridled power.  Perhaps they need an attorney, one who isn’t too polite, to remind them of the consequences of their decisions.


Picture – Suits Not Robes – David L Cunix

Vincent Gambini is the title character in the movie – My Cousin Vinny.