May 8, 2021

The Guardrails of Democracy Project

October 11, 2020 guardrails93x 0

The last few years have been a warning shot across America’s bow. They’ve tested our democratic institutions to their limits, and in some cases beyond those limits. And we’ve learned some valuable lessons. First, there’s a lot of deferred maintenance in our system of checks and balances. We’ve been too complacent for too long. Too many things have been taken for granted and too many powers transferred from congress to the executive with the informal understanding that the president will exercise those powers only with the utmost gravitas and responsibility. Second, if we’ve learned nothing else, it is that well-thought-out laws are important and that it is unwise to rely on the goodwill, civic-mindedness and political courage of our politicians […]

The Statute of Limitations

October 11, 2020 guardrails93x 0

Statutes of limitations provide cutoff dates for criminal prosecutions. Once the statute of limitations expires, the government may no longer bring charges against a criminal suspect. For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years. With respect to the President of the United States, however, the statute of limitations presents a problem because it is Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. While it is unclear whether this policy is constitutionally required, and while it has never been tested in court, indicting a sitting president would pose immense practical problems even if it were technically constitutional to do so. Consequently, even a one-term president is effectively immune from prosecution for many uncharged crimes if they […]