Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

December 15, 2018

Affordable Care Act … Redux -dux -dux -dux

affordable care act
Mark Rubin

Just when you thought it was safe …” it’s not! Late on Friday, December 14,2018, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a 55-page Memorandum Opinion and Order in Texas v. United States, Case No. 4:18-cv-00167-O, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Texas, along with 19 other states, sought a finding that, with the elimination of the penalty for failing to purchase health insurance, the ACA aka Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution. The argument? Here it is:

  • In NFIB v. Sebelius, Nos. 11-393, -398, and -400, a bare majority of the U.S.Supreme Court held that because the ACA regulated inactivity—the decision to not
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Defrauding Voters and Campaign Finance Law Violations

December 9, 2018

Defrauding Voters and Campaign Finance Law Violations

campaign finance laws
President Donald Trump

Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos wrote Prosecutors Effectively Accuse Trump of Defrauding Voters. What Does It Mean? for the New York Times. By doing so, they helped me better understand why campaign finance law violations, as opposed “real crimes,” leave us so deeply dissatisfied. And how did they accomplish this task? By using the word fraud! (Truth be told, the Baker / Fandos piece wanders into deep rough, which happens too often when writers describe this disaster.)

Let me dispense, first, with some nonsense, brought to us by Senator Rand Paul (R – Ky.). Senator Paul tells us “incredibly complicated” campaign finance laws involve “thousands and thousands” of

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The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

November 28, 2018

The Ninth Circuit: A Tiresome Trope

the ninth circuit

Mark Rubin

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit exists. For real! But it’s also a tiresome trope, and just the sort of stand-in you’d expect from Tiresome Trump our president, Donald J. Trump.

Last week’s rant was just that: a rant. POTUS didn’t like a decision from a U.S. District Court judge from California, one of the states which comprise the Ninth Circuit. So, “Obama judge” and this gem, from a 5:21 a.m. tweet on Thanksgiving Day:

Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in

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Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

November 25, 2018

Ethics Law aka The Law of Lawyering

ethics law

Mark Rubin

In part my law practice involves ethics law. The term fairly describes the practice area, but Law of Lawyering more completely defines it. Simply, I focus on issues which arise for lawyers as they practice law.*

The Rules of Professional Conduct govern lawyer conduct. The American Bar Association published Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the 1980s, to replace its Code of Professional Responsibility. Arizona had adopted the Code in 1970 and replaced it with its version of the ABA Model Rules in 1985. (For an excellent history of lawyer ethics in Arizona read The Short History of Arizona Legal Ethics by Keith Swisher.)

In 2003 Arizona adopted a rewritten version

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Mark Rubin

My 62nd Thanksgiving Day. My 22,349th day on this minor planet in a minor solar system in a minor galaxy in what may be one of many universes.* And I have so much to be thankful for.

I’m blessed because I’m alive and healthy (mostly). I have a wonderful daughter and a fine son-in-law to be. I’m in love, and I have a very nice relationship with my former spouse, too. And I’ve got a sidekick—Max Atticus Finch—who baffles me mostly. (I could share details, but I’d sound like what I’ve become: an old man who talks about his dog too much.) Plenty of dandy relatives and friends round out my personal good fortune.

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Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

November 17, 2018

Perfect: When It Takes on Good!

Perfect

Voltaire

Le meglio è l’inimico del bene­—the best is the enemy of the good—gets credited to Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire often but, in fact, it’s an old Italian proverb he cited in his Dictionnaire Philosophique, first published in 1764. Sadly, it fits our times, too well!

The Ds control the House of Representatives, beginning on January 3, 2019. The House elects a Speaker, who can be a Congressperson or not, although every speaker has been a member of the House of Representatives.

The Ds will have a solid majority, once the remaining races get resolved. Still, there’s doubt about whether Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will serve as Speaker.

I can offer and

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Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

November 9, 2018

Slow Counting ≠ Fraud

slow counting

Mark Rubin

Waiting

Here we are, waiting on final election results. Arizona, California, Georgia and Florida provide the headlines, but the issue presents itself in any state—50, at last count—which accepts any ballots by mail.

Voting live on Election Day? Some machines let you walk away when you’re done, and the machine has already tallied your selections. In other instances, you fill in bubbles on a paper ballot, and place your ballot in a secure box. Box emptied. Reader software reads and tallies.

Voting by mail? Ballot counting requires extra steps. Opening envelopes. Signature checking. Then, reader software … .

If the ballot gets mailed in promptly, elections personnel handle it early. Signatures get verified day

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Mid-Terms Misery

November 6, 2018

Mid-Terms Misery

mid-terms misery

Mark Rubin

I begin this missive at 7:54 p.m., MST. ‘twas a wave, I wanted. I wanted to win one of the two big lottery drawings, too. No such luck, on any front.

The Night

I expect a change of control in the House of Representatives. Maybe the Native Americans will pull Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – N.D.) through, maybe Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D – Tex.) will vanquish Senator Ted Cruz (R – Tex.), and maybe Jupiter will align Mars, peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars. Not … and, thus, President Trump can give us more judges and Cabinet members who serve us not at all.

The world got complicated a while

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Say Anything

October 18, 2018

The Say Anything World

say anything

Mark Rubin

Many years ago, I tried a lot line dispute. Soon before the trial I asked my clients a question. The answer, unfortunately, contradicted everything important they’d already told me. “So what,” they said, “everyone else is lying too.” Not, actually! Unfortunately, I paid for their dishonesty by forcing a settlement which resulted in their not paying me. They got a much better outcome than they deserved. Me? Not so much.

Recent stuff brought my old case bubbling up for me. Jamal Khashoggi, specifically. And more.

The evidence suggests very, very strongly that Mr. Khashoggi died on October 2, 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. (You could describe what happened, with the

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The Big Four

October 15, 2018

The Big Four

big four

Mark Rubin

I wrote Estate Planning for Smart People two years ago, and updated it recently. Complete Estate Planning, written three-and-a-half years ago, focuses on practical issues. One practical issue no one should ignore: selecting the right bank to hold your money.

The Big Four

The four largest banks in America are Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. How big are they? Chase holds total assets of $2,530,000,000,000. That’s trillion! The 15th largest bank in America, HSBC, has assets which equal 8% of Chase’s asset base.

So what? Big bothers me not at all, if the bank services its customers. Unfortunately, not so much with the Big Four in my workaday world.

Bad

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