1/x This thread attempts to explain as neutrally as possible what happened in the #DNCFraudLawsuit
2/x As I go through I will post link to various court documents in the case. My point here is not to make political or moral claims.
3/x. Plaintiffs are a class of voters who sued the dnc, alleging that it failed to live up to its bylaws to be neutral in the primaries
4/x. In their complaint, and this is very important, they did not raise any claims grounded in federal law.
5/x. Rather all their claims were based on state law. Here is a link to the complaint:
6/x. As you'll see the basic theory of the case is that the dnc committed fraud, misrepresentation and other consumer-type claims not just
7/x when it allegedly favored Clinton but also because it failed to protect voter information in the dnc hack.
8/x When you sue in federal court using state law claims, the only way the court has jurisdiction is if there is diversity.
9/x the long and short of diversity is that plaintiffs and defendants must be citizens of different states. Also in order for the court to
10/x have jurisdiction over the case the plaintiffs must have standing. This means plaintiffs must show that defendants harmed them in a
11/x specific way that is not general to all members of the public and that the court can issue an order that will fix the harm.
12/x the dnc never answered the complaint. In other words they neither admitted nor denied what plaintiffs alleged in any way.
13/x. Instead they moved to dismiss on several grounds, including jurisdiction, standing and others. Here is brief jampac.us/wp-content/upl…
14/x. Again what is important to understand is that at this stage of the process, what the dnc did was to ask the court to do the following
15/x. Assume for the sake of argument that everything plaintiffs says about the facts is true, they still do not win because the law says so
16/x. In the interest of completeness here is the plaintiffs brief. jampac.us/wp-content/upl…
17/x. Again reading the briefs carefully you will note plaintiffs put their best factual narrative forward and ask the court to accept it.
18/x. The court does just that. Since dnc has not answered the complaint, the rules of procedure require the court to accept the facts.
19/x. So in its order dismissing the case the court says that it assumes everything the plaintiffs say factually as true.
20/x. Here is the court's opinion. jampac.us/wp-content/upl…
21/x. The court says several things. First, there is not complete diversity. Second, plaintiffs lack standing for many of the claims.
22/x but most importantly reading the opinion it is clear that the court could not find solid precedent for the argument that primary voters
23/x could sue a political party using essentially consumer fraud and consumer protection type claims. Here is why this matters.
24/x Courts in general and federal courts in particular live and breathe on precedent. When a party asks a court to do x the court is first
25/x foremost going to look for past cases that are similar or somewhat analogous. If there are no such cases then you are asking the court
26/x to make new law. Sometimes court do that but most trial courts do not jump at the chance to do it. This is what happened here.
27/x plaintiffs asked a federal trial court to issue a ruling against a political party in a contested primary using a case theory for which
28/x there was no precedent and in which the complaint had quite a few holes. The court in essence said no thank you.
29/x. So far I've seen tweets claiming the court said the case had merits but it dismissed it on technical grounds. That is untrue.
30/x Instead the court *assumed* but did not decide that the facts of the complaints were true and then held the law was not there.
31/x If you are inclined to believe with absolute certainty that the dnc committed fraud, neither this thread nor the court opinion itself
32/x will convince you otherwise. And I expect that some of the replies I will get will be of the variety that I am a shill of some sort.
33/x For my part I don't intend to get into a rehashing of the primary. My only point is that if we are going to discuss this,
34/34 let us at a bare minimum be clear about the procedural posture of the case and what the court opinion says and does not say.

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More from @abfrancois

Oct 8, 2018
1/x As far as SCOTUS goes, I think the lesson black people learned since slavery is to hold in the mind two things that seem to be in contradiction but are not. The first is this: the court is constructed and for the most part operates as a protector of power and the status quo.
2/x You don’t have to be a nihilistic legal realist to realize that, with some exceptions, the court has at one point or another explicitly endorsed or implicitly acquiesce to virtually every single one of the worst human rights violations and abuses in the country.
3/x But the second idea matters too and it is that SCOTUS is the one institution with the power to constitutionalize human rights because, even if we the people succeed in amending the constitution, eventually SCOTUS will in one way or another settle the meaning of that amendment
Read 8 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
1/x Here's the irony about Kavanaugh. In the vast majority of cases, particularly those involving constitutional questions, the standard SCOTUS uses is not "of two possible answers, what is the correct one" but rather "of two possible answers, on which side should it err?"
2/x So when the court uses strict scrutiny to strike down a race-based government decision, it's not because it knows for a fact that's the correct outcome but because it believes that when it comes to race it should err on the side of forbidding these government actions.
3/x I don't agree with the reasoning but that's what the court is doing: it errs on the side of saying no because, in the court's incorrect reading of history, race rather than racism is the problem and, as such, all race conscious decisions are presumptively unconstitutional.
Read 7 tweets
Aug 18, 2018
@SeeDaneRunAgain 1/2His story is even more interesting. His first owner was his own father; his second, his half brother. He was part of the state convention from South Carolina that voted to ratify the 14th amdt. The house he bought after the war was is late slavery-owning father.
@SeeDaneRunAgain 2/2 He became a federal customs inspector after retiring from congress but lost his job before he died when Woodrow Wilson fired virtually every black civil servant in the federal government because, racist that he was, he didn’t believe Blacks should be supervising whites
@SeeDaneRunAgain 3/x One more twist to Smalls’ story. Woodrow Wilson, who had Smalls fired, was a college classmate of Thomas Dixon, Jr., author The Clansman trilogy novels D.W. Griffith adapted to make Birth of a Nation, which popularized the idea of blacks running amok during Reconstruction
Read 5 tweets
Jun 26, 2018
1/x This will be a bit of a con Law thread but it goes to the heart of a big gap in Roberts majority. Majority opinion has 4 steps. Step 1: travel ban fits within POTUS statutory authority. Step 2: when POTUS exercises statutory authority in an area
2/x in which constitution gives him broad powers (immigration) courts will defer to him. Step 3: deferring to POTUS means reviewing the stated rationale for his action (national security) under rational basis review.
3/x Step 4: the only exception to reviewing government action under rational basis review is if action is motivated by animus or hatred toward a particular group. Using that reasoning Roberts said that Trump didn’t talk enough shit about Muslims to trigger the animus exception.
Read 8 tweets
May 30, 2018
The 14th amdt turns 150 years old this year on July 9. It is the closest we’ve come to writing into the constitution what we claimed in the Declaration of Independence. If you’re forced to pick one, choose the 14th - above the 1st, the 2nd, or the FIF. Sorry Dave Chappelle.
2/x I’m using this as a thread to post one tweet a day about the fourteenth amendment until its 150th anniversary on July 9th. John Bingham, republican of Ohio, is credited as the principal author of Section 1 of the amendment, which contains its substantive rights provisions.
3/x I sort of lied when I said I would post one tweet per day until July 9th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 14th. Some ideas don’t fit in one tweet. So let’s say one thread per day - short ones:
Read 288 tweets
May 7, 2018
1/3 I’m surprised (though pleasantly so) seeing this from a @nytimes correspondent. Often there’s this sentimental notion that the result of voters exercising their democratic will is by definition a wise and virtuous thing. Depending on how you slice the country geographically,
2/3 I have no doubt that a plurality (if not a majority) would vote to make the US officially a Christian nation, expel Muslims & Jews, & back state-enforced racial segregation etc. This isn’t to deny the sweep and span of American progress (actual & symbolic).
3/3 Rather it’s to say that the legitimacy of democracy isn’t based on the fact that voters always do the right thing. If that was the measure of our form of government, it probably would have died out a long time ago.
Read 4 tweets

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