Douglas Whaley. Law professor, gay rights advocate, atheist, heart transplant recipient, actor, director, novelist, playwright, bridge player, husband, father, cat owner, storyteller. Much humor and, since the writer is a teacher, advice on many topics.
The Sad History of the 2020 Election and Swearing in of the New President in 2021 (A Maybe-Not-So-Far-Fetched Fable of the Future)
In the first three months of 2020 the presidential race
narrowed down to President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden,
and polls seemed pretty close as March began.
But then, of course, the coronavirus erupted overseas and quickly spread
across the globe and that changed everything, including the race.
As the world locked down and people were confined to their
homes while civilization collapsed around them, things began to look pretty
bleak on many levels: health, economics, access to services, basic survival,
and so much more.Death tolls rose dramatically
and the victims were often the elderly and/or those with pre-existing health
problems.I myself was particularly worried
since I turned 77 in 2020 and, having had a heart transplant eleven years ago, took
daily medication to lower my immune system so it wouldn’t reject that heart.
Predictably Trump, handling the virus crisis in his usual bumbling
fashion (going from “it’s a hoax” to “I always said it was a pandemic” in the
blink of an eye) began accessing the situation to see how he could profit from
the catastrophe all around him.
predictions proved wrong and it became clear that the infection would not run
its course until well into 2021, Trump announced that the November election should
be postponed indefinitely until normality returned, probably in a year or two.
This caused a major uproar—greater than anything Trump had
faced before (including his impeachment earlier in the year)!The Democrats were furious!There is no authority in the Constitution to
alter the time of the election or to postpone it because of some problem.“It’s implied in the powers of the
presidency,” Trump and his experts replied, as Trump issued an executive order
declaring that the election would not proceed until further notice.Lots of people, including some Republicans,
compared this to a coup—the destruction of the democracy itself in favor of a
dictatorship!The Donald pooh-poohed
these accusations, saying he was just a place maker for the winner of the
eventual election which would be held when possible at some unknown date in the
future.In spite of the virus riots
broke out, and the virus spread more rapidly, but Trump ramped up his own crowds
to a frenzy in favor of the plan, and, of course, as Commander in Chief he put
the military to work controlling the uproar and stifling dissent.
It looked like he would have his way too, but then strange
things began to happen.
Donald Trump, once he was forced to believe in the virus, had
appointed Mike Pence, his VP, to run the administration’s response team, and
they both held many meetings and press conferences to determine and explain the
various measures being taken to combat the plague.But unlike other countries doing the same
thing, who spaced their leaders out six feet apart in governmental gatherings,
Trump, Pence, and cohorts all clumped together around the podium.Inevitably this meant that the virus, getting
hold of first one and then another, spread rapidly throughout the Trump
administration.Both Donald Trump and
Mike Pence came down with it, and, sadly, both succumbed to the disease, Trump
dying first in early October, and Pence two days later (thus having the
shortest presidency in the history of the United States).
By the terms of succession House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi was then sworn in as the 47th President of the United
States.She immediately declared that
the election would be held as usual, with provisions made for voting electronically.
Things looked good for Joseph Biden at this point, but,
alas, he too contracted the virus and died just a week before the election.
You may all remember how both parties scrambled to select candidates
at this late stage, and in the resulting mess the Democrats had to decide
between Biden’s VP choice, Elizabeth Warren, and Nancy Pelosi herself.Warren prevailed and, with only two days to
go, became the Democratic nominee for president.The Republicans hastily named Ohio Governor
Mike DeWine (because DeWine had handled Ohio’s response to
the virus so admirably), and there was no time for accurate polling before the
actual election on Tuesday, November 3rd.
Well, you all know how the election turned out.But no one would have predicted that result
in March of 2020, right?And the
swearing ceremony for the new president on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, when the
virus was still a major health threat to the nation, was conducted inside the White
House, televised, in front of a very small gathering of officials and family.They all stood six feet apart of course, and
Chief Justice Roberts swore the president in via Skype.
Now I’m sure that we all, whatever our political party, wish
the president a successful term of office and hope that this virus subsides and
allows us to get back to normalcy once more.
At the very least the Trump era is over! [And also there is a popular proposed amendment to the United States Constitution currently working its way through Congress: from now on no one will be allowed to be sworn in as president who will be above age 70 as his/her term of office begins.]
. Since I graduated from law school in 1968 I've always had some sort of legal practice which varied from extensive in the early years, to these days when I'm retired and mostly just doing consulting work for a hefty fee. In this period I've written a lot of letters threatening legal action on behalf of my client (or, on the rare occasion, myself—see Related Posts below). In the classroom I've passed on my advice on how to create an effective letter, and now I offer it to you, blog reader. A letter threatening legal action almost always discombobulates a recipient who is not him/herself routinely involved in legal actions. I tell my law students that in their coming practices they will often receive such letters (or nowadays even emails), and they will calmly evaluate what to do about them depending on the legal issues involved and the wisdom of litigating them. But the non-legal recipient of such a letter i
Having a dispute with a creditor? One way to win it (and fast) is to send that creditor a "payment in full" check [hereafter "PIFC"] and end it things in your favor. How does this bit of legal magic work? Read on. It's always been the law that if you and I have an existing contract, either one of us can propose a modification to that contract, and if we both agree, the contract changes accordingly. There are technical names for this. Say, for instance, that I owe you an undisputed amount of $500. I send you an email and ask if you would take my horse Dobbins is settlement of the debt, and you reply in the affirmative. My offer of something different than what was originally owed (the horse for the money) is called the offer of an "accord." Your agreement to take Dobbins is the "satisfaction." Thus an "accord and satisfaction" in our law is nothing more than a fancy name for a modification agreement. I no longer owe you $500; I
. For the last few years I have been crossing the country giving lectures on what I now call the "Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosures," which is that such foreclosures cannot proceed without production of the original promissory note signed at the closing. A symposium at Western State University Law School last year at which I gave the keynote address turned into a law review article on point, and that law review article is reprinted below in full. The correct citation for the printed version is 39 W. St. U. L. Rev. 313 (2012). As subsequent developments occur I will add them in red to the original article below. Any corrections or suggestions may be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . ------------------------------------- Mortgage Foreclosures, Promissory Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code By Douglas J. Whaley * Introduction As is true of many things in life the Uniform Comme