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Law Review: Porter’s advice for moving our country forward

Jim Porter
Law Review

I drafted this column a week ago Tuesday before the election results were tabulated. I made the assumption Biden-Harris won, which was not a safe bet but I figured I could “pull” my column Friday if Biden loses. I pulled the column.

At this point the winner is not yet confirmed, but it looks like Biden won, so here goes with last week’s column.

PORTER’S RAGE

My first thought after learning Joe Biden will be our next President and Kamala Harris Vice President, was to pen a scathing piece on Trump and how he, with the acquiescence of Republicans in office, tore apart our country, creating divisiveness and putting himself above country. My intent was to recommend Trump be prosecuted for the crimes he committed, including those detailed in the Mueller Report – “lock him up” now that he is no longer immune as a sitting President.

As much as I’d like to see Trump pay for his narcissism, as our parents told us: “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT

As much as I’d like to see Trump pay for his narcissism, as our parents told us: “two wrongs don’t make a right.” (Actually, sometimes I think they do, but that’s for another day).

So, I shifted gears… more in keeping with my moderate views on life… figuring a reflective Law Review would be more productive i.e. what did we learn from this debacle, hopefully an historical anomaly. How can we improve our government… unite… build coalitions… and get back to where we were: a country respected around the world and by its own citizens. Normalcy. Not a polarized cage fight – with iron-clad opposite views – nothing to discuss.

OUR COUNTRY CAN DO BETTER

With that, here’s an off-the-cuff list of actions I encourage President Biden to implement:

Immediately convene an all-stakeholders reconciliation gathering: how can we move forward in a collaborative manner. Put the anger and divisiveness behind us, trim the extremes, work towards communication, moderation and collaboration.

Seriously address the ever-present racial divide in our country.

Do NOT add justices to the US Supreme Court.

Change the law and require 60% House and Senate approval to confirm a Supreme Court justice — with moderate justices the end result.

Implement COVID-19 measures immediately with more PPE’s, rapid testing and tracing to allow businesses to reopen. Deal with the pandemic! The President should listen to the advice of pandemic experts including Dr. Fauci.

Investigate ways to reduce the power of the Senate Majority Leader (currently Mitch McConnell) who is able to single-handedly prevent bills of the other party from moving through Congress and prevent federal judge appointments as McConnell did with President Obama. That is way too much power for one person. If per-chance the Dems have control of the House and Senate, this would be a particularly good time to pass such legislation.

Adopt the Paris Accord and acknowledge and address climate change.

Investigate the electoral college process so we elect Presidents by popular vote. The electoral college system may turn out to be the best we can agree on, but let’s see if we can do better.

Pass federal legislation outlawing gerrymandering, the time-honored corrupt system of one-party re-configuring voting district boundaries to its political advantage which of course disenfranchises voters from the other party. That will prevent our conservative Supreme Court from continuing to allow gerrymandering as a “states’ rights” issue. Gerrymandering becomes a federal due process issue when the Supreme Court refers partisan gerrymandering and rigged elections back to the states to fix, the very states that created the gerrymandered boundaries.

Allow a President guilty of impeachable offenses to be indicted for crimes even while in office.

President Biden should appoint Republicans as cabinet members – as President Lincoln did appointing his former political opponents, e.g., John Kasich and Mitt Romney.

Pass legislation making it an impeachable offense if a President lies to the public over 5,000 times in any given year, or says: “The Democrats stole the election” or “The pandemic is handled.” Oops, I’m sliding into partisanship. Speaking of partisanship, few of these recommendations will be possible unless McConnell puts country first.

(Respectful) comments on this column welcome.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOAs, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or http://www.portersimon.com.


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