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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Socrates and Chocolate (Book Quickies)

I saw Why Socrates Died in the book store and got around to reading it. Interesting though the extended portion about the war (relevant but not sure you needed that much detail) seemed a bit much. Have not read that much on Greek philosophy though know the basics about "the cave" etc. Thesis of book seems convincing. I also never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until today. I liked it; can see why the author (who I did not read as a child) is popular. But, if each grandparent is in their 90s ... Charlie is what 10 ...

Monday, November 18, 2019

Supreme Court Watch

(Things mostly going as expected football-wise this weekend with the Jets beating the Redskins comfortably thanks to first season struggles by the new QB [not  that he got too much help from what I can see] and poor Redskins defense. Redskins have one win, barely, vs. the Dolphins.  Giants with a bye, now has two wins vs. the Jets three, a gift win really and one vs. these same Redskins.)   

On Friday, audio of the second set of November cases were released and as other things were happening (Roger Stone convicted, another big impeachment hearing day, Trump pardons some war criminals), they also granted some more cases that might be of mild importance. Also, for some reason, the Trump Administration's sentiments a New York gun case isn't really moot appears to be relevant. Just in time for another school shooting.

[One person at a blog commenting on the pardons made an open-ended attack on the pardon power itself because of certain abusive applications. This is throwing the baby out with the bathwater and applies to prosecutions too. I do think state practice of putting strings on unlimited pardon power -- so, e.g., in theory a POTUS can commute everyone sentenced to die or given long prison terms for drug possession -- is on some level good policy.  Even there, I would think selective use of pardon power, such as to relieve people involved in a riot or insurrection of the threat of prosecution, which occurred since the days of Washington, would basically be tied to executive power itself.  This doesn't mean even there limits would be bad, but flexibility regarding ongoing affairs of that sort is even more appropriate.]

SCOTUS also showed some concern for the Rodney Reed case (asking for briefing or some such thing, suggesting at least one justice was concerned), according to one account I saw, but Texas courts eventually held up the execution. This after multiple appeals over the last twenty plus years with limited results.  There was significant attention given to the case recently and not just from the usual suspects like on Chris Hayes' show. Some more concern about the innocent claims than the usual case. So, of the numerous executions originally scheduled the last two months, four occurred, which is probably at least three more than should have. One was tainted by anti-gay animus, another had serious innocence claims and a third was the method of execution case that reached the Supreme Court. So, maybe if nitrogen gas was used. The fourth was probably too mentally unbalanced, but in the end he waived appeals.  Arbitrary and capricious.

The Federalist Society big meeting last week is very relevant here too for various reasons, not limited to its role in the appointment of federal judges. A special "fu" to those who refuse to admit such a role or realize they are enabling Trump, given the special importance judges have to his support. Furthermore, Brett Kavanaugh came out to give a big speech, a sort of victory lap.  And, there was Attorney General (allegedly) Barr who followed up his religious liberty speech (reported on this space) with a "you got to be kidding me ... you aren't, are you?") executive power speech, including how "the left"  (always a flag) is the true menace. 

Today was Order Day (they will have a conference this Friday and then take a break until December). As noted at the link, Sotomayor dissented in the others not granting relief sought involving one case involving applying a criminal forfeiture case.  Other than that, though as noted at the link some of the non-grants are as usual notable cases, it seems like a normal no drama order (SCOTUS has a habit of granting cases for oral argument separately on the Friday before).  There is one of those "huh" moments for me personally when it granted a request to release a joint appendix in the big abortion case under seal.  Why?

Finally, to toss it out there, the woman who should be judge if she wasn't filibustered (she would have been a key vote in a divided circuit, but her scholarship and support by certain conservatives also makes her stand out for me) adds to a discussion on a book on McCulloch v. Maryland.

More: After the House side did not oppose a short delay, Roberts held up a court of appeals judgment requiring release of presidential accounting records for a few days. One reason flagged by the court of appeals (rehearing denied 8-3, two of three Trump appointees) was enforcement of emolument clause requirements: "If the President may accept no domestic emoluments and must seek Congress’s permission before accepting any foreign emoluments, then surely a  statute facilitating the disclosure of such payments lies within constitutional limits."

The original COA dissent argued that the only way such records, which to underline comes from a private firm who are now alleged to be a sort of agent for executive privilege purposes, can be obtained is if the House had a formal impeachment process.  We surely have one now, but they were requested separately and for a more general legislative purpose.  All the same, the impeachment inquiry is clearly relevant here and emolument clause violations are one of many non-Ukraine matters to keep track of.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Planned Parenthood Wins Suit Against Activists Who Released Secret Manipulated Videos

(See also: A liberal source is somewhat concerned about the judgment, especially since the "manipulated" part might not be necessary.  Thus, e.g.,  merely breaking rules against taping etc. is involved though he notes that this might be a normative concern, not one matching current law. I comment there, but suffice to say I question this as a whole. The jury should weigh everything and First Amendment exception to the rules in place seem questionable.  At least, enough appears to have been done wrongly here for a fair judgment though we can debate particulars like the breadth of the damages. But, the concern is reasonable.)
The footage was then allegedly edited to make it appear as though the group was selling the tissue for a profit. Planned Parenthood says they do not sell tissue, but at the time they did engage in the legal practice of taking fees to cover procurement. In 2018, they stopped accepting fees to cover procurement costs. The organization claims discussions about fees were manipulated to make it seem as though they were "selling" the tissue.
With all the bad news out there, it is somewhat appreciated that sometimes we get good news such as a report of a $2M judgment for Planned Parenthood "after a jury found that an anti-abortion group had broken multiple laws by secretly recording and releasing manipulatively edited video footage of doctors and staff."  One doubts they will ever get the money, the judgment itself occurring years after the events occurred, but can still be a deterrent.

A jury decided the damages, but the linked article talks about how the right wing troll involved complained about how unfair the judge was. The claim that they were protected by press privilege (the overall issue taken seriously here as it on some level should be) was found to be besides the point since even if they were "press," they wouldn't have the right to break the law. I would think a reasonable argument there would be for the jury to factor that in when deciding damages. As is, they come off more as an advocacy group.  There is a continual debate if the "press" as such should get more protections, but a basic point there is you have an institution with editorial standards and so forth that warrant extra respect than a group like this.

A basis result of the whole affair was to embarrass Planned Parenthood and cause some to be upset about how freely fetal tissue research was discussed.  The basic idea that fetal tissue research is done could not really be challenged very much since it was well established that it was respectable and had multiple promising implications. But, it just seemed so icky to talk about some of the details. Not that the person involved was doing so in an op-ed or something.  She thought she was talking to an insider who was involved in handling research supply and such so did not feel a special need to cushion her conversation in euphemisms or such.  People were left to complaining that she was talking to him in some public place and she might have been overheard or something.  It was ridiculous and I discussed the matter in this thread, even if it seemed diplomatic for some at the time (see linked video) to apologize for the tone of certain comments.

(The "profit" concern also is dubious at best. If you support research, it is not simply going to be done by the goodness of the hearts of those involved. Some sort of fees and so forth will be charged.  Some of the same people who get the vapors here would find it appalling if we just make the whole thing publicly funded or something with zero profit motive at all.)  

Some things are just at least somewhat embarrassing and we do not wish to talk about the details openly.  Or, at least some of us, my efforts here at times to be open about such things especially since no one reads my blog. Seriously, it is appropriate for some people to basically be grown ups and face up to some things that might be uncomfortable in some fashion. This includes keeping in perspective video or photos that can be embarrassing, but still needs to be kept in the proper perspective.

Anyway, the judgment is appreciated since the laws in question are appropriate to protect privacy, especially for something sensitive like this. Plus, even if release might in some case have a justified muckraking function, it was done illegitimately here to mislead the public. This would be problematic even for a more reputable group and action. I am not sure how that amount was obtained (seems a bit high), but the result is just. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Paypal Says "No" to Pornhub

Saw an article (see also the article linked) regarding Paypal blocking usage of their site to pay contributors to a porn website. As noted: "PayPal is one of many payment processors that have discriminated against sex workers for years. Its acceptable use policy states that "certain sexually oriented materials or services" are forbidden—phrasing that's intentionally vague enough to allow circumstances like this to happen whenever the company wants."

I assume the concern is some laws might be being broken somewhere, but in the end this is a bad policy that can hurt the performers. The wide use of certain things makes them not garden variety "private." This applies to popular easy payment options. Porntube provides free porn (I have commented on them in the past) and their pay content even brought in a former Disney star, if in that case as director. To toss that in there.

Friday, November 15, 2019

"Blessed Be the Fruit: Threats to Reproductive Rights in 2019"

And Also: Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote is a collection of vignettes about women (and one man) who fought for suffrage (one chapter is about two sisters, one against).  It is a brisk read without that much depth, but informative all the same.  It covers a few black women, but not other women of color (Asian, Native American etc.), but does have a chapter on Mormon women.  I think it has young adult reading list potential.  Not really panel worthy.


I have gone to a few interesting events at NYU in the last year (only one had lunch though), including this one on reproductive justice with familiar faces (Kate Shaw is Chris Hayes' wife as an aside), who I read (and listened to; two are part of the Strict Scrutiny Podcast; Murray pops up regularly as a commentator and was the choice side in the Landmark Cases Roe v. Wade episode on C-SPAN) in the past in various respects. I also do want to buy the book (part of a constitutional case study series of which I read a few), but it's a bit pricey for my tastes at the moment.

It was noted that reproductive "justice" is an important way to phrase things in part because it is not just a freedom "from" but "to," in the sense of removing barriers. This also connects to a wide view of rights that is not just a matter of the courts. Thus, the Supreme Court in the 1970s did not treat pregnancy discrimination as sex discrimination (it did accept constitutional claims to a limited degree such as forced pregnancy leave for teachers) but legislation did cover that. There is an effort to expand this national legislation and there is some crossing of lines here since it is also seen as a way around abortion.  This is a true "life" (or potential life) concern when often the state (e.g., strict abortion law states like Georgia and Alabama) turns out not to have them in practice by looking at infant mortality numbers etc.

Griswold (contraceptives) was noted to be one of many cases (including interracial marriage) that decriminalized certain conduct. It was also a marriage related matter, which has civil implications.  I was struck by a reference to "terrifying moral conformity" in this context.  Roe itself was decided on privacy and medical science grounds, but there were other cases that had a more open-ended view that saw it as an equal protection matter (race, class, sex), disparate health treatment and full with stories of the real life experiences of women.  Note that "Roe" and "Doe" were class actions under pseudonyms though the true life stories of the leading parties of both were striking.  RBG (somewhat unfairly) repeatedly disparaged Roe v. Wade, partially since she had her own case involving a servicewoman that actually had a pro-life sort of claim in that the military would have accepted if she had an abortion, but that went against her beliefs.

Abele v. Markle, referenced by Justice Stewart in a concurrence and as I recall also impressing Justice Powell, reflects the sort of possibly more open-ended approach as well.  It actually (not noted here) was a two step affair.  The court dealt with a 1860 statute and like Gaul split three ways: a broad feminist sounding opinion, a somewhat more narrow affair (the judge wrote the second opinion referenced by Stewart) and a dissent.  The broad opinion is the one referenced by the panel.  It brought in the recent sex equality ruling, the 19th Amendment, ERA and Title VII. This paragraph (footnotes removed) suggest the tenor:
The Connecticut anti-abortion laws take from women the power to determine whether or not to have a child once conception has occurred. In 1860, when these statutes were enacted in their present form, women had few rights. Since then, however, their status in our society has changed dramatically. From being wholly excluded from political matters, they have secured full access to the political arena. From the home, they have moved into industry; now some 30 million women comprise forty percent of the work force. And as women's roles have changed, so have societal attitudes. The recently passed equal rights statute and the pending equal rights amendment demonstrate that society now considers women the equal of men.
This was handed down April 1972 and the very next month the state passed a new law. The legislature seems to have been addressing the deciding judge's argument that the earlier law was basically a health law, one for which the times made outdated.  The other two judges were more open to resting on the idea that the life of the unborn was at issue, but reached separate conclusions. The new law forced the issue and in September the same panel again, this time with that judge speaking for two of them, again striking down the law. The opinion, just to cite it, early on cites who brought the suit, reflecting  this all wasn't just some physician matter:
Plaintiffs in this and the earlier litigation are several hundred women including doctors, nurses, social workers and others who wish to advise concerning abortions, and pregnant women who wish to have an abortion.
The opinion cites that the matter is covered by the right to privacy, explains how a "fetus" (using the usual misleading term) is not a constitutional person and noting that constitutional right at issue cannot be denied based on reasons that turn on a major individual dispute.  The dissent strongly again said that the legislature's view (backed by evidence of human development) should be respected. The majority does not have the same feminist language, more privacy based.  As a whole, it is arguably a better form of the Roe decision, especially since it clearly faces up to why the choice some deemed blatantly illegitimate should be left to the individual:
There are those who believe it is destructive of family life to permit the use of contraceptives. In each instance, the viewpoint behind the challenged governmental action was a serious, thoughtful judgment, deeply held by large numbers of people. But in each instance the Supreme Court ruled that such a viewpoint could not constitutionally be imposed by the power of the state upon individuals who did not share this view.
Young v. UPS (pregnancy discrimination) was also addressed, it being the case one panel member covers in the book.   It dealt with treating pregnant employees equally to others in respect to accommodations.  The cited proposed bill seeks to expand the protections to secure a strong affirmative right to accommodation.  It was noted that one issue here was that the pregnancy discrimination law was not seen to have a "disparate impact" application (talk of that being a "hunted animal") though the text arguably allows for it.  OTOH, twenty-seven state laws have wider laws.

[The ruling was somewhat limited but Roberts and Alito (in judgment) did go along. Kennedy did not. He repeatedly took a more restrictive view of national gender rights laws, including sexual harassment and pregnancy leave, in that latter case once dissenting from a Rehnquist opinion.]

State laws provide a possible window here for more protections generally.  One panel member somewhat tongue in cheek argued Justice Kennedy retiring was a good thing, since him being there forced advocates to use limited arguments.  Now, there was more of an ability to think big, in part in appealing to a new generation.  One issue to consider here being economic justice as whole.  Meanwhile, there is a pending Supreme Court case that threatens abortion rights, perhaps by reducing the ability of physicians and others to bring suits before they directly block rights.

An opening question wondered what effect the passage of the ERA might bring, the panel avoiding the "wormhole" of the various barriers of that actually happening even if the new firmly Democratic legislature in Virginia is the putative 38th vote (three votes coming long after the deadline).  Not much clarity was given in the answer.  There was a suggestion current sex equality law is somewhat weak and the ERA would help to make it more robust.  Maybe so.  But, take the Violence Against Women Case.  The issue there was lack of state action.  How would the ERA help there?  The Civil Rights Cases (amazingly in my opinion) were held to still be good law so the same result would have occurred if race was at issue.  One woman who was a teenager as the ERA battle went on told me that she thinks the ERA's time has passed.

One charm of modern day happenings is that I personally have a chance to interact with people here.  For instance, Gay USA covered the Rhines case referenced on this blog.  The female co-host in summarizing the case referenced an "accidental" shooting, meaning that it wasn't premeditated (it being in the course of a robbery), but confused in the moment. I flagged this in an email and she nicely responded to thank me. She then corrected it in the next episode, thanking viewers for engaging with them etc.  Appreciate that sort of thing -- shows like that are clearinghouses of sorts for lots of information.  Sometimes, they might get something wrong.  Providing a means to provide feedback can be helpful.  At any rate, I like providing feedback, especially on certain blogs, and figure it is not only a means to express my views but also to help others in some little way.

Anyway, as with another panel discussion, my question was also addressed. (Index cards were given out beforehand.)  I asked how Congress might be able to interfere with liberal state abortion laws such as the expansive one recently passed by New York.  This comes up in my readings online: there is basically an assumption that the Roberts Courts will open up not just restrictive abortion laws in places like Alabama, but that there will be a national anti-abortion law in place akin to The Handmaid's Tale or something.  I find this a tad exaggerated, but it came to mind.

The panel was not very gung ho about delving into such dark subjects though touched upon things that came to mind. For instance, perhaps a twenty week ban.  There also would be serious Commerce Clause questions though that was not addressed (Scalia/Thomas flagged this though Thomas regularly opined on things not directly addressed) in the "partial birth" abortion case decided about a decade back.  Questions of fetal personhood also might come up.  This latter issue might be pressed at some point given certain state laws that on some level seem symbolic, but might eventually (if they haven't already) clash with actual third party interests.  This is not a new issue either.

Good talk and all four women greatly impress me.


* Reading the first opinion more closely, it is clearer that the best approach would be to combine the two opinions.

The first opinion provides a helpful statement on the interests of women, but does not provide a complete accounting of the state's interest. It is quite dismissive: "these statutes restrict a woman's choice in instances in which the state interest is virtually nil."  The burdens on women were cited and will get no refutation here though in theory there are various ways for the state to address them.  There are (hard as it is for some to believe) a segment of antiabortion types who would aim for the sort of social welfare policies that might arise here.  But, it doesn't face up to the concern for fetal life, while citing the current concern for a population explosion as if mere numbers of people was the interest asserted.  That concern also might not be as compelling anyways. 

[The dissent has its own problems here though it gives it more in depth analysis than the dissents at the Supreme Court. This sort of thing doesn't quite work: "It should be noted that the majority decision leaves the State of Connecticut with no law or control in this area of human relationships. It invites unlimited foeticide (the murder of unborn human beings), as a way of life, in a state long known as the land of steady habits."  Abortion can still be regulated and the framing itself is arguable -- what is "murder" here?  It assumes the conclusion definitionally.] 

This is where the second opinion comes in -- basically, the interest is a personal dispute that divides the nation too much to pick and choose, at least early in pregnancy.  The debate then would be line drawing, which would be harder, but the law was quite broad.  The first opinion also notes a third state interest (Roe basically handwaves it, saying the state did not rely on it; the dissent here also doesn't rely on it), "inhibition of promiscuous sexual relationships by prohibiting escape from unintentional pregnancy," but notes changing moral standards no longer makes it a compelling interest.  This is a tad conclusionary.

Basically, opinions like Griswold recognized this as a private matter.  Again, this turns on a constitutional right to decide such questions though a "common law" constitutional law approach very well will reflect current moral standards to some degree as well. The conclusion as a whole was correct, but I think it warranted a bit more analysis.  After all, some very well still rely on such arguments. Plus, as done in contraceptives opinions, one can even grant the interest while holding that denial of abortion rights is not an appropriate approach. 

(This footnote was added in part because a full accounting of these issues are appropriate.)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

She Said (#MeToo)

I added the book about the efforts of the authors to research a major article on Harvey Weinstein to the side panel; it is very good. It has "All the President's Men" film potential perhaps, including the stories of various players. The book ends with Brett Kavanaugh, particularly Dr. Ford, but there the authors have a more hands off style since it wasn't to the same degree their story. The book also leaves the suggestion only one person really has evidence against him though by the time of publication at least one other accuser had her allegation backed up by multiple sources. That should be fixed in later editions.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Execution Watch: Ray Cromartie

ETA: Some years back, I wrote a letter to Justice Breyer about an execution for which multiple liberals supported a stay but did not say why. Here, we didn't even have that.  I wrote a new letter to him complaining.  

I have written a few letters to justices over the years, Justice Blackmun actually writing back. It was about him not voting against the constitutionality of the death penalty, which at the very end he actually did. Justice Sotomayor recently did too, regarding not having Spanish language material on their website, particularly regarding recent cases involving Puerto Rico.  The letter thanked me, but noted she could not comment on existing matters of court policy.  Seems a bit off given I wasn't talking about a specific case or anything, but appreciate the reply.  

Ray Cromartie was scheduled to die at the end of October, but a procedural matter delayed things for a short period, resulting in new execution day on November 13th.  I discussed his case earlier, expecting he would be executed, then that dispute would result in a significant delay.  A notable thing was he requested DNA testing that the daughter of the victim supported though the state rejected it.  At the time, I was dubious that the evidence would really help though any doubt should lean his way.

Hannah Riley of the Southern Center for Human Rights flagged that he rejected a plea deal (his mom encouraged this) that would have brought with it a seven year sentence. The guy who was in the store with him is already out and one article says his whereabouts is unknown, which is notable since the other co-defendant (and Cromartie's half-brother) now says in an affidavit that the guy pulled the trigger.  The DNA testing allegedly would help show Cromartie wasn't the shooter, but the state denies this.

A mess -- it is hard to work around a guilty verdict, even when you are not relying on a family member blaming someone conveniently not around.  Some people on Twitter are basically assuming the guy is innocent or something, which is a stretch.  But, if you execute someone, you better be damn sure. There is room for a bit of doubt here though sure someone against the death penalty who will use most anything half-way reasonable against it might not be convincing.  Still, let's leave him in prison and sort it all out. He already got more than the other two received.

The Supreme Court waited until after 10PM to ... deny the final appeals (related to request for DNA testing and addressing the new evidence regarding that affidavit)  without any comment ... no, not even a concerned but not denial (sorta of her thing the last few times) from Sotomayor.  As criminal justice activist/former reporter Chris Geidner summarized on Twitter: "BIG PICTURE: There is an innocence claim here, there is a request for DNA testing (which the victim's family supports), and there is new evidence suggesting another person committed the crime. And yet, the Supreme Court will not do a thing to stop this irreversible punishment."  Which happened.

Little additional tidbit: "The state says it uses the sedative pentobarbital for injections, but Georgia law bars the release of any information about the drug’s source."

Meanwhile, Patrick Murphy (remember him?) was scheduled to be executed the same day, but there seems to be enough evidence that Texas is treating different religions differently regarding final access to religious advisors to hold things up again. The Fifth Circuit has upheld the delay while there was no push for the Supreme Court to overturn it as today's original scheduled execution date passes. So, he will not be executed for what amounts to a petty bit of religious favoritism while someone with an innocence claim is denied relief.  Somewhat typical death penalty arbitrariness really.  See you soon. 

Impeachment Day (Preview)

ETA: I listened to a lot of the beginning though couldn't really deal listening to the Republicans (led by the guy who sued a cow and the former wrestler fast talker who doesn't wear a suit jacket / appears to have looked the other way when warned of sexual abuse) since they seem more spam than anything else.  Some powerful stuff with two career public servants as the opening witnesses. You have the ambassador to the Ukraine there. Hard to hand-wave it as just Democratic b.s., but hey a Vietnam vet/lifelong Republican, former Bush43 appointed FBI head (Robert Mueller) was.

Today is the first day of public hearings after the impeachment resolution (labels are tricky; after all, some argue we have been in de facto impeachment mode for months now), which is a historical moment. It's sometimes hard to see history clearly as it happens, but it is.  I experienced the Clinton impeachment (toddler me did not register the Nixon impeachment), and thought that he did something wrong, if not something that warranted removal.  I thought it important though that he receive at least a majority vote against in the Senate.  He received a 50-50 vote.  Okay.  Trump is a whole new animal here.  He deserves removal.

As with other things, not getting all you want (or need) does not mean something is a failure. There are also levels of need. It is very important to get something here (impeachment is not removal after all) since Trump is guilty of range of crimes (not just Ukraine; please don't just impeach on that!) that go far above simple electoral disputes. Too much has been normalized over the years here. Some line -- think waterboarding -- has to be drawn in the sand here.  It's of fundamental importance.  It won't be easy and we will feel like hitting our head against the wall repeatedly.

The hearings will focus on the Ukraine matters (I suggested the "Ukraine Extortion Racket" label at one point), but we should not ignore the other crimes Trump has committed.  I speak here specifically that of the high crimes and misdemeanors variety (bribery in there as well). Other congressional hearings and efforts were and continue from what I understand to be in place regarding other matters. For instance, Robert Mueller testified.  Just yesterday, even more evidence came out related to those matters in the Roger Stone trial.  The Mueller Report itself ended in an open fashion -- matters were forwarded to others and prosecutions still open.  Roger Stone was one such matter.

The Ukraine matter has been shown to have some special effect on the public and relevant parties, the latter some rough unclear set of markers to get a sense of what "matters" out there.  That sort of thing can be a fool's errand, but realistically it means something.  And, there are people who judge such things, such "opinion leaders" or tipping points or whatever. Anyway, it has been noted that it is seen as a tipping point because it occurred while he was in office, we having a "smoking gun" and it seems so blatant and stupid.  Yes.  But, it is only part of the story.  Paul Manafort's connection to Ukraine alone shows how it fits in to other things.

And, things continue to come out.  Court opinions on a variety of matters, involving both local (New York) and national (emoluments, congressional investigations) based investigations on a variety of matters.  Stormy Daniels and campaign matters, taxes, financial investigations, emoluments, the stuff in the Mueller Report and obstructions of justice overall.  The Roger Stone trial, e.g., brought evidence that Trump lied in his written answers to Robert Mueller.  Shades of Clinton.  This would be evidence that he is obstructing justice. Denying resources including people subpoenaed to testify to Congress is of that caliber. It was part of the Nixon impeachment.  Again, overlap to the current matter.

Some strongly against Trump was and maybe some still are against impeachment for various reasons. But, impeachment to me is a fundamental thing.  We are a limited government, and when members of the executive department and judiciary cross the line, there is a constitutional means to address it.  Members of Congress also fall under this rubric but it is a lot easier to remove them, including by basic prosecution.  If we don't use impeachment, even if we use investigations, again, it normalizes it.  This is not just about election politics.

We cannot make it only about that.  We can not.