Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Dagger!! Re; WRTL "Bribery" Fadoodle

Rick simply flattens the 'textualist' blather from Foley (and what apparently fills some ADA's head).

...the statute says that a thing of value may not be offered or given to an elector or other person in order to induce an elector to vote or refrain from voting. The object of the inducement is the elector. The offer or gift must operate as an inducement to him or her. Mr. Foley wants to read it to say that this thing of value may not be given to another person to induce that person to do something (knock on doors, make phone calls, collect absentee ballot applications)that causes or helps an elector to vote.

That's not what the law says. The offer or gift must operate as an inducement to the elector (elector being the direct object of the verb) and not as an inducement to someone else to do something that might result in the elector voting.

(Observant readers will know that the red-highlights are precisely what I mentioned earlier.  No surprise:  Rick brought them up in his first mention of the WRTL brouhaha.)

There are also a couple of legal-technico items involved:

First, the ADA/Foley interp would lead to absurd results:  no one could have paid election-campaign workers at all.  That is something NO politician would enshrine in law, is it?

And this:  There is also a rule of construction that criminal statutes be interpreted narrowly.

(Which, by the way, is also the rule in the Church's Canon Law)

And there's 'legislative intent':

...What the statute seems to be aimed at is bribing electors, i.e., "buying" their franchise. An offer or gift that induces someone else to do something - even if it results in an elector casting a vote - does not do that

Oh, well.  Maybe the ADA can concentrate on real criminals--like the (D) machine.

1 comment:

neomom said...

I'm sure Tom Foley was all over the cigarettes and BBQ for votes by the Dems right?