What Happens to Biden’s Money If He Steps Aside?

WaPo’s answer, amid growing whispers that the President may be coming to terms with reality:

If Biden withdraws from the race, the dollars in his campaign account are considered “excess campaign funds” that can be contributed to the Democratic National Committee or to an independent expenditure committee. But if he withdraws before he is the official nominee of the party, he could face limits in donating to other candidates.

Some Democratic lawyers and operatives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions, argue that because Kamala Harris’s name is on the paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission to set up the committee, Biden could hand control of the account to Harris if he were to step aside. But several Republican campaign finance lawyers noted that that legal theory has not been tested. Prominent Republican lawyer Charlie Spies recently argued in the Wall Street Journal that both Biden and Harris would have to be officially nominated by their party before a handoff of the account could occur.

If the Democratic Party chooses a nominee who is someone other than Harris, the Biden campaign could still transfer its funds to the DNC or a super PAC that intends to back the new ticket.

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What’s Good for the Donald Is Good for the Hunter

AP reports on Hunter Biden’s motion to dismiss the special counsel’s case against him, based on Judge Cannon’s dismissal of the classified documents case against Trump:

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, asked federal judges on Thursday to dismiss tax and gun cases against him, citing a ruling in Florida this week that threw out a separate prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

The requests in federal court in Delaware and California underscore the potential ramifications of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s dismissal Monday of the classified documents case against Trump and the possibility that it could unsettle the legal landscape surrounding Justice Department special counsels.

Both Hunter Biden and Trump were prosecuted by special counsels appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland. In dismissing the Trump case, Cannon ruled that the appointment of the special counsel who prosecuted Trump, Jack Smith, violated the Constitution because he was appointed directly to the position by Garland instead of being nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Update: Hunter Biden’s motions to dismiss the Delaware and California cases against him may be found here and here. There is a difference between the special counsels in the Trump and Hunter Biden cases. As the Hill notes, “unlike [Jack] Smith, who came from outside the Justice Department to investigate Trump, [Hunter Biden prosecutor David] Weiss was confirmed by the Senate to his position as U.S. attorney for Delaware.” Accordingly, there’s an argument that his appointment was permissible under 28 U.S.C. § 510, which allows the Attorney General to “make such provisions as he considers appropriate authorizing the performance by any other officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice of any function of the Attorney General.” So maybe not so good for Hunter, although he argues that the Attorney General didn’t just delegate authority to Weiss but appionted him to a new position.

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En Banc Fifth Circuit Upholds Mississippi Felony Disenfranchisement Law

AP:

Mississippi legislators, not the courts, must decide whether to change the state’s practice of stripping voting rights from people convicted of certain felonies, including nonviolent crimes such as forgery and timber theft, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The state’s original list of disenfranchising crimes springs from the Jim Crow era, and attorneys who sued to challenge the list say authors of the Mississippi Constitution removed voting rights for crimes they thought Black people were more likely to commit.

A majority of judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the Supreme Court in 1974 reaffirmed constitutional law allowing states to disenfranchise felons….

In the ruling Thursday, dissenting judges wrote that the majority stretched the previous Supreme Court ruling “beyond all recognition.” The dissenting judges wrote that Mississippi’s practice of disenfranchising people who have completed their sentences is cruel and unusual.

You can find the opinion in Hopkins v. Watson here. Citing Richardson v. Ramirez, the majority advises plaintiffs to “[d]o the hard work of persuading your fellow citizens that the law should change” and go to the Mississippi legislature with their complaints.

Good luck on that.

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“GOP lawsuit over Nevada mail ballot deadline tossed”

Courthouse News Service:

A federal judge in Nevada on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit by the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s campaign claiming the state’s deadline for mail-in ballots, four days after Election Day, is unconstitutional.

Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda Du, a Barack Obama appointee, agreed with Nevada state and county officials that the Republicans had failed to show they are disadvantaged by the deadline and, as such, that they lacked standing to sue.

The order may be found here.

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