Law, life and the local spectator sport called politics.
The Brett Kimberlin Saga:
Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
A Letter to Baltimore School of Law
This will be
an email to officials at Baltimore Law School I will send after enough time for
the peanut gallery to point out any mistakes.
Sir or Madam,
name is Aaron Walker. I am an attorney
and a graduate of Yale Law School. I say
this not to brag but to make you understand that I am not simply a crank. I know of which I speak.
What’s coming will
be painful, frustrating, and dangerous—and it will illustrate a constitutional
malfunction unforeseen in 1787. The country will survive, and it’s possible it
can even make progress—but at tremendous cost in polarization and missed
opportunity. The country is like a car driving with the handbrake on: Any
movement forward will be accompanied by smoke and internal damage.
So we might
profitably put a six-month moratorium on paeans to the wisdom of the Framers.
The problem of divided government is a bug, not a feature, and the Constitution
itself provides no guidance on how to work around it.
if he wishes to argue that as a normative* matter, it is better to structure
our system of government in a manner to reduce division, I would not be writing
to you today. I would not agree with
that opinion but I don’t think that is an occasion to involve his superiors. I respect not only the legal right to have a
different opinion, but the moral right to do so.
the problem is he claims this is descriptively
true, and it is not. So this goes to his
competence, not the propriety of his opinions.
Rather than expecting harmony, the Constitution itself is written
anticipating conflict. For instance, the
veto clause is written with the expectation that sometimes Congress will want
laws that the President thinks is unwise.
Note, also, that the veto was not limited to constitutional objections,
but any policy disagreement. And the
fact that they also built into the Constitution a procedure for overriding the
veto, suggests that they anticipated that the Congress might say, “we know you
disagree, but we insist.” Finally, the
existence of the impeachment provision suggests that the founders thought that
the disagreement would be so severe that they would have to actually remove
is other structural evidence of the intent to divide our government, which
Professor Epps, actually alludes to, but oddly believes that division was an
unintended effect, rather than the goal:
The House was the
only branch directly elected by voters. The Senate was picked by legislatures,
the president by electors. Most of them believed the voters should be represented—a different thing entirely
than being asked their “will.”
he finishes by saying:
Had the Framers
foreseen any of that, they might have made different choices. Something closer
to a parliamentary system would have been one option; it’s a much more common
system than our own. But they might also have given Congress different terms,
so that all members and the president would be selected at the same time. Two
years is, by world standards, a very short legislative term; politics has
become a non-stop exercise. In addition, midterm elections that don’t directly
affect executive power create the danger of two antagonistic governments trying
to fit into one capital.
In fact, anyone who
read the Federalist Papers knows that the different methods of selection and
terms didn’t accidentally create division: it
was part of the design. For
instance, in Federalist # 63, James Madison (probably) wrote that:
The objects of
government may be divided into two general classes: the one depending on measures
which have singly an immediate and sensible operation; the other depending on a
succession of well-chosen and well-connected measures, which have a gradual and
perhaps unobserved operation. The importance of the latter description to the
collective and permanent welfare of every country, needs no explanation. And
yet it is evident that an assembly elected for so short a term as to be unable
to provide more than one or two links in a chain of measures, on which the
general welfare may essentially depend, ought not to be answerable for the
final result, any more than a steward or tenant, engaged for one year, could be
justly made to answer for places or improvements which could not be
accomplished in less than half a dozen years. Nor is it possible for the people
to estimate the share of influence which their annual assemblies may
respectively have on events resulting from the mixed transactions of several
years. It is sufficiently difficult to preserve a personal responsibility in
the members of a numerous body, for such acts of the body as have an immediate,
detached, and palpable operation on its constituents.
The proper remedy
for this defect must be an additional body in the legislative department,
which, having sufficient permanency to provide for such objects as require a
continued attention, and a train of measures, may be justly and effectually
answerable for the attainment of those objects.
In the same paper,
they explain that if the Senate ever tried to become a tyrannical body, that
the very division of government would prevent it:
Without exerting the
means of corruption with equal success on the House of Representatives, the
opposition of that coequal branch of the government would inevitably defeat the
attempt; and without corrupting the people themselves, a succession of new
representatives would speedily restore all things to their pristine order. Is
there any man who can seriously persuade himself that the proposed Senate can,
by any possible means within the compass of human address, arrive at the object
of a lawless ambition, through all these obstructions?
If reason condemns
the suspicion, the same sentence is pronounced by experience. The constitution
of Maryland furnishes the most apposite example. The Senate of that State is
elected, as the federal Senate will be, indirectly by the people, and for a
term less by one year only than the federal Senate. It is distinguished, also, by
the remarkable prerogative of filling up its own vacancies within the term of
its appointment, and, at the same time, is not under the control of any such
rotation as is provided for the federal Senate. There are some other lesser
distinctions, which would expose the former to colorable objections, that do
not lie against the latter. If the federal Senate, therefore, really contained
the danger which has been so loudly proclaimed, some symptoms at least of a
like danger ought by this time to have been betrayed by the Senate of Maryland,
but no such symptoms have appeared. On the contrary, the jealousies at first
entertained by men of the same description with those who view with terror the
correspondent part of the federal Constitution, have been gradually
extinguished by the progress of the experiment; and the Maryland constitution
is daily deriving, from the salutary operation of this part of it, a reputation
in which it will probably not be rivalled by that of any State in the Union.
And the claim that
the Founders didn’t consider anything like the British system is laid to rest
by this passage, continuing right where the last block quote left off:
But if anything could
silence the jealousies on this subject, it ought to be the British example. The
Senate there instead of being elected for a term of six years, and of being
unconfined to particular families or fortunes, is an hereditary assembly of
opulent nobles. The House of Representatives, instead of being elected for two
years, and by the whole body of the people, is elected for seven years, and, in
very great proportion, by a very small proportion of the people. Here,
unquestionably, ought to be seen in full display the aristocratic usurpations
and tyranny which are at some future period to be exemplified in the United
States. Unfortunately, however, for the anti-federal argument, the British
history informs us that this hereditary assembly has not been able to defend
itself against the continual encroachments of the House of Representatives; and
that it no sooner lost the support of the monarch, than it was actually crushed
by the weight of the popular branch.
And of course no
discussion of division and disagreement in government would be complete without
touching on Federalist #10. For the most
part it is useless to cherry pick one part to quote: one should read the whole
thing and see how Madison anticipated disagreement and faction, believed it
could not be avoided, and celebrated how the government would control its
excesses. And while quoting entire
sections is a useless, a few highlights are worth citing. For one, while Madison was not a fan of
factionalism, he believed it was inevitable:
Liberty is to
faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But
it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political
life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation
of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its
And he believed it
was useless to just hope we will not be divided:
It is in vain to say
that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and
render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not
always be at the helm.
I would suspect that
Professor Epps would agree that Congressional Republicans are not enlightened
leaders and that is just my point. The
Founders knew that our leaders would not always be great men; they designed a
government that could be run by less than great men.
In other words, the
division of this government is not an accident.
It is by choice. It is by checks
and balances. This may not be
normatively a good idea—I happen to like it, but I believe vehemently in
Professor Epps’ right to disagree—but it is descriptively the system we have
and it is what the founders intended. The
fact is while the founders recognized that inaction could be a problem, they
were more willing to risk unwise inaction than wrongful action. That is why our system of checks and balances
So I write to bring
this instance of incompetency to your attention. Since he displayed his ignorance in a
national publication, this school should, in its duty to inform the public, ask
Mr. Epps to issue a correction or retraction, lest some unsuspecting reader
think that a person of his background must
be right. He is wrong. Whatever one might think the system should be
as a matter of policy, his description of how it works and how it was intended
to work is simply wrong.
I thank you for your
time and consideration.
Aaron J. Walker,
dear reader, if I am going wrong, let me know by twitter, email or the
comments. And I hope you enjoyed reading
* I normally
avoid using overly obscure words in my writing on the blog. Unlike Professor Gruber, I prefer that the
masses understand what I am talking about.
But when you talk to academics, dropping these kind of code terms like
“normative” is usual.
more or less saying, “how something should be.”
Descriptive, a word you will see in a second, is talking about “how
something is.” If I wrote, for instance,
that America is a constitutional representative democracy, that is a
descriptive statement. If I wrote, we should
be a communist dictatorship, that would be normative (don’t hold your breath
waiting for me to say that in earnest).
My wife and I
have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist (and adjudicated
pedophile) Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame
me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years. I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you
read starting here,
you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video
evidence. If you would like to help in
the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the donation link on
the right. And thank you.
Follow me at
Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for
snark and site updates. And you can
purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A
Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.
And you can read a little more about my
I have accused
some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct. In some cases, the conduct is even
criminal. In all cases, the only justice
I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice
system. I do not want to see vigilante
violence against any person or any threat of such violence. This kind of conduct is not only morally
wrong, but it is counter-productive.
particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him. Do not call him. Do not write him a letter. Do not write him an email. Do not text-message him. Do not engage in any kind of directed
communication. I say this in part
because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want
that to happen to him.
And for that
matter, don’t go on his property. Don’t
sneak around and try to photograph him.
Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision. Your behavior could quickly cross the line
into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).
And do not
contact his organizations, either. And
most of all, leave his family alone.
exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course
nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any
stories you might report. And even then
if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request. That this is a key element in making out a
harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you
And let me say
something else. In my heart of hearts, I
don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above. But if any of you have, stop it, and if you
haven’t don’t start.