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DOJ standing by decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner

DOJ standing by decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner

The swamp wins again.

Lois Lerner was the IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups.

The evidence was overwhelming that Tea Party and conservative groups had applications for tax exempt status delayed or denied, while liberal groups did not, and that this targeting was deliberate. Documents and hard drives went missing, Lerner pleaded the 5th, and there were years of obfuscation and delay in producing documents and information.

The House Oversight Committee produced this video in 2014 summarizing what had happened:

On October 23, 2015, we reported on the DOJ decision not to prosecute her, DOJ – Lois Lerner to face no criminal charges:

CNN Reports:

The Justice Department notified members of Congress on Friday that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups.

There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter.

The probe found “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.”

Remember, the Treasury Inspector General found targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups, and that no such targeting took place against liberal groups.

The first disclosure of the targeting deceptively was made by Lerner herself at a Bar Association meeting when she had someone plant a question to her, since she knew the IG report was coming out.

No political motive? That’s not what the emails showed, Lois Lerner Emails: Republicans are Evil and Dishonest…

No obstruction of justice? What about the secret Toby Miles email account that the IRS didn’t even know about?

Do people who are not concealing anything always make statements like “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and suggest use of instant messages to avoid government record keeping of communications?

Republicans in the House requested that the DOJ reopen its investigation into Lerner and reconsider whether to prosecute. In a letter delivered today, DOJ stated that it stood by it’s decision not to prosecute.

Fox News reports:

The Trump administration has no plans to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner over her role in the Tea Party targeting scandal, the Justice Department said Friday in response to calls by Republican lawmakers to revisit the case.

In a letter to the lawmakers, the Justice Department said that “reopening the criminal investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”

This past April, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., had asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take a “fresh look” at the case….

“This is a terrible decision,” Brady said. “It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees.” …

Brady said appointees “will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness.”

Here is the letter (via Frank Thorp V Twitter):

At the House Ways & Means Committee website, Brady and Rep. Peter Roksam released the following statement and background documentation:

As Chairman Brady said:

“This is a terrible decision. It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and Constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees – who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness. Not only has the Department of Justice chosen not to hold Lois Lerner criminally liable for obstructing an official investigation by the Inspector General, the Department continues to defend the Internal Revenue Service’s unconstitutional actions against taxpayers in ongoing civil litigation.

“I have the utmost respect for Attorney General Sessions, but I’m troubled by his Department’s lack of action to fully respond to our request and deliver accountability. Today’s decision does not mean Lois Lerner is innocent. It means the justice system in Washington is deeply flawed.”

Chairman Roskam added:

“The decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner is a miscarriage of justice. On top of Ms. Lerner’s actions against taxpayers – denying tax-exempt status to groups for political gain and failing to protect taxpayer information – the Department’s response blatantly ignores our most troubling finding: that Ms. Lerner intentionally misled federal investigators in a flagrant violation of the law. This is unacceptable and Ms. Lerner must be held accountable. Our democracy is injured when those who taxpayers entrust with great authority ignore the law to advance their own political agenda without repercussion.”

* * *

On April 12, 2017, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the DOJ to review evidence that Lois Lerner broke the law by targeting Americans for their political beliefs and lying to Congress during an investigation of misconduct.

Despite clear evidence of criminal misconduct and a Committee referral to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, the Obama Administration refused to review the information and deliver justice to the taxpayers harmed by Ms. Lerner’s actions.

In the letter to Attorney General Sessions, Chairmen Brady and Roskam wrote: “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics … We respectfully request the Department of Justice to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the attached referral in order to restore taxpayers’ trust in the IRS.”

CLICK HERE to read a timeline of Ms. Lerner’s misconduct at the IRS.

CLICK HERE to read the full text of the Committee’s initial referral in April 2014 to former Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder following the Committee’s three-year investigation.

CLICK HERE to read the full text of the April 2017 Brady/Roskam letter to Attorney General Sessions requesting the Department of Justice review the evidence of Ms. Lerner’s misconduct.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, whose team did as much as anyone to uncover documents regarding the IRS scandal, released a statement:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

That Judicial Watch statement included this documentation of how Lerner knew Tea Party groups were being targeted:

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference.  The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

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Comments

The Tea Party is an enemy of the GOPe. Doesn’t that place Lois and the GOPe on the same side? No surprises in this decision.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to TX-rifraph. | September 9, 2017 at 10:53 am

    BRAVO!!!!!!

    TX it could not have been said better.

    I want those words tattooed on the forehead of every GOP-E member.

Now we know why Koskinen still has a job. Trump sold us out.

Sorry, but this tells me we are so far down the road of lawlessness that we will never recover !

Trump won’t investigate Hillary, Lois Lerner, keeps Koskinen at IRS, and one cannot imagine any Democrat he would direct his DOJ to investigate, if he sees no cause on the above three.

regulus arcturus | September 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm

My guess is that Sessions, the snoozing Southern Gentleman of tradition, chose to adhere to prior tradition that cases arising during prior administrations are not relitigated.

Such deference is unwarranted, and Ms. Lerner should at minimum have her fat government taxpayer pension stripped.

If antifa/BLM had been targeted, she’d be dead or at the very least her house would be vandalized, tires slashed and identity stolen.

Progressive corruption seems to be a fait accompli in all human civilizations since time immemorial. Denying individual dignity, intrinsic value, and avoiding reconciliation through establishment of a Pro-Choice Church only accelerates the process. Conflation of logical domains (e.g. prophecy of catastrophic anthropogenic global whatever) only exacerbates destruction of a civilization’s moral, scientific, and legal foundation.

I am pretty much done with the GOP. The biggest problem is the democrats keep running such horrible candidates that it leaves two choices… vote for the Republican or don’t vote at all. I think I will go with option #2. Screw ’em… I’m done.

I recently got a letter from the IRS saying I should file an Alternate Minimum Tax Return. I complied right away – no tax was owed.

However, if I responded by saying that I deleted all my computer files and threw out all my records, I would get a visit by the FBI within a few weeks. And the DOJ would come after me and my family with no mercy.

Equal justice under the law….

Subotai Bahadur | September 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Professor, with all due respect and seriousness, can you offer any justification for the claim that we live under a rule of law? Right now, the only reason to obey the law is fear of force exerted by the state. And if that is the only reason, it can be countered in practice by superior force.

    We are under a rule of law.

    The swamp and its habitues are not.

    Time for a revolution of our own.

    I agree with you mainly, but I must point out that what you say is ALWAYS true regarding the State’s laws. Morality comes from belief and faith in something greater than Man – force is ALL the State has ever had, and all it will ever have.

    And power in any human led organization will always end up going to the highest bidder – hence the old quip:

    “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason?
    For if it doth prosper, none dare call it Treason!”

Done with Sessions.

Kimberley Strassel’s comment is right on.
This is discouraging, especially in the face of the democrat’s (&GOPe’s?) relentless search for any possible Russian connection, in search of anything, anything at all.

    NavyMustang in reply to Rick. | September 8, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Not a surprise. She is one of the few clear thinking journalists out there. Others are Molly Hemingway and Sharyl Attkisson. When I hear them talking, I sit up straight and listen.

This decision has nothing to do with protecting Lois Lerner. Having drones such as Lerner, Comey, Lynch or even HRC prosecuted would not really affect the Establishment masters. Remember, the controlling cadre of the current Establishment are not part of political Washington; or London, Brussels, Berlin, Paris, etc. Protecting Lerner, and her peers, protects who IS important to the Establishment BHO II. Every time a senior Obama Administration executive gets a free pass from prosecution, no matter how much evidence exists that the person committed the offense, it is done to stop any further investigation which would show that then President Obama knew exactly what was going on.

And, make no mistake, Sessions is still totally owned by the Establishment. He has been in DC too long to not be part of the Establishment. That is why he recused himself from the Russia Collusion case. And it is the reason why he was phoning in his job from a seeming vacation until Trump suggested that he would have more time to do nothing if someone else was AG. Now that he is “back”, his big claim to fame is a publicized crackdown on MS13.

If they keep letting the bureaucrats abuse people without repercussion, one day there will be a violent backlash.

Between Lerner, Hillary Clinton, etc etc, we new have a de facto two-tier justice system in America.

The rule of law in America is absolute is now a joke.

It’s done.

Write your letters to Trump: Sessions has to go – and Clinton needs to be indicted.

Time to write your letter to Trump:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

“This decision has nothing to do with protecting Lois Lerner. Having drones such as Lerner, Comey, Lynch or even HRC prosecuted would not really affect the Establishment masters.”

You might limit the number of workers willing to go to jail for their masters. Or at the very least put real deal making back on the table.

Restricting the ability to raise tax exempt money for political purposes is just another assault on free speech. I understand some of the approvals are still being delayed. Another way to avoid reckoning, just run out the clock. Many will give up and go away.

Free speech, especially political speech, should be near absolute.

Bucky Barkingham | September 9, 2017 at 7:55 am

I suppose this is another investigation that AG Sessions has recused himself from. Trump should recuse him permanently from the DOJ.

Some here seem to think Sessions acts totally independently from his boss, Trump. Sessions does Trump’s bidding. One cannot isolate Sessions for blame and leave Trump out of it. Is it his DOJ or not?

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | September 9, 2017 at 9:41 am

    THE FIX IS IN: GOP lawmakers furious after DOJ declines to prosecute ex-IRS official Lois Lerner.

    Trump and Koskinen are old buddies. I suspect that Koskinen is covering for Trump on taxes, and Trump is leaving the IRS alone in exchange. This is pure speculation on my part, but it fits the behavior.
    —Glenn Reynolds @ InstaPundit

    Well. That could explain a whole lot.

    Yeah, it’s kind of weird to see the same people who (quite rightly) tied Obama to Holder’s Fast and Furious and to Lynch’s protection of Hillary suddenly imagine the DOJ isn’t accountable to the president.

    I must have missed Trump’s tweet about how angry he is that Sessions isn’t prosecuting Lerner. After all, he was all gung-ho to prosecute Hillary . . . oh, wait!

      Of course the DOJ is accountable to the President, and it is no different in the Trump administration. The difference is that in the Obama Administration, the DOJ apparently did everything that Obama wanted it to do. Obama never showed displeasure with Holder or Lynch. Obama never discussed replacing either one.

      Obama inherited an Establishment Washington. He id exactly what the Establishment wanted him to do. And, his underlings did the same. In this administration, the DC bureaucracy has been openly hostile to Trump. This is evident in the DOJ in general and the FBI in particular. Every single Congressman in DC is wholly owned by the Establishment. And, up until about a year ago, Session was a long serving Congressman. Does anyone think that he suddenly had an epiphany and decided to work against the interests of the establishment? If so, are you in the market for a bridge?

        Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | September 10, 2017 at 12:06 am

        “Every single Congressman in DC is wholly owned by the Establishment.”

        That’s not simply a lie, it’s a thumpingly STOOOOOOOOoooopid lie. Which you cannot defend.

        “And, up until about a year ago, Session was a long serving Congressman. Does anyone think that he suddenly had an epiphany and decided to work against the interests of the establishment?”

        One, he was a Senator.

        Two, he was…and STILL IS…T-rump’s choice for AG. How absolutely AWFUL do you think T-rump really is as a manager?

        Three, how STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooopid do you think Mr. Establishment is NOW?

        Jeebus…

    If so, then why was Trump upset when Sessions recused himself from the Russia Investigation? Do you really think that Trump wanted Rosenstein, a Sessions appointee, to name Mueller to investigate him and his family? Do you really think that Trump would be publicly discussing replacing Sessions, if Sessions was doing Trump’s bidding?

    How are things on the other side of the looking glass?

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | September 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      Setting aside your list of really stupid questions…

      do YOU believe Sessions would remain in office for a minute if T-rump didn’t want him there?

      What support have you for the implicit statement that T-rump wants anything other than what’s happening?

When the lawmen break the law, then there is no law, only a struggle for survival….

One of the problems from the Obama years is that so much had to be done through civil lawsuit discovery (because criminal charges wouldn’t be brought). In fact, many of the actions were deliberately classed as not criminal by Holder and Lynch.

What this means is that bringing criminal charges will require rebutting the claim by defendants that “the only reason I answered questions in the civil actions was because the government said it wasn’t criminal; if they hadn’t I would have taken the Fifth. That means that my testimony and any evidence found because of it must be excluded.” And all of that takes more time. It also means that there may not be enough “unimmunized” evidence left. If there’s anything Democrats are competent at, perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering are at the top of the list.

Meanwhile, the DOJ can’t officially comment, and certainly no leakers are leaking anything that makes Sessions and Trump look any better; if they did, the MSM (including Fox, now) wouldn’t publish it.

What we have is the classic Batman scenario: the criminal justice system is hopelessly compromised, so if you want justice, you have to supply your own.

    Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | September 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

    You (typically) don’t know what you’re talking about.

    A deponent in civil litigation can take the 5th any time it’s appropriate. Same with all discovery instruments.

      Apparently (typically) you cannot read.

      Reading is fundamental. Can illiterate attorneys be reported to the bar?

      “What this means is that bringing criminal charges will require rebutting the claim by defendants that “the only reason I answered questions in the civil actions was because the government said it wasn’t criminal; if they hadn’t I would have taken the Fifth.

      They could have taken the Fifth IF THEY HADN’T RELIED ON GOVERNMENT SAYING NOT CRIMINAL.

        Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | September 9, 2017 at 9:18 pm

        No, stupids. That’s NOT how it works. It would NEVER matter what “the government” (and who the FLUCK are you talking about, and WHEN the FLUCK was that ever said?) told anyone.

        When you have competent counsel who you have told things to, they instruct you not to answer discovery questions that could raise criminal conduct issues.

        IF they DO answer such questions, they are generally held to have waived the 5th privilege, and everything they said can be introduced as evidence against them.

        I love it when you guys accuse ME of not knowing what I’m talking about. When did you conduct discovery of a party opponent who invoked the Fifth? When did you go before a judge to argue that the invocation was bogus and the party opponent should be compelled to answer, with supporting citations of law?

        LOL.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to SDN. | September 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Bravo!

    This isn’t a simple matter.

    Only simpletons think it is.

Not a whisper about confronting sanctuary cities either from Eric Sessions, Jeff Holder, whatever his name is. And now we have the sanctuary state of Illinois. We’ll have to wait for Jeff’s book after they are all throw out on favor of other one worlders in 2020. And Ted Cruz thinks Jeff is the paragon of animals too. This whole thing may as well have been written by Ionesco.

    Ragspierre in reply to jack burns. | September 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Confronting sanctuary cities with WHAT, exactly?

    What do you imagine Sessions should be doing? Or are you just gassing, as usual?

    Since Sessions IS the T-rumpian AG, who is calling the shots here?

      jack burns in reply to Ragspierre. | September 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Oh I don’t know Ignatius, maybe confronting them over the legality of their claim of being immune from Federal immigration law. But that may be a topic that would upset Beauregard’s sense of gentility and decorum, as well as pissing off his pals in the cheap labor lobby. Has Ted Cruz, the great legal mind weighed in on sanctuary cities?

        Hey Jack, yes, Cruz has long been speaking out against and introducing legislation to curb sanctuary city policy. For example, in 2015, Cruz introduced a bill to end sanctuary cities: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2471 You’ve heard of Kate’s Law, right?

        Interestingly, Cruz also urged the GOP to attach a sanctuary cities defunding amendment to a must-pass budget proposal in 2016. It got shot down, of course.

        Cruz has long been a staunch opponent of sanctuary cities, and it’s not hard to Google it. Trump, on the other hand, has long espoused his support for illegals. LONG espoused. Not only did he call Romney “mean-spirited” regarding “self deportation,” but he’s been a heavy employer of illegals, claiming that Americans don’t want to work as wait staff at his resorts. That’s patently insane, but that’s what he said. Google it.

          As an addendum, Trump will sign, in a New York minute, any bill that legalizes the DREAM executive action. He said as much when he passed it back to Congress. His objection is that it’s not legal/Constitutional as currently enacted; his objection is not that illegal “DREAMers” shouldn’t be granted amnesty.

          jack burns in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | September 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm

          Rand Paul is another “staunch opponent” of everything and effective implementer of nothing. Posturring is supplanting action these days because its the closest we can come to it. If I knock Cruz, it doesn’t mean that I am praising Trump by the way. They are all climbing all over each other to find ways to signal the new demographic that they are on their side. I happened to live in NC in 2005 when waves of hispanics showed up seemingly out of thin air. They were brought there courtesy of every single contractor of whatever type in the greater Raleigh-Durham-Cary area. Maybe in 5 years they will from the Constitution out for viewing in parades the way some cultures do with holy relics. I think we’re toast.

          I hear you, Jack, but we’re talking about individual Senators here. What power do you imagine they have on their own? And as lowbies on the totem pole of power within the Senate?

          The freaking President of these United States can’t get anything through Congress, what is one lowly Senator supposed to do?

          Seriously, this is a bit nuts. A Senator is just one Senator in a body designed by our Founders to hold up significant change. A Senator is not the Supreme Leader Dictator King of the nation. You get that, right?

        jack burns in reply to jack burns. | September 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        Not saying its all Cruz’s fault, or Paul’s or whoever’s, but inherent in the word ‘politician’ is the ability or at least desire to form alliances to achieve goals. I can’t read their minds or look into their souls, but it doesn’t take a hardened cynic to interpret the systemic inertia as no real motivation to change what they’ve been doing since nobody is calling them on it. That and they are reading the winds to see if they should be learning Spanish or not.

        Ragspierre in reply to jack burns. | September 9, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        You didn’t answer the questions. You just launched another bull-shit-based attack.

        Why don’t you cite to where a city has declared itself immune from federal law.

        Right now.

        What they DO say is that they are under no requirement to do the Fed’s work for them. Which is true. It’s been extensively discussed on the LI threads. It was one major cause of the laxity in enforcing the Volstead Act. Local cops can’t be compelled to act in the stead of the Feds.

        You obviously don’t know you ass from a cypress stump respecting any part of this, including Cruz and Paul.

        Ragspierre in reply to jack burns. | September 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm

        “But that may be a topic that would upset Beauregard’s sense of gentility and decorum, as well as pissing off his pals in the cheap labor lobby.”

        You mean like Donald J. T-rump? The guy who insists on employing foreign workers on his properties, declaiming that “Americans don’t want these jobs”?

        You’re such a groaning hypocrite.

        Milhouse in reply to jack burns. | September 9, 2017 at 11:11 pm

        maybe confronting them over the legality of their claim of being immune from Federal immigration law.

        No state or city has made any such claim.

        Sanctuary states and cities are in full compliance with all relevant federal laws. None of them violate the law, and none of them stand in the way of federal agents who enforce the law. What they refuse to do is enforce it themselves, or cooperate with federal law enforcement, or allow any of their subordinates to do so. Which is their absolute right under the US constitution.

        Sessions is confronting them in the only way open to him — he is trying to persuade them to cooperate with ICE enforcement by cutting some of the federal funding they receive. He’s strictly limited by the constitution here; it is illegal to cut funds not directly related to the subject on which he wants their cooperation, and it’s illegal to make cuts so great that they cross the line between pressure and coercion. So the cuts he’s ordered are from a program specifically designed to encourage federal-state coordination in law enforcement, and they’re small enough that the states can afford to turn them down and continue their principled stand. But they’re suing anyway, because such cuts must come from Congress, not the AG, and even Congress must unambiguously attach the condition to the funding.

          jack burns in reply to Milhouse. | September 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

          Sounds weak and impotent, more legalisms to house the fact that sanctuary cities are passively assisting illegals in their effort to evade the law. and that poor Beauregard is doing all that he can within the bounds of the Sacred Constitution and the courts will shoot down his efforts and nothing will happen. Immigration laws will be ignored.

          “ICE issues detainers to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to provide notice of its intent to assume custody of a removable alien. A detainer requests that the law enforcement agency notify ICE, ideally within at least 48 hours, before a removable alien is released from local custody so that ICE can assume custody.

          “When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said.”

          That’s great news if you want the country to stay perpetually Democratic

          It was said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, I’m pretty sure that the original statement was the law, not patriotism.

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | September 10, 2017 at 10:32 pm

          Go to the Lobster Box, and rent “Man For All Seasons”.

          You’ll need to watch it several times, but take notes. M-A-Y-B-E you can get it on an uncluttered weekend.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | September 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm

          The really pathetic thing about burns’s argument is that the distinction between an illegal immigrant and a legal one is itself a mere legalism. There is no substantive difference between them; only that one has the grace of an arbitrary legislature and the other doesn’t. Even the distinction between an illegal immigrant and a citizen is merely the legalism that they were born on different sides of an imaginary and arbitrary line; if that’s not a “mere legalism” then the term means nothing. And yet burns puts these legalisms ahead of the states’ fundamental constitutional right to refuse the federal government their services.

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