October 10, 2008

Report: Palin violated public trust

Otherwise known as abuse of power:
The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust. — Alaska Statutes § 39.52.110(a)
Note to "strict constructionists": any effort.
The Court never convincingly explains its departure from the natural meaning of [the statute]. Instead, it institutes the troubling rule that “any” does not really mean “any,” but may mean “some subset of ‘any,’” even if nothing in the context so indicates; it distorts the established canons against extraterritoriality and absurdity; it faults without reason Congress’ use of foreign convictions to gauge dangerousness and culpability; and it employs discredited methods of determining congressional intent. Small v. United States, 544 U.S. 385, 406 (2005) (Thomas, J., dissenting).
Shorter Thomas (and Scalia): Any means any.

Report to the Legislative Council (.pdf; 263 pgs.)

The factual and legal support for the finding that AK Gov. Sarah Palin abused the power of her office can be found on pages 48 through 68.

Some of the early reporting on this is poor. For example:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) — An Alaska ethics inquiry found that Gov. Sarah Palin, the U.S. Republican vice presidential candidate, abused the power of her office by dismissing the state's public safety commissioner, a report released on Friday said.
That's incorrect. The firing of the public safety commissioner was within her power, and that firing was not among the "any effort[s]" referenced in the AK statute Palin was found to have violated.

No comments: