Friday, January 3, 2020

Some Late 2019 Commentary: Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Indicting Trump, Cuomo's Court

To begin the New Year, here are a few appearances late last year on radio, TV, and podcast, commenting on a variety of constitutional and judicial matters of national and state interest.

In the coming posts, we'll tend to some other overdue matters.
Meanwhile, wishing all a very happy, healthy 2020!

December30, 2019: Cuomo’s reshaping of the Court of Appeals
In his nine years in the Governor’s Office, Andrew Cuomo has reshaped the state’s highest court. Vin Bonventre, Justice Robert H. Jackson Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School and Editor of the New York Court Watcher blog, shared his insights on the changing dynamic at the Court of Appeals.
As the impeachment hearings continue in Washington, New York has been at the center of President Donald Trump’s legal woes. From Federal cases concerning his family charity to investigations of business dealings with banks by State Attorney General Leticia James, the majority of his legal battles are being fought hundreds of miles from Washington—in the Empire State.
On this episode of New York Now, host Ray Suarez sits down with two Constitutional law scholars—Paul Finkelman of Gratz College and Vincent Bonventre of Albany Law School—to discuss what the future may hold for the president’s legal troubles, and what role New York state might play in that future.
New York State Bar Assn Podcast: Miranda Warnings
Albany Law Professor Vincent Bonventre returns to discuss the judicial records of Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and the tribal voting nature of the current Supreme Court.
Professor Bonventre then gives us a primer on what types of cases he expects the Supreme Court to hear this Fall, including some hot button issues like abortion, gerrymandering, the death penalty, and immigration.
Make sure you stay tuned to the end as Professor Bonventre continues his tradition of singing a few lines from one of his favorite crooners, Bobby Vinton.
Miranda Warnings is hosted by NYSBA's 118th President David Miranda
By Nick Reisman 
President Donald Trump has kept his tax returns private, breaking with tradition that candidates for president release them. But now, a subpoena to an accounting firm with the taxes could lead to them being released to New York prosecutors.
Albany Law Professor Vin Bonventre says the question over whether the president can be prosecuted in a criminal case is unclear.    
"Anybody tells you they're certain one way or the other is just speaking nonsense. There isn't anything in the constitution that suggests one way or other the president can be prosecuted or can't be prosecuted while in office," Bonventre said.
In similar cases, like when the court forced President Nixon to turn over recorded conversations in the Oval Office, those help provide a guide.  
"Can we really allow all 50 states to be interfering with the president doing his duties? That may be too much," Bonventre said.
Governor Cuomo this month suggested President Trump changed his residency from New York to Florida to avoid having his taxes released.  
"My hypothesis is Mr. Trump changed his residence for legal purposes," Cuomo said.  
But Bonventre says that's unlikely.  
"That shouldn't have anything to do with it. If one person commits a crime in one state and then goes to another state, that doesn't immunize them from prosecution," Bonventre said.
The president's legal team has said he is immune from prosecution while he is in office.