First dude, lawbreaker

A subpoena is not an invitation. It’s a legally-binding order.

A valid subpoena from a legislature, just like a valid subpoena from a court, is not an invitation. It’s a legally binding order. Ignoring that order is a crime: contempt. Todd Palin is committing a crime, and the McCain campaign is encouraging him to do so.

I think we’ve had about enough of contempt for the rule of law on the part of executive-branch officials, haven’t we?

Comment: I must apologize to our gentle readers for Mark’s lapse here; he’s not entirely embedded in the new reality, though he means well. A subpoena to a Democrat is what he said. A subpoena to a Republican is in no way coercive, more of an opportunity to show maverickness and unitary-executive-privilegeness (see Khan, Genghis) by ignoring it. A subpoena to a member of the Alaska Independence Party is a little fuzzier, but if he’s married to a Republican he can use their privileges. – MO’H.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: