Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Oren lies? Shock!
In a fairly unsurprising development, the Daily Cal publishes an opinion piece from Oren Gabriel that is filled with half-truths, wild speculation, and outright lies. I believe that the Daily Cal has a responsibility to check the factual assertions of the piece before publishing it, but apparently the Daily Cal does not.
In the past seven years, the Judicial Council has tried to disqualify the winning candidates in the ASUC executive elections three times. On all three occasions, the involved candidates have gone to court and the Judicial Council has been forced to admit they were wrong in each case.Lie 1: The Judicial Council admitted they were wrong in these three cases. This is not true. In the first case, the election of 2001, the Judicial Council was severely compromised. Pressure was put on a justice to change a vote, and Student Action had a mole on the council reporting the supposedly secret deliberations to them.
In the second case, the election of 2004, the Judicial Council never even considered the idea that it was wrong. The bylaws were written in a way that, as a result of DAAP's actions, they had not choice but to disqualify DAAP. The situation was resolved by the president issuing an executive order to change the bylaws so that the Judicial Council didn't have to disqualify DAAP.
In the middle of the summer, well after the election results had been tabulated and released, and well after most students had left campus, four of the nine members of the Judicial Council decided to illegally rehear an appeal of a previously resolved elections case.Lie 2: Ratto v. Vakil was a rehearing of an appeal. It was not. It was a separate case.
Lie 3: Ratto v. Vakil was an illegal hearing. There is no indication that the hearing itself was illegal, either. The Judicial Council ruled that the hearing was legal, and that the finding of contempt for Suken Vakil was valid. That finding was upheld in the appeal.
Lie 4: There were nine members of the Judicial Council. There were seven, at the time.
In an unprecedented opinion, one that violated the ASUC Constitution, Bylaws, Judicial Council rules and the spirit of democracy, these few members of the council decided to disqualify the winning candidates on the basis of campaigning infractions stemming from the already-resolved case.Lie 5: The Ratto v. Vakil ruling violated the bylaws and the JRPs. The Judicial Council found that Ratto v. Vakil was in keeping with the bylaws and the JRPs, but that the spirit of the Constitutional requirement against double jeopardy prevented the Council from punishing Student Action in the way required by the bylaws and the JRPs. That is, the Judicial Council violated the Constitution because it followed the bylaws and JRPs.
The outside counsel that was hired over the summer proved instrumental in convincing the Judicial Council to accept our appeal and clearly articulated the multiple reasons why the Judicial Council decision was both procedurally and substantively incorrect.Rampant Speculation 1: Hiring the lawyers convinced the Judicial Council to accept the appeal. Unless Oren has a mole on the Judicial Council illegally informing him of its deliberations, he has no way of knowing this to be true. It's worth noting that the appeal was accepted weeks before charges were filed in county court.
Probable Lie: Hiring the lawyers articulated the reasons why the Judicial Council was wrong to the Judicial Council. If this occurred, it did not occur in public. According to Oren and Vishal in the appeal hearing, the brief submitted by the appellants in the appeal for Ratto v. Vakil was written in part by Oren's lawyers. This brief was rejected. Every argument brought up in the brief was individually rejected by the decision. I can provide the decision and the appellant brief to let you cross-check, if you want. The Judicial Council ruled in favor of the appellants on double jeopardy, which was not raised in the brief.
The reason I've called this only a "probable" lie is because it's conceivably possible that Oren's lawyers had discussions with the Judicial Council privately that articulated this reason. However, if the Judicial Council is subject to such pressures, then it says something very sad about the state of the Judicial Council, that it will accept and consider arguments from the litigants outside of the hearing, meaning that the equality that we are supposed to have in front of it is not present.
Fortunately, after multiple attorneys had made it clear that the decision was illogical, illegal, and just plain wrong, the Judicial Council realized that it had to reinstate our slate.Rampant Speculation 2: The lawyers convinced the Judicial Council that it needed to overturn its ruling. As with the previous rampant speculation, this is not something Oren would know unless he had a mole.
While the money used to fund this bill will not take money from the budget of any student group, publication, or activity, it is sad that the money appropriated by this bill has to be spent in the manner proscribed.Obfuscation: Paying money won't hurt student groups, etc. The Legal Defense Fund is a fund that the ASUC puts money into every year until it reaches a certain size, at which point the money can be used for other purposes, including on student groups. Any time money is drawn from the Legal Defense Fund, it has the impact of making less money available in the future for student groups and the like, as more time and money must be spent to get the fund up to the required size.
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