Problem: Lies, deceit, and dirty tricks have become an all too frequent part of our process for electing the president of the United States.
Significance: The election of our president is far too imortant for us to tolerate these tactics.
Proposed Solution: Alter the election process in the following way:
1. Establish "Presidential Elections Court (PEC)" made up of:
A. A judiciary consisting of all nine members of the Supreme Court.(Only three would be needed to hear a complaint-the Chief Justice and one Justice chosen by each party to the dispute.) B. The candidates and principal members of their campaigns.
2. All members of the PEC would be sworn in as an "officer of the court" and would be responsible for upholding the election laws and any administrative rules created by the court.
3. A three member panel (Ch. Justice plus 1 Justice chosen by each side) would be convened to hear complaints, make dicisions, and set sanctions when appropriate.
Example: If one candidate accuses another of lying about his or her record he or she could file a compliant with the court. The court would decide if the accusation were serious enough to convene a hearing and, if so, each side would present their arguments. If the complaint were upheld the court could impose sanctions. Sanctions might include loss of some or all of a candidate's federal campaign matching funds, requirements to make a public statement to set the record straight, or in an extreme case postponement of an election to give the offended candidate time to overcome the damage done by the offense. Serious offenses might result in campaign officials being barred from participation in the election.
By putting candidates and thier campaign officials under oath to uphold election laws and rules of ethics the American people get the same assurance of fairness that applies to even the lowest courts in the land. Not too much to ask.
Comments are welcomed... I am sure some of you lawyers and legal scholars can improve on this or maybe tell me where I have violated some constitutional right to deceive.