Criminal Law

The Score: Public Opinion, Denver Riggleman, Double Jeopardy, Trade Tariffs, Tax Migrants

This week on The Score – A post-debate interview with candidate Denver Riggleman. Political scientist Stephen Farnsworth analyzes opinion surveys. Trade policy analyst Colin Grabow talks tariffs. Lawyer Elliott Harding scrutinizes double jeopardy. Economist Chris Edwards explores tax migration.

Fifth District Forum

This past Thursday night, September 20, at Madison County High School, two candidates for Congress debated in front of an audience of more than 400 people from throughout the sprawling district. (Geographically, Madison County may be dead center in the New Jersey-sized constituency.)

After the debate, I had an exclusive interview with Fifth District Republican nominee Denver Riggleman. I asked him about reclaiming the Article I authority of Congress, the direction of U.S. policy toward Africa, how he’ll win the votes of Senate candidate Matt Waters’ supporters, and whether he’ll be carried past the finish line on the shoulders of Bigfoot.

I should point out that I offered to interview Democratic nominee Leslie Cockburn immediately after the debate, but she demurred. Cockburn has the same open invitation to appear on The Score that has been extended to all congressional candidates this year.

Virginia Opinions

The moderator of Thursday evening’s Cockburn/Riggleman debate was political scientist Stephen J. Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington. As it happens, I met with Dr. Farnsworth at his office in Fredericksburg on Wednesday, where we talked about politics in 2018 (e.g., Tim Kaine vs. Corey Stewart, Corey Stewart vs. himself, etc.), with a specific emphasis on some recent public opinion surveys put into the field by the University of Mary Washington.

Farnsworth is the author of Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump (2018), which we discuss in the second part of our interview, as well as Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves (2008) and Political Support in a Frustrated America (2003). With co-author Robert S. Lichter, he has written The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008 (2010), The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance (2005), and The Global President: International Media and the US Government (2013, also with Roland Schatz).

Trade Policy

Early this week, the Trump administration announced new tariffs and trade barriers on Chinese goods imported by American consumers, sparking immediate retaliatory measures by China. I asked policy analyst Colin Grabow of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies about these taxes and their effects on our economy. We also talked about NAFTA, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

What Is Double Jeopardy?

Late last week Charlottesville attorney Elliott Harding, a former legal counsel to Fifth District Congressman Tom Garrett, met with me to talk about a case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court this term. With John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, a public-interest law firm in Albemarle County that focuses on civil liberties issues, Harding co-wrote a friend of the court brief on the topic of double jeopardy in Gamble v. United States.

As explained by one of the other amici curiae:

Terance Gamble was convicted of second-degree robbery in Alabama in 2008. That’s a felony, so he was barred from possessing a firearm under both federal and state law. Seven years later, Gamble was pulled over for a broken taillight. Smelling marijuana, the police officer searched the car and found, among other things, a 9mm handgun. Alabama prosecuted Gamble under its “felon-in-possession” statute and he was ultimately sentenced to a year in prison. Concurrent with the state’s prosecution, however, the U.S. attorney charged Gamble with the same offense under federal law. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison and will be released early in 2020, nearly three years after he would have been released from state prison. At both the trial and appellate level, Gamble argued that the federal prosecution violated his Fifth Amendment right against being placed twice in jeopardy for the same crime. But given the “dual sovereignty” exception to that Double Jeopardy Clause, which the Supreme Court created 60 years ago—the idea that federal and state prosecutions have to be counted separately—the courts had to ignore that objection.

In addition to the Rutherford Institute, other friends of the court in Gamble v. United States are Utah Senator Orrin HatchNational Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; (jointly) Constitutional Accountability Center, Cato Institute, American Civil Liberites [sic] Union, and American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama; Howard University School of Law Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Centertwo groups of law professors; and a group of criminal defense experts.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about Elliott Harding: He was the winner for “best brief” in the 2013-2014 John W. Davis Moot Court Competition. The competition’s namesake, John W. Davis, besides being a losing presidential candidate, was also the losing attorney in another famous U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Remember that information and you might win a drink at a pub trivia night.

Tax Refugees

Different states have different tax systems, and Chris Edwards has been studying the effects those systems have on the way people and businesses move from state to state. Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at the Washington-based Cato Institute and editor of He is co-author, with Dan Mitchell, of Global Tax Revolution: The Rise of Tax Competition and the Battle to Defend It (2008).

From the Archives

For our “From the Archives” segment this week, I found a 2014 interview with Dr. Stephen Farnsworth from that year’s Virginia Festival of the Book. Here’s an excerpt, about two minutes from a longer, 8-minute interview, about The Global President: International Media and the US Government

Next week’s guests on The Score will include Charlottesville science writer/civil rights reporter Jackson Landers and Corey DeAngelis, an education policy analyst from the Cato Institute. Be sure to listen again for more news, reviews, and interviews, and tell your friends where to find us.