This Is A Very Lawyerly Discussion!

The latest culture war explosion involves the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, a doctor, who has these disgraceful photos in his medical school yearbook. So, what standard or standards do we apply? What’s the remedy? What are the decisive factors for analysis? Is the year – 1984 – dispositive? Either due to the many years between then and now, or the fact that it was that recent? What about ‘whataboutism’ where we compare this to other misdeeds (Governor Mark Sanford walking the Appalachian Trail comes to mind) where no bad consequences resulted? Should he resign? Why? Should he stay and use his past to teach? What, if any, negative consequences should result here? We know politics will dictate the arguments, but how about #OneStandardAppliedToAllEvenhandedly? What is the standard? Mercy? Understanding? Punishment? What is the statute of limitations? Do subsequent good acts excuse the old bad acts?