Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

Happy Fourth of July to everyone on our blog. The Turleys will hold our annual Fourth of July celebration with fireworks tonight with a cookout, pies, and of course fireworks. However, this year I am also going to watch my Chicago Cubs play the Nationals as the guest of a friend. I will then return to watch them again on Sunday with one of my sons and a very generous friend and his son. (Yes I am completely scarfing off friends).
(more…)

Read Full Post »

220px-Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_StatesWe have long discussed the erosion of civil liberties in the United States, including the attacks on privacy and other rights by the Obama Administration. It appears that we are not alone in those concerns. A new Gallup poll shows a record drop in the satisfaction of Americans over their freedoms. The massive drop is matched in such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, and Venezuela.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

article-2678407-1F5783BE00000578-929_634x341Pamela Konchinsky, 56, was headed to work on June 17th in her silver 2004 Toyota minivan when she was pulled over by two police cars — one with its lights going. The officers spotted a joke bumper sticker on the minivan window reading “Unmarked police car” and were not amused. The officers made Konchinsky pull off the bumper sticker. The Indianapolis police department is now being sued for good reason for the abusive stop and treatment. The ACLU has filed the case.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

185px-CA_-_Simi_Valley_Policevideo cameraThere is a controversy in Simi Valley, California where a police officer refused to take the statement on a car accident of a man who wanted to videotape their conversation. While the officer in the video below acknowledges the right of the citizen to videotape, Simi Valley police officer Corey Baker states that he is not going to allow the man to effectively portray him as causing some violation by filming him. While the officer cannot refuse to take a statement on this basis, the man in the video (identified as Jeff Knapp) struck me as highly rude in his encounter with both the other driver and the officer.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

1024px-Eustache_Le_Sueur_003There is an interesting complaint that has been filed against a church in New Zealand that touches on an issue that we previously discussed. In the United States, it is common for religious figures to claim to faith heal and recently we have seen some religious business suggest that they have divinely inspired products or services to sell. We have discussed whether such pitches constitute false advertising. Now the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is the subject of a formal complaint for advertising a prayer session to heal health problems including “incurable diseases.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Supreme CourtBelow is my column today in the Los Angeles Times on a little discussed case that presents a far greater threat to Obamacare than did Hobby Lobby. The Hobby Lobby case is a huge blow for the Administration in terms of one of the most prominent provisions of the Act and recognizing religious rights for corporations. However, it is more of a fender bender for the ACA. Halbig could be a train wreck of a case if it goes against the Administration. We are expecting a ruling any day and the panel is interesting: Judges Harry T. Edwards (a Carter appointee), Thomas B. Griffith (a George W. Bush appointee), and A. Raymond Randolph (a George H.W. Bush appointee). In oral argument, Edwards was reportedly highly supportive of the Administration’s argument while Randolph was very skeptical. That leaves Griffith. It could go 2-1 either way, though in my view the interpretive edge goes to the challengers for the reasons discussed below. This case however is largely a statutory interpretation case, though it has the same separation of powers allegations of executive overreach that we have seen in other recent cases.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Supreme Court300px-HobbyLobbyStowOhioThe Supreme Court finished its term with its usual dramatic flair with the release of the long-waited decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores (which is consolidated with Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius). The two cases represent a classic split in the circuits with the Tenth Circuit agreeing with Hobby Lobby as to the religious claims of the company while the Third Circuit ruled against such claims by Conestoga Wood Specialities Corp. The Court ruled that the Hobby Lobby does have religious rights, but limited the decision to closely-held corporations. Where Citizen’s United recognized that corporations have free speech rights like individuals, Hobby Lobby would do the same thing for religious rights. I will be running a column in the Los Angeles Times in the morning not just addressing this ruling but, once again, highlighting what I consider a far more important case that will be decided just a couple blocks away in the D.C. Circuit — Halbig v. Sebelius. I will be discussing the decisions today at CNN starting at 10 am and continuing to the discussion at 1 pm with Wolf Blitzer.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Supreme Court225px-010_alitoToday’s ruling in Hobby Lobby is the type of decision that tends to suck the oxygen out of the room. For that reason, the important decision in Harris v. Quinn could be overlooked. At issue in the case is the viability of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education— the 1977 opinion held that the government could constitutionally condition a person’s employment in the public sector on the paying fees to a union. As I mentioned on CNN last night, this is a major decision that is being pushed from the coverage but deserves more attention. As anticipated, Justice Alito wrote the decision and ruled against the union.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

3branchesBelow is my column in the Sunday Washington Post on separation of powers — authored with United States Senator Ron Johnson (R, Wis.). As the piece states, Johnson and I come from sharply different political perspectives, though the most surprising aspect of this collaboration is that he is a Packers fan and I am a Bears fan. We decided to write a piece together to try to seek a nonpartisan response to the rapidly expanding executive power in our system — and the corresponding decline of legislative power. We have been discussing this worrisome shift within our system and the lack of any collective institutional identity, let alone action, from members. We thought, if we could show the common ground in these concerns, it might encourage other members to reach across the aisle in the interests of their institution.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Guy

abuAhmed Abu Khatallah’s boat docked yesterday and the reputed Benghazi attacks mastermind was met with a contingent of U.S. Marshals, Navy security and a phalanx of Justice Department types all eager to hear his gilded version of events and to usher him to a US federal courtroom near the White House where the processes of the US justice system could start slowly grinding now in earnest. He pled not guilty for anyone interested. Before his arrival, however, a cacophony of Republican lawmakers decided to weigh in on his treatment aboard the trans-Atlantic cruise ship, the USS New York, provided by the Navy.

As many know, Abu Khatallah was captured in a clandestine operation conducted by US special ops aided by shadowy figures from both inside and out of the Libyan power structure who lured him to a villa where US forces made the arrest. Abu Khattallah, designated by the State Department as a global terrorist, was regarded as a prime suspect due to his affiliation with a group he helped to found and known as the Ansar al-Sharia. A fundamentalist militia group that rose to power after the fall of Gaddafi, it has claimed responsibility for the attack against the U.S. Embassy and American school in Tunis, leading the Tunisian government to declare it a terrorist organization. The group has been implicated in attacks against Tunisian security forces, assassinations of Tunisian political figures, and attempted suicide bombings of locations that tourists frequent. Not exactly the kind of guys you bring home to dinner.

Abu Khatallah’s capture was coup for an administration looking to change the dialog on the Benghazi attack which left four Americans dead including US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Criticized for everything from the response (or lack thereof) to the attack by US security forces as well as even the characterization of  the attack itself, the administration has been attempting to change the narrative since 2012. In his new book, Blood Feud, excerpted by the New York Post, author Edward Klein claims President Obama pressured then Sect’y of State Hillary Clinton to issue a release stating the attack was a spontaneous uprising relating to an obscure internet video criticizing Islam.  Knowing the attack coincided with the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on US soil, Clinton bristled.  According to Klein, Clinton said, “Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.” But the president was adamant. He said, ‘Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

meriam-yehya-ibrahim-apostasy-sharia-law-sudanWe have discussed the plight of Meriam Ibrahim who endured a trial and subsequent death sentence imposed in a Sudan sharia court alleging apostasy and adultery. A Christian woman, she was considered formerly to be Muslim by virtue of her father’s religion though raised by her mother in an Orthodox faith. Having married her husband, a Christian man with American citizenship, triggered the charges. Previous discussion can be read HERE and HERE.

After an international outrage over her arrest and conviction, an appeals court struck down the convictions and released her, and a child born to her while in prison.

As she was preparing to leave Sudan, Meriam again faced the authorities at an airport alleging she had false documentation allowing her departure from Sudan. Once again arrested, she has since been released and has taken refuge in the American Embassy in Khartoum. Yet it seems her ordeal will not be over.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

By Charlton Stanley, Weekend Contributor

Mark Mayfield Jackson Attorney Photo by Jackson, MS police department

Mark Mayfield
Jackson Attorney
Photo by Jackson, MS police department

As I write this, the news is still coming in, and the full story is far from being told. I will provide breaking news as I hear it, but our intrepid bloggers should consider the comments an Open Thread. If you have solid news to report, please do so, and source the information. Otherwise it is just gossip.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that conspiracy theorists are breaking out the tinfoil hats.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

module_img_1 It is with a great sense of relief and thankfulness that I can now report that all charges have been dropped against my client Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Minutes ago, United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga signed the order dismissing the indictment against Dr. Al-Arian. The case was before Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, but it was Judge Trenga who signed the order on Friday afternoon.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

module_img_1The press has reported on the motion of the Justice Department to drop all charges against my client Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Obviously, we have been seeking this result for years in this case. However, as lead counsel, I am limited in what I can say about the case before the dismissal of all charges. My office is receiving a great number of calls from the media, but I will continue to defer to the Court on the pending motion.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg300px-Dira_SquareJustice Minister Mohammed Al-Eissa gave the world a chilling lesson on the blind faith that underlies the medieval Sharia system imposed by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Al-Eissa warned that questioning the Sharia system was akin to questioning God and “Any attack on the judiciary will be considered an attack on the Kingdom’s sovereignty.” That certainly simplifies things. Most people harbor a notion that they can criticize their legal system and call for reforms but Al-Eissa pointed out that their legal system comes from God and is therefore not subject to change on its most controversial parts. “Justice” will continue to be meted out in “Chop Chop Square” (Deera Square, right) in the name of Islam.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,653 other followers