“Reasonable People Can Disagree”: Sotomayor is Latest Justice to Refute Court Packing Theory

As politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren push for packing the Court with a liberal majority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor publicly refuted accounts that the Court is hopelessly and dysfunctionally divided along political lines. The justice used an appearance on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” to tell the public that it should not misconstrue divisions on the Court because these questions are far from clear on the law and “reasonable people can disagree.” The remarks followed a joint statement by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her colleague Justice Neil Gorsuch to debunk a NPR story by Nina Totenberg and publicly acknowledge their friendship.

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No, President Biden Should Not Be Impeached For Lax Border Security

Last night, Laura Ingraham asked Sen. Tom Cotton (R, Ark.) about the options in dealing with the influx of undocumented persons over the southern border. Sen. Cotton raised the possibility of impeachment. I have had this question raised with me on a number of occasions in the last year. I believe that President Joe Biden can be legitimately blamed for his handling of the crisis at the border but I do not believe that he could be legitimately impeached for those failures.

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Study: Sixty-Five Percent of College Students Believe that They Cannot Speak Freely on Campus

We often discuss (including a controversy today) the growing intolerance for opposing views on our campuses and the rising generation of censors in our society. Students and even faculty members increasingly call for the silencing or firing of those who espouse opposing views on a range of different subjects. The speech codes and sanctions on campuses have silenced many who might voice dissenting views, as we have seen in prior polling. That has created a type of academic echo chamber in scholarship and classrooms. Now, a new study offers insights into the extent of that chilling effect for our students. The Knight Foundation released a new study showing that sixty-five (65) percent agreed that people on campus today are prevented from speaking freely. The poll is additional evidence of the failure of administrators and faculty to maintain campuses as forums for free thought and intellectual engagement.

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Terf Fight: Staffordshire Professor Under Investigation for Criticism of Housing Transgender Inmates in Women’s Prisons

We have been following the growing number of feminists denounced as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) around the world in free speech cases. These advocates have voiced opposition to transgender policies and laws that they believe “erase” or “marginalize” biological women. The latest such case is out of the United Kingdom where Staffordshire University criminologist Professor James Treadwell is under investigation for “transphobia” due to his call to keep prisons single sex for the protection of female inmates. In 2018, Karen White, a transgender inmate, sexually assaulted another inmate in a women’s prison. While Treadwell expressed his views on social media, he has been informed that he is being investigated for possible sanctions or termination.

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Baldwin’s Trump Defense: How A Defamation Lawsuit May Be Baldwin’s Greatest Parody

Turley Announces Campaign For Football Hall of Fame

It is my humble task this morning to launch my campaign to be added as a nominee for the football Hall of Fame selection in August 2022.

This may come as a bit of surprise for some of you who know me as a legal analyst, columnist, or law professor. Indeed, I have not played football since grade school as a linebacker.  However, I learned today that football legend Dick Butkus was finally able to receive a “blue check” from Twitter verifying that he was indeed Dick Butkus. I have been turned down five times by Twitter. To the humiliation of my family and friends, I remain thoroughly and shamefully unverified. While Twitter has refused to respond to inquiries on why I cannot be verified, it now appears that you only have to make it into the Hall of Fame, which is clearly an easier path to verification. Hence, I am asking for a nomination as an offensive line counsel (OLC) in the 2022 Hall of Fame selections.

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A Question of Willfulness: The Trial of “Other” Officers in the Floyd Case Is No Slam Dunk

Below is my column in USA Today  on the trial of the three former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. The federal trial court seated the jury last week. There is still a preliminary hearing scheduled on some evidence, but that hearing may be opened to the media after recent filings by the parties. The case is no slam dunk. Indeed, the jury may find the inclusion of one officer (Lane) particularly jarring given his attempted intervention with the absent fourth officer, Derek Chauvin.

Here is the column:

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“She Can Write Any #$@!% Thing She Wants”: Totenberg Slams NPR’s Own Ombudsman Over Debunked Gorsuch Story

Nina Totenberg slammed Kelly McBride, the ombudsman for National Public Radio (NPR), for concluding that she should rewrite her story accusing Neil Gorsuch of refusing to wear a mask to protect his colleague, Sonia Sotomayor. McBride did not suggest a correction but merely a “clarification.” Totenberg responded to The Daily Beast and declared that McBride “can write any goddamn thing she wants, whether or not I think it’s true.” Now, days after rare public denials by all three referenced justices, many in the media who denounced Gorsuch have followed suit. They also refuse to clarify or address their own attacks on the justice in light of the denials from the Court. Notably, Gorsuch was the subject of another false story connected to the same oral argument. Many also did not correct that reporting. (For full disclosure, I testified before the Senate in support of Gorsuch’s confirmation).

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The Other “Big Lie”: Democrats Fuel Doubts Over the Legitimacy of the Coming Elections

Below is my column in The Hill on the increasing claims by Democrats that there is a “plot” to “steal” the 2024 election. President Joe Biden has returned to that claim in his last three major public appearances. In his press conference, President Biden referred to how Republicans want to “change the outcome of the election” and that the next election in 2024 could “easily be made illegitimate.” He added that “the increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.” If that sounds familiar, it is because it what the Democrats accused Trump of doing before the 2020 election.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Other “Big Lie”: Democrats Fuel Doubts Over the Legitimacy of the Coming Elections”

The Voting Rights Act and the Real Impact of the Supreme Court’s Shelby Decision

The sometimes heated debate in the Senate this week repeated what is now a major taking point for President Joe Biden and others in favor of curtailing the filibuster. As repeated last night by President Biden, democrats are arguing that blocking the vote on the federalization of elections is not just threatening democracy but hypocritical by Republicans. On Fox News, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated the same point. The issue was also raised in the tense exchange between Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) over her prior vote in favor of the Voting Rights Act. The argument is that these members are hypocrites for previously voting in favor of that bill while supporting the filibuster now. It is time for a reality check. The argument is based on erroneous claims about the underlying bills and the prior rulings of the Supreme Court.

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Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Effort to Block Access of Congress to Records

As some of us predicted earlier, the Supreme Court rejected the executive privilege claims of former President Donald Trump in his effort to block the release of his administration’s records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol. The decision was, in my view, the correct one and garnered a near unanimous vote from the Court. Despite the steady attack on the Court as partisan and hopelessly divided, the Court once again spoke through its decisions. As in prior decisions, the three Trump appointees voted against his arguments in support the right of Congress to gain access to the records.

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“It is False”: Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch Disclaim NPR Mask Story

Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor issued a rare joint public statement Wednesday to disclaim the bombshell NPR report by Legal Affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg on the unpopularity of Gorsuch among his colleagues and his alleged refusal to wear a mask despite a threat to the health of Sotomayor. The justices stated that Totenberg’s account on the mask controversy was false. It is unclear what sources Totenberg relied upon for the report, which went viral on liberal media sites. (For full disclosure, I testified before the Senate in support of Gorsuch’s confirmation). Continue reading ““It is False”: Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch Disclaim NPR Mask Story”

Second Circuit Refutes Allegations Involving Law Clerk in Mediaite, Above the Law, and Other Publications

On October 5, 2021, the site Above the Law ran a story by Senior editor about what she described as a vehemently racist law student who was given a prestigious clerkship by William H. Pryor Jr., chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Above the Law has a long history of attacking conservatives, free speech advocates, and others deemed right of center. This story (which appeared earlier on sites like Mediaite) was perfect from that perspective and lit up the liberal media. That included a column by Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus asking “Why is a prominent federal judge hiring a law clerk who said she hates Black people?” The problem is that the Second Circuit found little evidence that it is true. The question is whether the accused student, Crystal Clanton, will now sue ATL, Mediaite, and other media outlets for defamation.

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Teaching Censorship: National Education Association Called On Social Media Companies to Silence its Critics

A letter has surfaced from the National Education Association (NEA) that raises disturbing questions over the organization pushing social media companies to censor critics. The advocacy of the three-million-member organization for censorship is a chilling position for any group representing educators. It seems that nothing says “excellence in public education” like private censorship. Continue reading “Teaching Censorship: National Education Association Called On Social Media Companies to Silence its Critics”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks