Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is Ready for a Showdown on the Second Amendment

Below is my column in the Hill on the makings of a blockbuster case in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, the first major gun rights case before the Supreme Court in ten years.  Justices have been openly discussing a case to push back on lower courts that have been chipping away at its Second Amendment jurisprudence. They found that case with a strikingly familiar plaintiff.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Locked and Loaded: Supreme Court is Ready for a Showdown on the Second Amendment”

Did Kamala Harris Just Violate Federal Law To Boost Terry McAuliffe In Virginia?

Democratic leaders have pulled out the stops to try to help Terry McAuliffe in his struggling campaign for governor in Virginia. Figures from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams have stumped for McAuliffe  who is in a tight race with businessman Glenn Youngkin. The key for McAuliffe is black voters, and to spur turnout Vice President Kamala Harris has taped an endorsement of McAuliffe that is reportedly being played at hundreds of African American churches around the state. The problem is the “Johnson Amendment” makes such political pitches in churches a violation of federal law. Making matters worse, this knowing violation occurred just days after the filing of a complaint against White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for clearly violating the Hatch Act in using the White House press room to support McAuliffe. Continue reading “Did Kamala Harris Just Violate Federal Law To Boost Terry McAuliffe In Virginia?”

Biden Calls for the Prosecution of Anyone Refusing Subpoenas in the Jan. 6th Riot Investigation

We recently discussed the troubling declaration of guilt made by President Joe Biden at the start of the investigation into border agents allegedly whipping or “strapping” undocumented Haitians trying to enter the country. The statement shattered the integrity of the investigation as well as the reputation of the federal agents. Now, President Biden has called for the Select Committee looking into the Jan. 6th riot to hold those who refuse subpoenas in contempt and for his Department of Justice to prosecute them. Continue reading “Biden Calls for the Prosecution of Anyone Refusing Subpoenas in the Jan. 6th Riot Investigation”

Defamation by Punctuation: Missing Apostrophe Leads to Liability in Australian Case

On this National Dictionary Day, a defamation case should remind everyone not to forget their proper punctuation with their proper spelling (particularly those of us who are recidivists). In Australia, a court found that a real estate agent committed defamation due to the lack of an apostrophe. Continue reading “Defamation by Punctuation: Missing Apostrophe Leads to Liability in Australian Case”

Psaki Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Hatch Act Violation

During the Trump Administration, we discussed a series of Hatch Act violations by officials and the response of the White House Chief of Staff that “nobody really cares.” It is certainly true that the Hatch Act represents little more than a speed bump in governmental ethics as was evident this week when White House press secretary Jen Psaki was hit by a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). To the credit of CREW, the group is showing the same vigor in defending ethics in this Administration. However, these cases highlight the toothless quality of the Act. Continue reading “Psaki Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Hatch Act Violation”

Achieving Equity through Mediocrity: Why Elimination of Gifted Programs Should Worry Us all

Below is my column in the Hill on the elimination of the gifted programs, proficiency requirements, and other performance-based elements in our public school system. This was highlighted recently by the elimination of the gifted and talented programs in New York City under Mayor Bill de Blasio, which were denounced as racist. I have long been critical of this trend which focuses on reducing disparities in performance by trimming the top rather than raising the bottom of a student body.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Achieving Equity through Mediocrity: Why Elimination of Gifted Programs Should Worry Us all”

“Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers

We have been discussing the implications of the rising advocacy journalism movement where reporters actively frame or omit facts to achieve social or political agendas. This week there is an astonishing story about the suppression of newsworthy facts by a leading journalist, Katie Couric. Notably, Couric outed herself in her new memoir by recounting how she cut out a quote from the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a 2016 interview concerning the kneelers at NFL games. What is even more troubling is that journalists like New York Times columnist David Brooks allegedly encouraged her to do so. Continue reading ““Youthful Folly”: Katie Couric Under Fire For Deleting Ginsburg Quotes Against NFL Kneelers”

Is it Time for a Special Counsel on the Hunter Biden Scandal?

“Come on H this is linked to Celtic’s account.” Those nine words from a retired Secret Service agent to Hunter Biden in recently released emails may prove a nasty complication for some in Washington who have struggled to contain the blowback from the still-unfolding scandal linked to Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. Continue reading “Is it Time for a Special Counsel on the Hunter Biden Scandal?”

Maryland Homeowner Kills Intruder in Latest Castle Doctrine Case

Police in Montgomery County, Maryland are investigating a new “Castle Doctrine” case after Harry Trueman Powell, 34, was shot and killed by a homeowner. Powell allegedly had been sleeping in the basement of the home for some time — a home that had its own firing range. Since there is no report that Powell was armed, the case is likely to raise Maryland’s Castle Doctrine defense. Continue reading “Maryland Homeowner Kills Intruder in Latest Castle Doctrine Case”

Go Fund Me Takes Down Fundraising Campaign for Litigation Over Vaccine Mandate

We previously discussed how GoFundMe has joined social media sites in censoring opposing viewpoints on subjects from critical race theory to vaccines to election fraud. The site once offered a neutral site for those seeking to support others with similar views or interests. The company now insists that it will only allow people to gather on the site if it believes their views are true and correct. However, it was still surprising to see the site take down a fundraising account for litigation against vaccine mandates. The effort of former nurse Jennifer Bridges was simply to get such matters before the courts, which can be the ultimate authority on what is “misinformation.” GoFundMe however blocked people from contributing to the litigation. Continue reading “Go Fund Me Takes Down Fundraising Campaign for Litigation Over Vaccine Mandate”

Morrison: Time to Give DC Residents A Vote in Congress

I recently discussed the Supreme Court’s affirmance of a decision rejecting constitutional arguments that the District of Columbia is entitled to a vote in Congress. I have repeatedly testified and written on the constitutional barriers to such a vote absent statehood. See Jonathan Turley, Too Clever By Half: The Partial Representation of the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives76 George Washington University Law Review 305-374 (2008). Given those long-standing views, I felt that the blog should hear from a leading intellectual with an opposing perspective. One of the briefs written in support of the district in the recent litigation was from constitutional scholars, including my colleague Alan B. Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean at George Washington Law School. I reached out to Professor Morrison to see if he would offer a response on the ruling and the underlying issues. I was delighted when he accepted.

For many on this blog, Professor Morrison needs little introduction. He has not only previously written on the blog, but he is one of the most respected legal figures in the country with extensive litigation and public interest experience. His views on this and every subject are worth the most serious consideration by readers. Continue reading “Morrison: Time to Give DC Residents A Vote in Congress”

Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? The Special Counsel May Not Be Done With the National Security Adviser

Last month Washington was rocked by the indictment of Michael Sussman, former counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, for his alleged role in spreading a false Russia conspiracy theory. Special counsel John Durham — who is variously described as either painfully methodical or positively glacial as a prosecutor — reportedly was prompted to indict Sussman by an expiring statute of limitations.

Absent such a deadline involving Sussman, it seems unlikely that Durham would have disclosed as much as he did in the indictment. The reason is that he is likely focusing on other possible targets and witnesses. That could include the most notable figure exposed in the Sussman indictment: Jake Sullivan. Continue reading “Is Durham Circling Jake Sullivan? The Special Counsel May Not Be Done With the National Security Adviser”

Learning To Fear Free Speech: How Politicians Are Moving To Protect Us From Our Unhealthy Reading Choices

Below is my column in the Hill on the increasing calls for censorship and speech regulation on the Internet.  The most recent push on Capitol Hill surrounds the testimony of former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen who alleges that Facebook has been knowingly harming children through promotion and access to certain sites. For some, the testimony follows a type of Trojan Horse pattern where anti-free speech measures are packaged as public safety measures.  Before embracing the proposals of these senators, the public needs to think long and hard over what is being lost in these “reforms.”

Here is the column: Continue reading “Learning To Fear Free Speech: How Politicians Are Moving To Protect Us From Our Unhealthy Reading Choices”

Judge Orders Philadelphia to Remove Plywood Box Covering Columbus Statute

Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick issued an order on Friday that Mayor Jim Kenney and the city of Philadelphia must remove the plywood box covering a statue of Christopher Columbus. The 144-year-old statue was covered up due to protests that the explorer represents racial injustice and abuse. Other Columbus statues have been destroyed, including one in Baltimore. When asked about that destruction, Speaker Nancy Pelosi shrugged and said “people will do what they do.”  For his part, Kenney has announced that his administration will appeal the ruling in an effort to keep Columbus covered from public view. Continue reading “Judge Orders Philadelphia to Remove Plywood Box Covering Columbus Statute”

China Arrests Former Journalist for Criticizing Film on Korean War

There’s an old comedy skit of a haughty art expert giving a museum tour and explaining the meaning of an abstract painting. When he finishes, a woman in front says, “I don’t like it” to which the expert responds “well you’re wrong.” The skit is funny, of course, because art is in the eye of the beholder . . . unless you are in China apparently.  This week, former journalist (and businessman) Luo Changping was arrested. Unfortunately, that is not uncommon in the authoritarian state. However, his crime was saying that he did not like “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” a $200 million film about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. In China, it is a crime to defame “political martyrs.”

This story combines two of my favorite subjects: free speech and military history. Unfortunately, neither survives unscathed.

Continue reading “China Arrests Former Journalist for Criticizing Film on Korean War”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks