How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on my concerns over the planned “snap impeachment” this year.  In my view, impeaching on the speech alone would raise serious concerns over the use of impeachment in the future. Many Democrats, including members of Congress, refused to accept Trump as the legitimate president when he was elected and refused to do so as rioting broke out at the inauguration.  Many of the same members have used the same type of rhetoric to “take back the country” and “fight for the country.”  The concern is that this impeachment will not only create precedent for an expedited pathway of “snap impeachments” but allow future Congresses to impeach presidents for actions of their supporters.  The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment.  As with the calls to use the 25th Amendment, there are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option.  There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable.

As I have said, there could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue.  As with the 25th Amendment claim, such evidence would be found from within the White House and through a traditional impeachment inquiry.

Here is the column:

Author Franz Kafka once wrote, “My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.” Congressional Democrats appear close to adopting that Kafkaesque standard into the Constitution as they prepare for a second impeachment of President Trump. In seeking his removal for “incitement,” Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before the end of his term.

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his speech to supporters before the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Like many, I condemned that speech as it was still being given, calling it reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. However, Trump’s speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code. Indeed, it would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court.

When I testified in both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings, I noted that an article of impeachment does not have to be based on a clear crime but that Congress historically has looked to the criminal code to weigh impeachment offenses. In this current controversy, any such comparison would quickly dispel claims of criminal incitement. Despite widespread, justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or a riot. Rather, he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to express opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to support the challenges being made by some members of Congress. He expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Such electoral-vote challenges have been made by Democrats in past elections under the Electoral Count Act, and Trump was pressing Republican lawmakers to join the effort on his behalf. He stated: “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy…And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.”

He ended his speech by saying a protest at the Capitol was meant to “try and give our Republicans, the weak ones … the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Such marches are common — on both federal and state capitols — to protest or to support actions occurring inside.

The governing legal standard for violent speech is found in Brandenburg v. Ohio. As a free speech advocate, I have long criticized that 1969 case and what I consider its dangerously vague standard. However, even Brandenburg would treat Trump’s speech as protected by the First Amendment. Under that case, the government can criminalize speech that is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

There was no call for lawless action by Trump. Instead, there was a call for a protest at the Capitol. Moreover, violence was not imminent; the vast majority of the tens of thousands of protesters present were not violent before the march, and most did not riot inside the Capitol. Like many violent protests we have witnessed over the last four years, including Trump’s 2017 inauguration, the criminal conduct was carried out by a smaller group of instigators. Capitol police knew of the planned march but declined an offer of National Guard personnel because they did not view violence as likely.

Thus, Congress is about to seek the impeachment of a president for a speech that is protected under the First Amendment. It would create precedent for the impeachment of any president who can be blamed for the violent acts of others after the use of reckless or inflammatory language.

What is even more unnerving are the few cases that would support this type of action. The most obvious is the 1918 prosecution of socialist Eugene Debs, who spoke passionately against the draft in World War I and led figures like President Wilson to declare him a “traitor to his country.” Debs was arrested and charged with sedition, the new favorite term of today’s Democratic leaders to denounce Trump and Republican members who challenged the Biden victory.

In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for a unanimous bench in one of the most infamous decisions to issue from the Supreme Court. The court dismissed Debs’ free speech rights and held that it was sufficient that his words had the “natural tendency and reasonably probable effect” of deterring people from supporting the war.

That decision was a disgrace — but Democrats are now arguing something even more extreme as the basis for impeachment. Under their theory, any president could be removed for rhetoric deemed to have the “natural tendency” to encourage others to act in a riotous fashion. Even a call for supporters to protest peacefully would not be a defense. It would be as if Debs first denounced the war but also encouraged people to enlist. This standard would allow for a type of vicarious impeachment — attributing conduct of third parties to a president for the purposes of removal.

Democrats are pushing this dangerously vague standard while objecting to their own statements being given incriminating meaning by critics. For example, conservatives have pointed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) calling for people to confront Republican  leaders in restaurants; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) insisted during 2020’s violent protests that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” while then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said “protesters should not let up” even as many protests were turning violent. They can all legitimately argue that their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this is a standard fraught with subjectivity.

The damage caused by this week’s rioting was enormous — but it will pale in comparison to the damage from a new precedent of a “snap impeachment” for speech protected under the First Amendment. It is the very danger that the Framers sought to avoid in crafting the impeachment standard. In a process meant to require deliberative, not impulsive, judgments, the very reference to a “snap impeachment” is a contradiction in constitutional terms. In this new system, guilt is not to be doubted and innocence is not to be deliberated. It would do to the Constitution what the rioters did to the Capitol: Leave it in tatters.

704 thoughts on “How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance”

  1. Is that really your concern? If the insurrection is not an impeachable offense than what is? What is your solution?

    1. COG (such an appropriate initialism/acronym):

      “If the insurrection is not an impeachable offense than what is? What is your solution?”
      *************************************

      Well you might want a link between the insurrection (which this wasn’t) and the incitement (which this wasn’t). Other than that you’ve got it pegged. The solution is an open election process with a meaningful investigation of voting irregularities of which there were many. You see that gives folks confidence in the results. Life’s really simple when you let it be.

    2. “If the insurrection . . .”

      If that was an “insurrection,” then shoplifting a candy bar is grand theft.

      The storming of the Bastille was an insurrection. As was the armed takeover of police stations by Antifa/BLM rioters. As was the armed assault on the Federal courthouse in Portland. As was the armed occupation of entire blocks in downtown Seattle.

      And here we see the Left’s MO: Stretch a word, “insurrection,” like taffy — as a means to an end. And ignore that word to rationalize a desire.

      1. I can see that we are not going to be able to find common ground—but if you want downgrade an armed violent seizure of the Capitol by people waving confederate flags, taking down the US Flag and raising a Trump Flag as not being a big deal, I do not see how there is any common ground. You reference “attacks” on the Portland federal courthouse. There is some license with your characterization but let’s dig deeper—the reason why an attack on the Portland courthouse is significant is that it is an attack on a symbol of the US government. It’s a symbolic attack—the Judges were not in the courthouse and trials and proceedings occurred during the day. The Congress is the most significant symbol of the US government. It’s proceedings were interrupted. Senators and Representatives and the VP and their staffs were in the building and were at risk. The attack on the Capitol was actual, violent and real—as well as being symbolic.

        1. “It’s proceedings were interrupted. Senators and Representatives and the VP and their staffs were in the building and were at risk. The attack on the Capitol was actual, violent and real—as well as being symbolic.”
          ************************
          I suppose the Kavanaugh protesters in the Senate office building holding folks hostage was likewise an insurrection. Your denunciation was nowhere to be found then. Wrong oxen, I suppose. Sorry but you either condemn ’em all (like MollyG did to her credit) or you get lumped in with the undying partisan crowd that nobody pays much attention to.

          1. Name a single Kavanaugh protester who was armed.
            Name a single Kavanaugh protester who came with flex cuffs.
            Name a single Kavanaugh protester who stole property from the House floor or from Representatives’ offices.
            Name a single Kavanaugh protester who injured police.
            Name a single police officer who died as a result of being injured by Kavanaugh protesters.

            You, mesblow, are fond of false equivalences.

            1. Aninny:

              “You, mesblow, are fond of false equivalences.”
              *********************************
              I’m fond of consistent, intelligent criticism. You uttered not word one when your mob overran the Senate office building over the demonstrably (“I needed a second door, boohoo, never mind it was built for a second business in the house.”) false claims against Kavanaugh. Now you’re shocked, shocked that folks overran the Capitol. Sorry but it doesn’t play. Just like your newfound concern for cops. Your differences go to punishment not the criminality of the act which is the same.

        2. You skipped over all of the American Flags and Blueline Flags on display by that “Mob”.

          How many are displayed by Antifa or BLM when they riot or engage in real mob violence?

          As that Redneck Comedian would say…..”Here’s your Sign!”!

        3. “I can see that we are not going to be able to find common ground . . .”

          You are correct, because “common ground” requires logical consistency.

          No matter how many examples I give of Antifa/BLM insurrections, your side creates phony distinctions: Government personnel must be present. There must be ongoing government operations. The attacks must take place during the daytime. They’re not insurrectionists if they have a “noble” end. To be an insurrection, the attackers must be standing on one foot, while patting their heads and rubbing their stomachs.

          1. What happens when the government provides a select group of private companies with what is effectively qualified immunity?

    3. Petitioning the government is not insurrection.

      There are serious questions about the recent election.
      It was without a doubt counducted outside the law and the constitutions.
      5 of the 6 contested states and 28 or the 50 states have constitutional provisions requiring a secret ballot.
      Mailin elections are not secret ballots and are unconstitutional in most of the US.
      They are also barred in most of the developed world.
      Further there were numerous other provisions of election laws that were violated accross the country – but particularly in the key states.

      If we ignore the fact that an election was conducted outside the law or constitution – then we no longer have the rule of law.

      There MUST be some inquiry, and there must be some remedy.
      Those courts that shut Trump down – may or may not legitimately be able to foreclose invalidating the election – but they CAN NOT ignore the problem without undermining the rule of law.

      Without the rule of law – there is no government, and there can be no insurrection.

      Regardless seeking government to follow the law is not insurrection.

      Even the claim that Trump or protestors sought to influence Senators and congressmen to not certify the electoral college – that is unusual but it is constitutional. It is fully inside the power of congress to do so and there for fully inside the legitimate rights of voters to demand.

      Insurrection is not opposition to your desired outcome.

      Instead of barricading themselves in, Senators and representatives should have met with these protestors.
      These are their constituents.

      When congress is afraid of the people – the problem is with congress, not the people.

      Regardless the left is not behaving like they won a fair election.
      They are behaving like they are terrified that the people will find out they did not.

      We have spent the past 4 years with democrats engaged in ever escalating craziness.

      I am looking forward to watching the failure of the democratic party over the next 2 years.

      Please go ahead with this idiocy.

      If you do not want to be compared to maoists and bloshevicks – quit acting like them.

  2. Turley, the unbiased one, is being less than completely honest here.

    > [Trump] stated: “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy…And after this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. [And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.]”

    Turley omitted the italicized text (in brackets), and that’s the text that many (rightly or wrongly, but reasonably) consider to be the incitement.

      1. Incitement of imminent violence is not protected by the Constitution. See Paul’s comment below:

        > In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brandenberg v Ohio, found that the government can punish inflammatory speech when it is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

        1. yyy:

          I read the speech and, of course, know the law. There was plenty not to like but there was no call for imminent lawlessness. Just heated words and typical “we will never surrender” language. That’s not a call to “Burn Down The ROTC Building.” You aren’t responsible for what a few listeners misinterpreting your words do. if so, Maxine Waters would have been hauled off in the paddy wagon eons ago. Too bad you’re going to be facing the exact resistance to Biden that the Left visited on Trump. Get yourself a mouthguard ’cause its gonna be rough.

          1. So you were wrong about Brandenburg v. Ohio, right?

            (I haven’t argued that Trump incited imminent violence in that speech, as defined by law. I said that it’s reasonable to believe that he did.)

            1. When ever is it “reasonable” to be wrong?

              so. you admit you and the Democrats including Pelosi et al….got it wrong….but they are bound and determined to Impeach Trump despite that…..right….got it!

              Shows to go you how dangerous stupid people are in large numbers!

              1. “so. you admit you and the Democrats including Pelosi et al….got it wrong”

                I haven’t said that, what are you talking about??

            2. yyy:

              “So you were wrong about Brandenburg v. Ohio, right?

              (I haven’t argued that Trump incited imminent violence in that speech, as defined by law. I said that it’s reasonable to believe that he did.)”
              *********************************

              No you are and you proved you don’t understand the case or the law with your next sentence word salad that goes right in the Sophists Hall of Fame. Admit it. You never read the case.

              1. Ok, here’s Turley AGAIN (see below) saying that Brandenburg did NOT rule that incitement of imminent violence is protected speech, and that it’s NOT protected speech:

                The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that citizens cannot be prosecuted for their exercise of free speech, even in the case of so-called “violent speech.” See Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447–48 (1969) (per curiam); see also NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 928–29 (1982). The only exception to this rule is found in extreme cases where the speech is akin to “one who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theatre.” Brandenburg, 395 U.S. at 456 (Douglas, J., concurring). In such cases, the Court has stressed that “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Id. at 447. The government must show not only that the defendant both advocated imminent violence, but also that such advocacy was likely to incite or produce such a response. Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105, 108–109 (1973).

                https://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/03/federal-court-rules-that-trump-may-have-incited-violence-at-kentucky-rally/

                1. Those on the left are clueless.

                  Worse they do not apply to themselves the standards they apply to others.

                  Whatever the courts have said regarding what Speech can be proscribed – a plethora of leading democrats have made remarks closer to proscribable speech than Trump.

              2. It is not reasonable to beleive that he did. Further the claim is absurd.

                When dealing with left wing nuts we really are right smack in the middle of 1984.

    1. “Turley omitted the italicized text . . .”

      And you omit this part of Trump’s speech — which just so happens to contradict the charge of “incitement”:

      “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to *peacefully* and patriotically make your voices heard.” (Emphasis added.)

      1. It does contradict the charge of incitement. It’s evidence against incitement. But it doesn’t by itself disprove incitement. I’m not taking a position either way, I’m only criticizing Turley for omitting a block of text that’s crucial in the discussion.

  3. Another column to tell us that using the Constitutionally provided process to oust a President who attempts to remain in power by a violent overthrow of the government and the assignation of members of Congress is just too divisive. You are so enamored with being the right wings go to guy it’s appalling. It’s all about how Trump can do anything and I do mean anything and get away with it because holding him and the others will make people mad. We should allow the violence to drive our country into the ditch.

  4. They are doing their best to create a political martyr, which, if successful. will haunt them for some time

  5. In the midst of the riot, Trump tweeted “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

    Rioters were attempting to find Pence to assassinate him.

    Trump did not attempt to contact Pence to check that he was OK. Reports say that Trump has not spoken to Pence since before the riot.

    Trump is deeply sick, and Congress needs to modify the 25th Amendment to better account for mental illness.

  6. You ended your predictably protective column for Trump where it should have started: “It would do to the Constitution what the rioters did to the Capitol: Leave it in tatters.” Yes, Trump’s supporters, and enablers left the Capitol in tatters. Some of us are concerned for our country because of those actions—and actually have this old fashioned opinion that the President of the United States should be protecting the country and not attacking our elections and the Congress. You have a First Amendment right to believe that Trump should always be protected and justified and that our system of government and personal freedom for people who do not agree with Trump have no value—you even get paid for expressing those opinions.

    It could have been worse. Pence and others could have been killed. The President of the United States encouraged these actions and facilitated them by withholding the National Guard. After 5 days, there is still no Federal explanation of events. Even now, you start your column with false “what abouts” regarding the Democrats.

    You are totally OK with having a President who tried to overthrow our system of elections, bullied and threatened decision makers in various states to disenfranchise those Americans who did not vote for him, and when Congress was on lock down was still calling Senators to encourage them to overturn the result of our elections. Days later, he still has the power of the pardon, a military chain of command, and the nuclear button and you are completely OK with allowing this to continue. And your support for this is to continue to spread falsehoods about Democratic opposition to Trump.

    When even Bill Barr, the most partisan, corrupt AG of our lifetime criticizes the President, you are still supporting him, Just stop—look at Hungary, or Poland, or Turkey, or Joe McCarthy. It can happen here, and you are helping.

  7. I fully agree with Professor Turley’s assessment of the situation and the dangers it poses to every President from here on out if the Democrats go forth with this effort to Impeach President Trump.

    The one thing I question in the Professor’s articles. is this……

    “Thus, Congress is about to seek the impeachment of a president for a speech that is protected under the First Amendment. It would create precedent for the impeachment of any president who can be blamed for the violent acts of others after the use of reckless or inflammatory language.”.

    I see it differently…..it tells me that the House controlled by a radical Majority could Impeach a President for ANY comment, statement, or speech for any reason they could conjure up.

    There would not have to be any call to arms, or call to riot, or even a call to protest…..all we. have to do is look back at the other Trump Impeachment and see now low a standard the current Democrat Leadership set for an Impeachment….and the results.

    Using the current Democrat Standard….a Republican controlled House,, say after the 2022 Election could now feel free to Impeach Harris for anything she said during a 25th Amendment removal of Biden.

    Are the Democrats ready for something like that?

    I suggest they tread very carefully between now and January 20th….nine days from now….when Trump’s Term in Office ends and Joe Biden’s begins.

    Otherwise, just like every time they change the House or Senate Rules for immediate advantage it comes back to haunt them later.

    Are they so filled with hatred for Donald Trump they will make such a horrible mistake?

    1. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the GOP will mis-use whatever authority and power it has to sabotage our system of government and will blame the Democrats. That has been GOP policy since Newt Gringich. The likelihood that the GOP will mis-use power is baked into anyone’s consideration of what to do.

      But the probability of GOP abuse is no reason for the Democrats to allow Trump to avoid any consequences for his attempted coup. It is horrible to contemplate what lies ahead now that the GOP has endorsed stealing an election and sacking congress as legitimate expression of the will of the “People”. But the only way to respond to those actions is to try to preserve our system of government. You are right that it may be futile but we have to try—America is too valuable and too important and too sacred to allow its destruction by threats and actions of Trump and his supporters.

      Try asking yourself, if President Obama had told his followers to attack Congress and they did so, and the lives of GOP congressmen were at risk(ironically as was true this time along with VP Pence), would you be so protective of his actions?

  8. No, they didn’t, he was appointed Chancellor after the 1932 election (in which the Nazis had lost 34 seats) that was the last free election in pre-war Germany. 10 years previously, he’d had another go, the deadly Beer Hall Putsch, not unlike last weeks attempt.

  9. Trump and his brainwashed cult are the threat to the Constitution and have been for years. And yet, you lie, shill and cover for him. His criminality is plain to see. And yet you and his cult turned a blind eye to it for years.

  10. In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brandenberg v Ohio, found that the government can punish inflammatory speech when it is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

    Did baby trump call a crowd to DC for at least a week if not a month before January 6? I’m pretty sure the answer to that is yes.

    Did baby trump encourage the crowd to march on the capitol? Here are his words near the close of his speech…“So we are going to—we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give—the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try—give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re try—going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” So I am guessing that would be a yes. But notice his words, “Lets’ walk down…”, “We are going to the capitol”, “…we are going to try…”, I am pretty sure when you use language like that it is inclusive of the person that said the words. But where was baby trump? Did he also walk down Pensylvania Ave?, take his limo? fly in a helicopter? Nope, he slithered back to his office and watched it all unfold on TV. I guess cowardly action by baby trump is easy to expect since he used “bone spurs” to get out of serving the military (but was able to play tennis on his bone spurs). His whole life has been spent using words to get other people to take action while he sits back.

    Ddid he use words that are likely to incite pr produce violence? IMHO, yes.

    So will baby trump be indicted for inciting a mob?

      1. Turley: “The case raises the issue of violent speech, a controversial area of prosecution. I do not believe that these comments would satisfy the standard established by the Supreme Court in 1969 in Brandenburg v. Ohio as advocating imminent violence. Violent speech is protected under the Constitution absent such a threat of imminent violence.”
        https://jonathanturley.org/2020/06/08/gasoline-is-awfully-cheap-police-action-against-ace-burns-raises-free-speech-concerns/

  11. This is not about nitpicking individual lines in one speech. Trump spent two months on lying binge, feeding his supporters an elaborate false narrative of a stolen election by the deep state. Everyone was against him and them. Anyone who did not support his alternate reality was backstabber and a traitor to Trump. Then he and his minions invited his supporters (who they know were planning violence) to DC, told them to be wild, whipped them up into a frenzy at a rally, then sent them to the capital. This is absolutely impeachable, and needs to be done quick. The damage to our Constitution is in not impeaching.

      1. Oh yeah, the pussy hats broke into Pennsylvania Ave and the Mall and were trying to kill ……… wait, who were they trying to kill?

        1. Oh yeah, the pussy hats broke into Pennsylvania Ave and the Mall and were trying to kill ……… wait, who were they trying to kill?
          *********************
          Probably anybody they could. But they did manage to smash windows and burn stuff. Very Leftist. They were prohibited by the cops. Given your lapses in memory I’m not surprised you’ve forgotten. Here’s a reminder grandpa:

          https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-38700648

        2. Some, not all, were out to kill or hurt Members of Congress, their staff, Capital Police, or the VP. They were actually chanting “Hang Mike Pence”. Lets not forget they beat a Capital Police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.

          1. “Some, not all, were out to kill or hurt Members of Congress, their staff, Capital Police, or the VP.”
            You have no evidence of that.

            “They were actually chanting “Hang Mike Pence””
            Are we going to indict protestors based on their chants ?
            I think we could get rid of most of the left.
            Regardless, I have watched lots of video. I did not hear that chant once.

            “Lets not forget they beat a Capital Police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.”
            So prosecute that protestor.
            Along with the capital policemen who murdered the protestor.
            If she had been black – Washington DC would be on fire right now.

  12. Bill Barr: “Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable. The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.”

    If only Turley would have seen fit to make such a vehement and damning condemnation other than to condemn Trump’s conduct as simply “reckless” and “wrong.” I suppose he is afraid to burn his bridges at his employer Fox News. After all, Turley is currently writing a book, and he needs Fox to advertise it whenever he is called upon to contribute to Fox programming. Sell out.

    1. JS:

      People are always so willing to instruct others how to act and opining on their motivations for not doing so, all the while while ignoring their own obvious dilemmas and biases. Maybe you can get a job as a life coach and then we’ll see just how much demand there is for your “services.” Oh, and I’m good, thanks.

        1. JS:

          “Mespo- Check. No life coaching for you. Damn!”
          *********************

          I am open to snickering lessons and guffaw mitigation lectures. Both Talents I need to stay on this comment board.

    2. As FOX marches leftwards….the good Professor’s reasoned views are going to become unwelcome not because they are thought wrong…..but just. because they do not endorse the Leftist Agenda and are based upon the Constitution and Legal precedent.

      That pesky Constitution and Legal Precedent is something you never hear the Left embrace or talk about except to attack or demean.

      Professor Turley is a Man of Principle which is rare in today’s political rancor….and we need more of them…..and more Statesmen.

      Challenge Turley’s teachings but do not attack him….as that is an instant disqualification to any credibility you might hope to have in posting here.

      Disciples of Saul Alinsky are heretics when it comes to intellectual debate.

  13. This has all gone beyond contention – the people on the left are sick, and the left now controls the DNC and all three branches of our government, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, mainstream media, and corporate America. This was a hostile and shallow takeover by a minority, not an organic evolution.

    These ignorant, foolish, disingenuous, absurdly fragile young radicals have no idea what they are actually asking for( and neither do their arrogant and seemingly soulless elders); they just aren’t bright/educated/experienced enough. We were *supposed* to acknowledge their superiority, roll over, and give them what they wanted, just like their parents did the entirety of their lives. There is literally not a hint of doubt cast upon flagrantly unethical behavior bordering on surreal so long as it serves them personally.

    This will not end well, one way or the other. I have not felt this level of concern for our country at any other time in my life, and like the majority here on this site, I lived through some bad sheet.

  14. Conservative free speech has been successfully shut down in this country. Democrat billionaires have been able to buy this country with their dangerous monopolies. Half of Americans are already under tyrannical rule even before the inauguration of King Biden. This will not end well.

    1. Rogers- The Dead-Enders have already stormed the Capitol. What else is planned ahead on January 17th?

    2. Conservative speech has not been shut down. You’re here speaking. Are you truly so oblivious that you don’t recognize that?

      1. I’m speaking of the shut down of Parler. It is the one conservative alternative to Twitter and it has been shut down as of midnight last night. Are you so truly oblivious you didn’t recognize that?

        1. Apparently they had a contingency plan for just such an occurrence to move to other servers with companies that actually support them, and they are in the process of doing that. The Apple move is the real blow, as users cannot without great technological skill cannot install anything originating outside of Apple’s own ecosystem. That’s true to a lesser extent on Android as well. But they will be on the web once they transition, barring anymore shenanigans. I have no doubt the DDos attempts will be a regular occurrence though. This battle may not be fought on the ground of our cities and states.

          1. James, Amazon was their server. Amazon took them off the internet altogether. I saw the CEO for Parler in an interview on Newsmax this morning and she said there is s strong possibility they may not be able to return.

            1. If they’re unable, it’s because they’re technologically incompetent. They can buy their own servers.

        2. You are free to use twitter to advance conservative policies. Just don’t use twitter to harass people, call for violence. This call that suddenly there is no place for conservatives on social media is just ludicrous.

          1. You mean like Waters, Pressley and Harris did? Not to mention coordinating the riots of blm and antifa. You mean like that?

          2. I stopped using Twitter 3 months ago because I was censored twice. Once for sharing a video of German scientists and doctors opinions on Covid and the second time sharing the New York posts story on Hunter Biden. You are insulated in an echo chamber of media that hates my half of Americans. Eat their propaganda and come after us like they want. It will sooner or later be you who are censored as well. Power and control by the wealthiest of the wealthy is a dangerous thing.

        3. Then say “Parler has been shut down,” not “Conservative free speech has been successfully shut down in this country.” Because they don’t mean the same thing, and what you said is wildly untrue.

          The only reason Parler has been shut down is because they’re incompetent. As I noted on the column about Parler, The Pirate Bay has been operating for 20 years. Nothing prevents Parler from setting up a system like The Pirate Bay. Except that they’re incompetent.

          1. I see you are making yourself speech control by ordering me to say exactly what you allow. Were you reincarnated from an Auschwitz gestapo which took pleasure in stoking the ovens or turning on the gas in the showers? Watch the movie “Milado” and see how Socialism quickly escalates to execution.

            1. LMAO that you object to me telling you to do something in the same comment where you tell me to do something.

          2. Here we see why the Left, like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, are evil because they make excuses for their malignant behaviors while buttressing nefarious methods. Thank you for showing us how bat$hit crazy and morally depraved your ilk are

            Wikipedia:

            The Pirate Bay trial
            Main article: The Pirate Bay trial

            On 31 January 2008, The Pirate Bay operators – Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström (CEO of The Pirate Bay’s former ISP) – were charged with “assisting [others in] copyright infringement”.[13] The trial began on 16 February 2009. On 17 April 2009, Sunde and his co-defendants were found to be guilty of “assisting in making copyright content available” in the Stockholm District Court. Each defendant was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay damages of 30 million SEK (approximately €2,740,900 or US$3,620,000), to be apportioned among the four defendants.[14] After the verdict a press conference was held where Sunde held up a handwritten IOU statement claiming that is all the damages he will pay, adding “Even if I had any money I would rather burn everything I own and not even give them the ashes. They could have the job of picking them up. That’s how much I hate the media industry.”[15]

            The defendants’ lawyers appealed to the Svea Court of Appeal together with a request for a retrial in the district court claiming bias on the part of judge Tomas Norström.[16] The district court ruled there was no bias and denied the request for a retrial. On appeal, the jail sentences were reduced, but the damages increased. The supreme court of Sweden subsequently refused to hear any further appeal. The European Court of Human Rights also later rejected an appeal.[17]

            1. I didn’t — and don’t — laud any of the content on The Pirate Bay. I’m pointing out that they haven’t been shut down despite not being available on Google play, not having support from AWS, … Nothing prevents Parler from setting up a system like The Pirate Bay. TPB owns its own servers. Parler could choose to do the same.

    1. There are several existing limits to free speech, including perjury, defamation, and incitement to imminent lawless action, child p0rn, and solicitations to commit crimes.

  15. It sounds to me you are seeking to join Trump’s Impeachment defense team alongside Giuliani and Dershowitz. Good luck with that.

    However, I notice you once again are misrepresenting the facts which is becoming standard practice for you regrettably. You deliberately fail to mention that Trump and your employer, Fox News, promulgated the Big Lie that the election was stolen. Hell, if that were true, his followers should have stormed the Capitol. But it was a lie, and you know it, and the fact that you don’t even mention it makes you a liar as well.

          1. Anonymous you have no idea what you are talking about. You didn’t watch the legislative hearings in the states where the election was challenged. If you had you would have seen those under oath who testified. You just drink the Koolaid and dance on your puppet strings.

            1. Phyllis, since you watched the witnesses, please describe to us how and who rigged the election in 6 states, but only the Presidential election while down ballot Republicans won races they are claiming are legitimate. You understand the fact that hundreds or thousands of conspirators would have to be involved and would have a hard time hiding right?

              I await you explanation.

                1. Kinda busy Phyllis and I’m thinking since you’ve seen them you can tell us how this supposedly worked. I provide links all the time when I think I have something important to communicate and explain my position.

                  PS You’re not the 1st person who lost the last election to grouse about fraud, but when asked for specifics significant enough to have caused 6 states to flip have not had any proof. Trump’s lawyers and John Say do the same thing regularly.

                  1. Joe Friday I see you think my time is not as important as yours. That doesn’t gain any respect, neither does hiding behind a fictional name to harass others. You seem to have time for that but I expect nothing less from a Marxist.

                    1. Phyllis, you made a claim that you now admit you can’t back up.

                      Thanks for that admission.

                    2. PS I’m not even asking for proof. Just describe the scenario how this could have even worked? 6 states, hundreds to thousands of election officials of both parties? Change only the result on the Presidential line but nothing down ballot?

                    3. Comrade Joe:

                      “You understand the fact that hundreds or thousands of conspirators would have to be involved and would have a hard time hiding right?

                      I await you explanation.”
                      ***********************
                      It’s certainly feasible if you manipulate the software for a given race. All you need is a programmer and internet access for the voting machine. Now whether it actually happened is open to speculation but its feasibility isn’t. That’s why you need an investigation to clear the air as JT suggests over and over again.

                    4. Comrade ,mespo –

                      So then, we can discount places which have paper ballots as not subject to this form of hanky panky, correct? I just checked and the only states whic used paperless voting in 2020 were Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey.. None of the 6 states challenged are in that list, so looks like we’re good and you and Phyllis can quit worrying now.

                    5. I have zero problems with an absolute ban on paperless balloting.
                      That is an excellent idea.

                      If you wish to look for election fraud in those states with paperless voting please do so.
                      I will be behind you 100%.

                      But 28 states in this country require secret ballots.

                      Some forms of absentee baloting can meet that requirement.
                      Some forms of in person voting can meet that requirement.
                      No form of mailin voting can meet that requirement.

                      The requirement for secret ballots should be in the US constitution,
                      Regardless it is in every contested states constitution except Nevada.

                      The mailin voting in AZ, WI, MI, PA, and GA are all lawless. PERIOD.
                      Most of these states have laws requiring that all vote counting and vote handling are done under public observation.
                      Most have an objection system. All these were effectively gutted in 2020.
                      PA has an explicit deadline by which all ballots of any form must be recieved – those laws were ignored.
                      In PA that provision and the provision that ballots must be delivered in person or my mail to county election board mailin address were also gutted – in the PA election law those provisions were non-severable – that means that if the court does not accept the provision as written the entire law – all mailin balloting, in PA become invalid.

                      There are a number of other laws and constitutional provisions that were also violated.

                      If you do not have the rule of law – you do not have government.
                      And like it or not the ultimate arbiter of whether you have rule of law is the people – not the courts.
                      The say of the courts matters – only so long as the courts have the trust of the people.

                      They do not. A plurality of people beleive the election was stolen.
                      That should be the end of this. Without the support of the overwhelming majority of people – there is no social contract, there is no government.

                      You really should read Locke. Or try the Declaration of indepence.

                    6. “And thus much may suffice to shew, that as far as we have any light from history, we have reason to conclude, that all peaceful beginnings of government have been laid in the consent of the people.”

                      John Locke

                    7. Comrade Josef:

                      “So then, we can discount places which have paper ballots as not subject to this form of hanky panky, correct?”
                      *************************
                      No mailed paper ballots have their own weaknesses like bringing in more after the polls close with signatures that all look the same. Or believing
                      the military voted en mas for Seniley Joe Then there’s that leap of faith that 80 million people voted for a crazy ol’ guy who didn’t campaign. The disputed states had all that in abundance. Maybe it’s nothing but if it is nothing why not investigate it? We investigated the dossier on less proof.

                  1. Well, I’ve been on this blog for a very long time according to the calendar and I’ve never known your legal name. Mine is straightforward. I am familiar with you as your screen name here but many parade around anonymously under several screen names.

  16. Impeach:. The voters. They elected Trump. Ninety three years ago or so the Krauts elected Hitler.

    1. To Liberty2nd: No, they didn’t, Hitler was appointed Chancellor after the 1932 election (in which the Nazis had lost 34 seats) that was the last free election in pre-war Germany. 10 years previously, he’d had another go, the deadly Beer Hall Putsch, not unlike last weeks attempt.

  17. Thank you JT for allowing
    Diversity of expression on this
    Site.
    75 million cannot be silenced.
    Freedom cannot be silenced.
    Voices will be heard.
    pseudo politicians will be silenced.

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