We often use the end of the year to do a quick review of the state of the blog. In 2022, the blog exploded in size — often doubling or tripling the monthly traffic. We will soon pass our 66,000,000 view mark and our community continues to grow rapidly around the world.
As always, I want to offer special thanks for Darren Smith, who has continued to help manage the blog and help out folks who encounter posting problems. I also want to thank our editor Kristin Oren, who continues her amazing work proofing posts on a daily basis to remove my embarrassing typos. Finally, I would like to thank our regular readers who alert me to typos or any violations of the civility or copyright policies on the blog.
The growth on Twitter this year has been astonishing. We are now passing 400,000 followers. We also have 6,000 people who have signed up for alerts by emails.
This week, we passed 21,000 posts and roughly 1,230,000 comments. To give you an example, December was the best month in the history of the blog with an increase of 300 percent over prior years. Since December can be a slow month with the holidays, the numbers were particularly gratifying.
So here are the annual figures. Over the last year, our ten biggest international sources for readers came from:
- United States
3. United Kingdom
8. New Zealand
The top five posts in terms of readership in the last year were:
- Six Degrees from James Baker: A Familiar Figure Reemerges With the Release of the Twitter Files
- Durham: Five Witnesses Connected to the Clinton Campaign’s False Russian Claims Have Refused to Cooperate
- “Preserve the Narrative”: The Public Rejects the “Insurrection” Claim in New Polling
The success of the blog continues to amaze me. As we have discussed in the past, Res Ipsa was created well over a decade ago during a family vacation to North Carolina. The blog was created by family members who heard me on a call resisting a request to blog on the site of one of my newspapers. I was entirely unfamiliar with blogs. They simply presented me with a new blog and Res Ipsa was born.
We are now routinely ranked with the top legal blogs in the world. We have also attracted our share of accolades, including the ABA Journal for its blog Hall of Fame. That is due in large part to our regulars who add perspectives and passion to the issues that we discuss.
In these trying times, it is nice to have a place (even a virtual place) where you can go to discuss the issues of our day from the momentous to the simply odd. I hope that you continue to find this to be a site worthy of your time and your contributions.
So, here’s hoping for a great year to come for our country, our families, and, yes, our blog in 2023.
55 thoughts on “State of the Blog: Looking Back at a Banner Year in 2022”
Prof. Turley I’m sure you, like me find Alex Jones’s comments on the Sandy Hook massacre horrible. But, it was a conspiracy theory. Are not conspiracy theories protected under 1st amendment? Did the judges in the civil lawsuits bend to emotions by awarding huge settlements? Please write on this subject in a future article.
There are many problems with the Alex Jones verdicts.
Nearly all states have a 1-2 years statute of limitations on defamation claims.
There will be legal fights over the Jones verdicts, and I would bet he will win.
And that is how things should be.
That does not make Jones a good person.
We do allow people to sue for defamation. While Jones remarks are false, I am not sure how they are defamatory.
Hurtful to some ? Sure. But not defamatory.
Hurtful words are protected by the first amendment. Lies that harm another persons reputation are not.
Professor Turley, perhaps you could comment on something for me. I believe the Fourth Amendment is the answer to our loss of liberty in the face of the suffocating stalking of the Surveillance State. 4A opens with “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”. I believe this declares we have an innate right to privacy against all intruders – not just those in government.
The rest of the amendment applies our innate right to privacy in the context of the Constitution, by limiting government’s ability to seize or search our private property without probable cause and without obtaining concurrence from more than one party. Yet why should the positive declaration of our right to privacy be constricted by its first application? Why should it only work toward and against government? It proscribes unreasonable searches and seizures, not government searches or seizures – not even unreasonable government searches and seizures.
I hold it to be constitutionally unreasonable that we must now live in a clear fishbowl simply because technology happened to advance to the point where it has become easy for strangers to stare and pry. We have been reduced to the state of ants in a clear ant farm, not by law or amendment, but by default. It is unreasonable to presume that people and entities can consign American citizens to life as RFID’d packets in a massive GovCorp warehouse – where the lights never go out and security is always watching and prying – simply because they can!
Our rights as annunciated by the Fourth Amendment require everyone and everything around us to leave us space and privacy. It is incumbent upon those around us to ensure they are not violating our privacy, within reason. Whatever that place of “reason” is, it is a long way off from where we are now! For instance, “surveillance capitalism” unreasonably presumes the right to rifle through our persons, houses, papers, and effects to a gross, and unconstitutional, degree.
Congratulations. This is an extremely rare find. You just discovered what Madison revealed. The dominion of the “manifest tenor,” or the clear and obvious meaning and intent of the literal words of the English language in the U.S. Constitution.
“…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”
“…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”
“[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”
– Alexander Hamilton
Of course, you are correct and no court and no elected or appointed official has any power to amend or modify the Constitution or modify the Constitution by “interpretation.”
They do it all the time but it was discovered in 1803 that the Supreme Court has the power of Judicial Review, something Chief Justice Taney took full advantage of against the unconstitutional tyrant, Lincoln, who had no power to suspend habeas corpus, or conduct any of the other activities in Lincoln’s wholly unconstitutional “Reign of Terror,” starting with his unconstitutional denial of fully constitutional secession, which is not prohibited anywhere in the Constitution, and the inverse of which would have ended the “Reign of Terror” right then and there (the South would have seceded, failed, abolished slavery, compassionately repatriated the freed slaves (the first thing abductees always want is to go home) and returned to its warm economic bed in the United States.
The singular American failure is the Supreme Court, with its pristine, untouched and unused power of Judicial Review – a sword never rattled or wielded in battle.
Only slightly beyond your concern is that entire, unconstitutional, communistic American welfare state – none of it is in the Constitution. Try your hand at Article 1, Section 8, and the 5th Amendment absolute right to private property, which the government nullifies and steals on an hourly basis – affirmative action, minimum wage, rent control, non-discrimination laws – one would conjecture that if one is free and one enjoys his private property, one would exercise dominion over said property and enjoy his freedom of discernment, differentiation and discrimination – unfair fair housing laws, etc.
“[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”
– James Madison
The U.S. you see is not the U.S. that was to be – free.
Thanks for your reply. I hope I was clear that I believe 4A can be applied, not just to rogue activities perpetrated by the government, but to rogue activities by any person or entity violating our right to privacy. Obviously, I believe recent revelations of collusion between government agencies and Big Tech corporations show they have been violating our rights. Certainly, existing laws such as the Patriot Act need to be reviewed with 4A in mind. (Perhaps laws, in order to become enforceable, ought to be required to include an approved “impact statement” in regard to our rights) Yet, Big Tech routinely violates our right to privacy apart from government and has done so for many years. In fact, it was their ability and proclivity to unreasonably snoop and pry that drew the government’s attention. Government agencies have hired professionals experienced at criminal activity to do for them what they have been successfully doing for others.
An essential leg on the stool of the general welfare is liberty. Liberty is one of the three foundational legs on that stool! Whatever else liberty entails, it includes our right to be left alone, within reason. Our government was created, in large part, to promote the general welfare. It has no right to violate it, without probable cause and judicial review. Further, the Federal government cannot neglect the general welfare – it can’t leave it “home alone” while it is busy doing other tasks.
I believe the Federal government is obligated to restore, as much as possible, that portion of the general welfare covered by the Fourth Amendment. We have seen an awful diminishment of our liberty because of the emergence of and callous, unprincipled application of technology. American society has slouched into a massive and profound “perhaps you can but you may not” scenario. Those that can freely do; those who ought to say, “you may not” haven’t – not to any reasonable degree. Government is empowered and obligated to enforce “you may not”. Not only can government defend and enforce the Fourth Amendment; not only may government defend and enforce the Fourth Amendment, but it ought to. In fact, it must.
4A isn’t merely a leash on government, it is also a mandate to government and the authorization of government to actively promote our liberty. Our 4A rights are currently being continuously and thoroughly violated. The Federal government is guilty of trampling the 4A. That must stop! But it is also guilty of being derelict in prohibiting and punishing others who are trampling 4A. That dereliction must also stop.
Matthew, thanks for the thoughtful responses that awaken the intellectual part of this blog.
The 4th amednment is damn near dead.
Absolutely I would love to see it restored, but I do not see that happening.
Left and right conspired to eviscerate it.
There is little left.
“Use it or lose it” applies to our rights. It is similar to our Navy regularly sending a ship to pass through the Taiwan Strait. Communist China is trying to claim it like an inland lake but it is international waters. Well, if no one asserts the right of safe passage through that strait that right will wither and die.
Our rights are like muscles – they atrophy from lack of use and are strengthened by exercise. I don’t have the slightest idea how to formerly assert my 4A rights. I probably also lack the means to do it. That’s why I’m commenting here, on the blog of a strong and reputable voice for liberty.
(I don’t know how or if I can edit a comment, so I’m adding this new one so soon)
It occurs to me that our Fourth Amendment rights to be left alone within reason precludes the push for a “digital dollar”. The First Amendment tacitly states some things are simply too important to let government anywhere near it – as always, within reason. As much as possible, government needs to back off when it comes to the earning, spending, and conserving of money. Recent events, such as in Communist China and Canada, show it isn’t just an academic consideration that government might simply cut people off from their money. Now we hear the IRS will snoop at any transaction over $600, hiring 87,000 new agents to ensure that isn’t just a pipe dream.
It is reasonable of government to cite terrorists, mobsters, and counterfeiters as proof it needs to monitor “large” transactions, perhaps of 5 figures or more (though rampant inflation may move that to 6 figures or more). It is quite another thing to watch every transaction no matter how small by every person, no matter how innocent.
Digital currencies represent a grave danger to liberty. Yet, like pervasive Big Tech surveillance, they might be foisted on us without discussion or consent. Such a drastic change to basic human interaction cannot go unchallenged. I believe the Fourth Amendment is the ground to stand on when making that challenge.
Day after tomorrow, yes, 1/6, pray that SCOTUS decides to hear case 22-380 on their docket against 388, including biden, harris & pence, accused of breaking their oaths of office by refusing to pause 10 days to investigate more than 100 serious charges of election tampering.
Now that you have the ABA’s attention, how about addressing the unjust, unconstitutional detentions of the J6 political prisoners. As an attorney for 35 years I cannot believe we have allowed this to happen.
My Turley your blog is among my favorite reading on the web. Thank you Sir and I look forward to your next post!! Have a wonderful 2023!
Good job, perfesser. I read your stuff with great interest, mainly because it’s about the law and not politics. That’s not very common these days.
Thank you, professor. You are doing extremely valuable work — a trustworthy source.
Congrats, Turley. You’ve created quite the popular blog and created a powerful way to market along with it. Although I’m almost always at odds with your sentiment on issues of late, I find this blog a truly worthwhile place to keep a finger on the pulse of the splintering of the country. All best in ’23!!!
Great blog, Prof. Turley and the team! Keep going full steam ahead in 2023! We love you!